Oberon has done a great job!

My two favourite portals for selling games through are currently Big Fish Games and Oberon Media, although really Oberon is an “aggregator”. This means that they collect games and give them in the right format to other portals like AOL and Yahoo who cannot be reached by individual developers like me. Reflexive Arcade also deserves an honourable mention – they are great to work with and make good sales, but Oberon has sold more copies for me.

I can’t go into specifics because it would breach my contract but I was EXTREMELY pleased to find out that Oberon sold a four figure quantity of my Holiday Bonus game this Christmas. They pushed it onto some big portals like AOL and really delivered the sales. It helped that the game converted very well too (again, sorry can’t give specifics) – perhaps that fact that I overhauled it in December to make the sound run smoother on non-XP systems and fixed a few minor bugs helped too. So anyway, I’ll soon be receiving a nice big, and frankly unexpected, royalty cheque.

Of course the thing to bear in mind with Oberon is that they can’t pay as high a % royalty as other portals because they themselves are only paid a % of the gross selling price. They make up for this with volume though.

I find it interesting to track the Royalty Per Unit on portals to see how much I actually make of the $20 selling price. You get almost $8 from Reflexive because they don’t discount their games and they pay a healthy 40% royalty of the net fee (this information is publicly available so I can tell you it), and of course if you sell your games on your own site, you’ll get $20 per unit minus processing fees (normally around 10%), so like $18. Big Fish Games runs a “Game Club” where customers can buy your game for as little as $6.95 so your RPU is going to be a lot lower, but again they make up for this with a high volume of sales – also it could be argued that the Game Club members wouldn’t have bought anything at $20 so any money is better than none. Over the last couple of years I have watched the ratio of Game Club to full price sales increase dramatically – I can’t mention specific percentages (contracts again, sorry) but it’s a very high percentage and I know what the average RPU is too. Other portals often sell at full price with the odd discount scheme running occasionally but I haven’t found any of the others to generate that many sales to be honest, but I haven’t tried them all yet either – I’ve never got a game on Real Arcade for example.

4 Responses to “Oberon has done a great job!”

  1. cliffski Says:

    four figure sales definitely sounds encouraging

  2. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Agreed, especially as I wrote it the year before and was just essentially re-releasing it. I guess it’s a polished match-3 with a Christmas theme that was released at Christmas so it’s going to do OK. The rest of the year sales will be lower than a normal casual game of course. So it’s swings and proverbials.

  3. jack norton Says:

    Surprising figure. My experience with Oberon was much worse, couldn’t even reach $1000. But again, my kind of games in general performed badly on all portals… 🙂

  4. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Yeah your games seem more like hardcore sims so maybe they aren’t really portal type games. Wonder if they’d do well on a budget retail label, have you tried that? I’ve only had dealings with eGames who put Oz in a budget retail box.