The serious business of making games

#334

Some shares can also be non-voting shares, so they don’t count for purposes of control. And Epic probably still has right of repurchase on any transactions, since they’re a private company. The hysterical fear-mongering that Tencent is going to take over Epic any day now is ridiculous.

#335

Thank you.

#336

EA is laying off 300+ people. Mostly in marketing.

"Today we took some important steps as a company to address our challenges and prepare for the opportunities ahead. As we look across a changing world around us, it’s clear that we must change with it. We’re making deliberate moves to better deliver on our commitments, refine our organization and meet the needs of our players. As part of this, we have made changes to our marketing and publishing organization, our operations teams, and we are ramping down our current presence in Japan and Russia as we focus on different ways to serve our players in those markets. In addition to organizational changes, we are deeply focused on increasing quality in our games and services. Great games will continue to be at the core of everything we do, and we are thinking differently about how to amaze and inspire our players.

This is a difficult day. The changes we’re making today will impact about 350 roles in our 9,000-person company. These are important but very hard decisions, and we do not take them lightly. We are friends and colleagues at EA, we appreciate and value everyone’s contributions, and we are doing everything we can to ensure we are looking after our people to help them through this period to find their next opportunity. This is our top priority.”

#337

Marketing is probably still sore too that they had very little to do with the Apex Legends launch. Maybe EA will just continue dumping stuff on the street in the future without warning.

#338

Translation:

Why are we paying 350 marketing staff when we can just toss a few million at Twitch streamers?


I hope those affected are able to land on their feet and find a better opportunity.

#339

That’s too bad for the employees. I hope they land on their feet and get going again quickly.

#340

Feels like it belongs here. Pretty pro Itch.io

#341

I appreciate the dev talking about this, but he didn’t have any numbers for the production cost of the Founder’s Edition with the physical goodies. He pointed out that he made more revenue from the 60 unit sales of the Founder’s Edition (more than half the total revenue for the launch month) than he did with the regular or digital deluxe editions, but he didn’t know the actual profit margin. He seems like a smart cookie, so I assume he didn’t blow out his budget with whatever tchotchkes he included, but I’d love to know that number as well.

Still, $7k in the first month with no specific marketing is pretty darned good, although I think a lot of other devs would argue that the time and money he invests on his YouTube channel with 40k subs is essentially the marketing.

#342

Absolutely. It’s disingenuous to claim there was no marketing. It takes an enormous amount of time to build up a YouTube channel that can maintain 40k subs. He could have saved that time and paid another popular streamer (or YouTube personality) to promote his game, perhaps resulting in more sales.

#343

Higher risk/ reward.

Building the channel himself may have a cost, but it’s not direct and it is dispersed. The route you suggest has higher sales potential, but has direct up front costs that are probably significant. If he does it himself it only costs time. Plus he probably made a few bucks along the way with ad dollars. A very few probably, but not zero perhaps.

#344

Which isn’t actually free either.

Presumably, building his youtube audience wasn’t purely for the purpose of marketing his game, so it would be disingenuous to say that he had months of unpaid marketing work in addition to his unpaid development work. But still, there’s still some pro-rated value of what paying a 40K subscriber streamer to talk about his game would have cost. For instance, there’s an opportunity cost where he could have been making more money from his own channel by taking somebody else’s paid sponsorship to talk about their game.

Just because he’s bearing that cost himself (and not paying himself for the time) doesn’t mean the cost doesn’t exist.

#345

Well, pretty pro Itch.io because Itch.io happened to feature the game on the front page and that translated to lots of visits, and from that to sales. If itch.io would have happened to feature another indie game and not him… he would tell another story.

Which kind of confirms why indie devs are always fighting with Valve, because having the luck of being chosen by the almighty algorithm to feature on the front page or not means a lot.

#346

Look, if it’s not something that literally anyone else in the world can do for no extra cost, then it’s not “free”.

Most people don’t have a successful YouTube channel with tens of thousands of subscribers and hundreds of thousands or millions of viewers. So most people cannot benefit from those things with “free” or “no marketing”.

It just reminds me of those infamous Wall Street Journal articles completely lacking in self-awareness, where “self made” entrepeneurs explain that they didn’t get any help along the way (except for free rent from parents / connections from parents / access to expensive equipment and such for free / whatever else)

Like, I don’t hold it against people if they had advantages which helped them get where they are today (I certainly benefitted from many in my own life), and I’m sure it was hard work for him to build that YouTube channel in the first place, but he can’t pretend that he spent nothing to market his game.

#347

I’m just amazed that he thinks $7000 revenue in the first month is a good result. On a game he spent 4 years on. And now he says his revenue is about $30 per week after that first month. That doesn’t seem like a sustainable business model. How is he making enough money to live? A day job, I guess?

#348

It’s an indie platformer. He’s done way better than average. Look at it as making some income from self-published books at Amazon. Most authors do it just because they want to write and publish and to get some spare change- People making more than $1k are the exception.

This is the same.

#349

Yes, from what I understand, a $7k launch month for an indie game with no major news site coverage, streaming publicity, or Steam feature is a pretty darned good showing.

#350

TBH unless you have >$100,000 of sales over a games lifetime…is there any point in really over-analyzing the breakdown of what/when/how? At a certain (small) scale, you are just too much a victim to random events.
This is a big trend, there seem to be dozens of ‘analyzing my indie games sales figures’ blog posts with fifty pages of pie charts and diagrams to analyze exactly how that $100 was arrived at…
Which is maybe entertaining for fans of that specific game, but I’d suggest the data is too small to be of help in building any kind of analysis thats useful to other developers.
YMMV IANAL

#351

I think that’s right.

The new data here for me is someone made $7K from a platformer on Itch. That smaller platform maybe finding its audience? Because previous sales numbers on there have been in the dozens, not hundreds.

But you are right, anything below $100k isn’t much worth talking about.

#352

So it’s a platform game with a kind of obnoxious trailer and he decided to make a video about the money behind it, which is fine but it’s also kind of… well marketing. I just don’t really buy this claim of “zero” marketing coming out of these types of devs/ video personalities. Marketing isn’t limited to a marketing department and ads on Facebook or Google.

#353

Oh definitely. In fact the ‘make a post about how nobody bought my games’ strategy is very well known to indie devs who know it will generate eyeballs.