On August 14th, 2020 I launched Lost Potato on Steam for $2.99 / €2.99.
I made it in about a month and logged all the steps I took to do so here.
I also made a follow-up video after 1 week showing the financial aspects of the project:
TLDW: $520 in Steam net revenue (about half of that makes it to my bank account after Steam's cut and taxes) and $300 spent on localization and music (plus the $100 fee to put an app on Steam but I got it back later).
So more or less a break-even if you don't take time and effort into account.
With these results, making one of those every month wouldn't be sustainable. But I was hoping it'd become profitable over time with the residual sales.
Did it actually happen?
Results 1+ year later (~14 months)
Here's the data as of October 23rd, 2021:
- $2,622 net Steam revenue (up from $520)
- 1,891 copies sold (up from 255)
- The game was put on sale a bunch of times throughout the year at between 40% and 60% off. I mostly timed those with the official Steam sales. You can check the full price history over there.
- I bundled it with my other bigger game. Players get an additional 10% off if they buy both at once. A good chunk of the sales came from there since the bundle sold 837 units over its lifetime.
- I also put the game up on itch a bit after the Steam launch. 17 copies were sold there for $47.83 in gross revenue over its lifetime.
Now looking back, I think this was definitely a worthwhile project to pursue.
It didn't make me rich or famous, but I could see how making a lot of those tiny games could be a viable long-term strategy.
To close off, here are some things to consider:
- Results would vary a lot depending on the game's genre, its quality, your existing community, luck and many more things.
- Making a lot of tiny games instead of one big game would make you improve your skills faster and with less frustration, especially if you're beginner-ish. (in my opinion)
- The more games you make, the more chances you have that one of them becomes viral. It happened with SNKRX, a 3 months project which made enough money for its developer to live off of for decades. Interesting post-mortem over here.