As blogged before
, I just made the my role playing game Darkness Springs
free. Not free-to-play, but free as in beer. And as promised, here are the details about its sales and other stats, before it was made free:
All in all, the game wasn't financially very successful. Which was no surprise, since I was the only developer behind it: I created all client and server code, all graphics, sounds and even the music on my own. Since I'm a better programmer than artist, this resulted in a probably a bit deterrent game :)
In total, only a bit less than 1000 people bought the game over a period of 4 1/2 years. The premium account for the game costed about 9.90 euro, so I earned around 9000 euro with it. Additionally, I earned a bit from the Google Ads running on the games website, but there were also the server costs, so those basically cancelled each other out.
Free Players vs Premium Account
Darkness Springs had about 200.000 'real' players until now. That is, players who played the game that far, so they created an account to save their character(s) and continue playing later. That means only about 0.5% of all players ever bought a premium account. I don't think this is a good value, so I think either the game was too boring for them, or not worth purchasing. Maybe also it was played by people not interested in paying for games at all. Not sure about that.
Although I tried various different marketing techniques during the last years, sales steadily declined over time, but I think this is a natural process. Here is a graph showing this:
I invested about 3 months of fulltime development into the game. I learned a lot while writing code, rendering 3d graphics, creating the website and the php server scripts. For a european developer, and judging by the time invested, the income the game made was ok after 4 1/2 years, but definitely not very exciting. Should I start creating a game again, I would definitely choose one with much simpler mechanics. An RPG really is a bit complicated to do for one single person :)
If you haven't yet, you can play the full game here