How much money my small game earned after 1 year on Steam
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.
Especially if you improve your process each time and combine it with other things like Patreon. (e.g. Sokpop, Punkcake Délicieux)
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.