So we launched Organ Trail: Director’s Cut on Aug 8th 2012 on iOS and Android. Since then, we have hit 8 platforms, had a dozen or so updates and released an expansion. Here is some comprehensive data to show you how we’ve done over this past amazing year. We’re sharing this data in hopes that you can use it to help guide you when you make your games.
Organ Trail: Director’s Cut was developed by a 2-man team with 2 part-time art contractors and a full-time audio contractor. It took us about 6 months of full-time work to release, but we’ve easily put another 6 months into post-release support.
We ran a Kickstarter for $3,000 and got $16,339. After we sent out our backer rewards, we had about $8,000 left which we used to buy Unity Pro, start our company The Men Who Wear Many Hats, pay contractors and promote the game at conventions.
Here’s how we stand as of the end of July:
|Total Units Sold||429,192|
|Humble Bundle||177,384||-two week promotion|
|Steam||131,689||-out for 5 months|
|iOS||85,753||-out for 12 months|
|Android||29,923||-out for 12 months|
|Amazon||1,742||-out for 12 months|
|Humble Store||1,600||-out for 7 months|
|Ouya||690||-out for 2 months|
|Desura||411||-out for 7 months|
You may notice we made 82% of our sales in the last 5 months, but that was only 2/3 of our total profit. Everyone knows that sales are not profits. A good portion of our sales numbers are from discounted prices (like the Humble Bundle) so the numbers can be a little deceptive. Here is a sales vs. profits comparison.
It’s worth noting that we hit our original goal of 30k units sold in the first month. Since then, we have been blown away by the number of fans we picked up as we continue to support the game. The tail has been pretty good too. When we are not doing a sale or anything, iOS sales stabilizes at about 100 units a day, Android at 50 and Steam at 150.
Organ Trail: Director’s Cut is a $2.99 game on mobile with a $1.99 expansion IAP. Conversely, the other versions are $4.99 and include the expansion. 16k players (14%) have downloaded the expansion for mobile.
As far as sales go, we often launch with a special 20% off price for the first week. We did the Humble Bundle which got us 177k sales but those were at about $0.39 a copy. We don’t feel bad about that since the game has been out for so long and many of those people probably wouldn’t picked it up otherwise. If I had the choice to do it again, I would have preferred the Steam Summer Sale happen first though.
We had a Steam Daily Deal that got us about 17k sales at 50% off. The following week was the Steam Summer Sale which got us 63k sales. The bulk of that coming from our flash sale where the game was 60% off ($1.24) for 8 hours.
The only version with a free demo is the Ouya version which has about a 4% conversion rate to people who pay for the full version.
For our next big game, we will probably only focus on iOS, Android, Steam and the Humble Store. As much as we like offering our games to as many people as possible, the return on time invested into getting builds constantly updated and working, as well as checking multiple support forums on all the different sales platforms, doesn’t feel like it’s worth the effort. Then again… if our fans want something bad enough, it’s hard to say no.
One major point to make is that our game tells “your story.” Because of this, people often want to share what they are doing. You name the people in the game after your friends and then things happen to them. We predicted this and allowed most events in the game to be shared via twitter. I can only guess that this function helped propagate the game amongst friends and accounts for some of our long tail sales.
There were many milestones of success for us but I would say that the biggest ones that contributed to our ongoing success are:
- Running a successful Kickstarter
- Being featured on the iOS app store
- Showing at PAX
- Having YouTube personalities like Jesse Cox play our game
- Making it through Steam Greenlight
- Being in the Indie MegaBooth
- Doing the Humble Bundle
- Doing any Steam sale
- Having a 1-1 relationship with our fans as often as possible
- Including social sharing options (Twitter)
- Making a good game (possibly optional)
Organ Trail is far from done. We’re currently looking at new platforms like Wii U and another I can’t talk about yet. We’re planning some timed-exclusive content as well, so we’re still at it. Meanwhile we’ve got another small arcade style game, Max Gentlemen, coming up in the next month or two. We’ve also used the money we’ve made to open a co-working space in Chicago: Indie City Co-op. So, we’re keeping busy.
Feel free to ask me more questions about our data and I’ll try to share what I can with you!