How much do people expect to make on their game?

butterbeanbutterbean Member, PRO Posts: 4,315
edited November -1 in iPhone and Android Publishing
Does anyone know how much on average they expect to make off their iphone game? Have you heard stories good or bad as far as income is concerned regarding their iphone game sales

I imagine marketing your game would be essential to making a success out of your game given apple has a flood of free games and apps and cheap ones at that


  • quantumsheepquantumsheep Member Posts: 8,188
    The plan is to release as many small games as possible at the cheapest price point.

    Can't fail, surely? ;)

    Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home...

  • butterbeanbutterbean Member, PRO Posts: 4,315
    Great Plan Quantum! Once I get a better grasp on programming, that will probably be my plan as well :)

    How many games do you have in the making so far?
  • ktfrightktfright Member Posts: 964
    me, i want to be realistic about it, but im hoping i get alot from my game.
  • quantumsheepquantumsheep Member Posts: 8,188
    I have about 10 games on the go - and always thinking of new ideas!

    The plan, really, should be to *finish* one of them!

    Realistically, I'm not expecting anything at all. I actually have fun just getting the ideas out of my head and being creative. But you never know... ;)

    Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home...

  • JGary321JGary321 Member Posts: 1,246
    Wanna make alot of money??? Make games with decent to good graphics. Seriously, the only way a non good looking game is going to make decent money is by awesome gameplay & great word of mouth/exposure.

    I would not bet on that, so make games that look really good, & take some good screenshots to put up on the app store for your app. That being said, probably the largest expense a small developer has is graphics, so thats one reason I would highly looking forward to the marketplace.

    As far as income, I actually expect to sustain myself to do this full time & make decent money. I have figured that I would be able to produce at least 12 games a year. That gives 1 month of time to make a well polished game. If I work a normal 8 hour day/5 days a week, I can probably do it in 4 weeks, with a couple days off here & there.

    Now if each game sold badly (meaning around 10k sales) & I sell it for .99 then that would be 7k/month after Apple's cut. Thats comes to around 84,000. Now the one thing that I have not read on & maybe someone can shed some light, is this taxed at the normal 12-13% or is it (& I presume it is) considered a 'commission' & is taxed at the 33% rate.

    If it's taxed at commission rate then 84,000 - 27720 (33%) = 56280 after taxes.

    Also calculate that you WILL spend money on graphics. You will only be able to find so many 'free/low cost' graphic sets. Graphics CAN BE very pricey, but hopefully the marketplace here will take off.

    Now to be honest I really do feel these numbers are low. I remember reading a story where iShoot sold for 2.99 & sold 17,000 in one day. This is no where near normal, but you can see that all it takes is 1-2 'hits' & you're well off. I honestly feel it would be nothing to be able to pull 100k-200k per year with Game Salad. (This of course depends on how well it sells.) Also keep in mind our 'target audience' is about 38 million people (20 million iPhones & 18 million iPod Touch) & these are growing daily.

    Now since I brought up how many people are out there waiting in line to buy your app, the question is "Why should they?" The last number I think I heard there were 45,000 iPhone apps on the store. Why should they buy yours? Make sure to come up with new ideas & not just remake a current iPhone game with new graphics.

    Bottom line to me is that I may never get rich off it, but if I can create something I love & then do it when I want, & not when I'm told to do it, then I don't care about getting 'rich'. It also gives me time to spend with my wife & child, b/c I can work when I want.

    Anyways I've rambled enough, hopefully this gives a little insight to my goals & helps others with what to expect with Game Salad.

  • quantumsheepquantumsheep Member Posts: 8,188
    I wish you every success with that JGary.

    You just need one out of those 12 games to be a success and you're sorted!

    I think the great thing about the app store is that you can buy a lot of games for 59p, or $0.99.

    59p here in the uk is the price of a chocolate bar. I think people are more likely to give a game a try and experiment with what they buy when the entry cost is so low.

    What worries me is that there are a lot of very visually gorgeous 3D games out there, and our games might look dated or simple by the time anyone gets a game onto the app store.

    Having said that, a friend of mine has made an awesome puzzle game with basic blocks and black and white graphics. It plays brilliantly though, so I lent him my Mac Mini to see if he could convert it. Would be perfect for iphone ;)

    So who knows, eh?

    QS :)

    Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home...

  • butterbeanbutterbean Member, PRO Posts: 4,315
    Good luck to all you guys in your pursuit!

    I think the way to go is to make a handful of games, and hope that one of them is successful.

    I don't think there really is a recipe for a successful game, and as hard as you work to market it, it all comes down to luck, and if people like what they see, they will buy it! Especially in this frivolous, casual gaming market, you never know what the next big hit could be, so keep plugging away at those ideas!

    As for graphics, what are people doing in terms of getting sprites, or textures? Recommend any good websites?

    One of my games, I'm doing the drawings myself on a wacom intuos tablet. I'm going for the old school look, but I'd be interested to learn how you guys are getting your graphics and stuff for now until the marketplace opens up

    For right now, I'm trying to finish one game, although I have plenty of ideas in store for future titles.

    I just wanna' see how this title does, and will probably make more games, as it is so much more fun than my day job, and doesn't seem like work at all :) And what better way to get paid than to make games!

    A little money on the side is all I can hope for, but if any of us gets a big hit, that would be fabulous!

  • danreldanrel Member Posts: 28
    Hi all,

    I plan to create around five to ten games a year(all very polished) and hopefully that'll be enough for me to turn this into a full-time gig since this is my passion! I'm not particularly expecting to

    "As for graphics, what are people doing in terms of getting sprites, or textures? Recommend any good websites?"

    Butterbean21 --- I come from a traditional/graphic illustration background so I create all of my images from complete scratch using Illustrator and Photoshop mostly.

    If anyone is interested in having me create some illustrations for your games, feel free to let me know. You'll get a better idea of my style after I upload some pics of a game that I'm working on that should be playable by the end of the week.

    - danrel
  • Vanny_ArtsVanny_Arts Member Posts: 16
    Well I'm more of a simple guy. I plan to make at lease 1 game a year.(Good games take time)I don't want to end up like Atari when they used to make tons of games in 1 year,,,but their were all trash.

    I personally think that finishing 1 good game is better than making a couple.

    Gamesalad is just a beta for now. Good games comes by having and knowing a good engine. I have try many engines,but none have work for me.


    In my case I have been learning how to pixel. So,, it have been an adventure learning this new way of drawing,,, it's hard; but worst it.


    LOL Well of course everybody wants to make money,,,, But I'm more focus in learning how to use this Game Salad engine first. But still my mind is on the money and the money is in my mind. =D *by Snoop Dogg*
  • butterbeanbutterbean Member, PRO Posts: 4,315

    I'd be interested in taking a look at some of your art :)

    I've been using Pixen, and just acquired Photoshop CS4 today so I'm doing Pixel art and going for an old school, SNES look

    I'm studying a lot of sprite sheets, and backgrounds etc to see how they did shading, which is the hardest part for me in drawing pixel art, but am becoming very accustomed to it

    Of course it wouldn't be the same without the Wacom Intuos graphics pad which is a lifesaver in terms of creating graphics

    Vanny- I agree that making one good, quality game is better than a dozen so-so games

    Good thing with the iphone is it's a casual gaming marketplace, so hopefully once you get accustomed to gamesalad's game engine, making more than 1 quality title should be easier as time goes

    Good luck to everyone, and Danrel, I'd be interested in seeing some of your graphics!
  • mainsourcemainsource Member Posts: 19
    I'm going to release one game and I expect to make $300k in two months.
  • danreldanrel Member Posts: 28
    "I'm going to release one game and I expect to make $300k in two months."

    --- I'm sure you're just being sarcastic, but hey if you're game is good enough and the time is right, it very well could happen.

    Good luck with that!

    - danrel
  • danreldanrel Member Posts: 28

    I've found that the easiest and most flexible tool to use for game graphics creation is Illustrator. You can make the images as large or as small as you want without losing any image quality(due to vector images[Illustrator]). You can use it to make cartoony images all the way up to photo-realistic images, given the time, effort and skill.

    I apologize for the Illustrator rant if you already know all about it, but I use it daily and definitely couldn't make the games that I make without it(not in any sort of timely fashion, at least :) And I don't usually use pixel sprites.

    Things are coming along rather nicely with my(yet to be named) game and I should be on track for some images or [tiny] beta demo by late this week or this weekend.

    - danrel
  • ktfrightktfright Member Posts: 964
    hopefully, i can expand on DRFT and make it something people will love to play, and make some $$$ at the same time!!!
  • butterbeanbutterbean Member, PRO Posts: 4,315

    Again, I'd be interested in seeing some of your graphics art work, and possibly asking you to help me out with your art skills

    I'm also very new to CS4, and just got the program today

    Is Illustrator a sub-program for CS4? I noticed there are a lot of different features, and I have yet to delve into them

    Is Illustrator good for both pixel art and vector?

    For now I'm sticking to pixel art b/c I want the old school feel, that is my goal for most of my games, perhaps vector art will interest me later :)

    Any tips would be helpful, if you can leave your contact info (email) I'll shoot you an email

  • danreldanrel Member Posts: 28

    Illustrator is great, but only for vector art, but you can always create an illustration in Illustrator, then open that file in Photoshop and rasterize(make it pixel based) it so that you are able to use those images in GameSalad.

    "Is Illustrator a sub-program for CS4? I noticed there are a lot of different features, and I have yet to delve into them"

    -- Illustrator should be in there, but it really depends on which version of CS4 you have. There are different variants of the CS package that are aimed at graphic designers. There's one for print media designers and on and on. You most likely do have Illustrator though.

    "Any tips would be helpful, if you can leave your contact info (email) I'll shoot you an email"

    -- If you're looking for great tutorials for Illustrator, I can't recommend vectortutsDOTcom enough. It's a great site for beginners, all the way up to seasoned pros. Also, is there any PM(Private Message) functionality on the GameSalad forums? I ask just because I'd rather not have my main email address out in the public eye... On the other hand I could make another email account just to talk to GameSalad folks....hmmmm, decisions decisions...

    I hope this helps!

    - danrel
  • butterbeanbutterbean Member, PRO Posts: 4,315
    I believe I have Adobe Photoshop CS4, but I was under the impression that Illustrator came with it, but to my dismay, after looking online, I believe that's another program (mine is in a blue box, and illustrator looked to be in a yellow box online)

    I'm going to stick to Pixel art for now since that's what I have chosen to do, and I like the retro look in games.

    I may get Illustrator later on :)

    I know, a messaging system would be great on this! If you do decide to get an email account just for GS, let me know, I have an iChat account too
  • danreldanrel Member Posts: 28

    I've created an email address just for these forums.

    You can reach me at 'danrel DOT gamesalad AT gmail DOT com'

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    - danrel
  • KamazarKamazar Member Posts: 287
    I'm aiming on making around $500 with my first game. That's after putting a load of polish into it and hopefully getting exposure on Touch Arcade (I'm a forum member, :), oh, and gotta thank ktfright for posting that thread. I saw it and eventually downloaded the program). After making a couple more I'll be able to afford better tools to make my games even better, and then hopefully hit the top 100 list and stay there for a while.
  • ktfrightktfright Member Posts: 964
    welcome, dude!!! :)
  • butterbeanbutterbean Member, PRO Posts: 4,315
    Ktfright, what program did you post on a thread? Was it in the Touch Arcade forums or here? I'm interested in hearing about it :)
  • quantumsheepquantumsheep Member Posts: 8,188
    I'm assuming he meant GameSalad.


    Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home...

  • beatragebeatrage Member Posts: 126
    I want to retire myself with the whole saint cash I´ll get from my releases...

    from all the chit chat and nice stuff i could pass for you guys i´d prefer to say:

    If you won´t sell nicely at the first game NEVER STOP...keep trying until you reach the jackpot!! Because god is going to smile from our enforts!!
  • tomlong74tomlong74 Member Posts: 1
    Make a game a day or at most a game a week. The iterative process of completing a product and then iterating it again, again, is the best formula to product development as well as game design. You will achieve more, faster results, and a better ROI by doing this than you will ever do by developing one product and trying to make it awesome.
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