Democracy Developer Discusses Difficulty Turning Profit On Indie Games

Posted on by Ryan Shoptaw

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It’s easy to assume that with the amount of Indie games available on Steam and the amounts of copies games like Minecraft and Super Meat Boy have sold over they years that it’s easy to make money. Of course if you ask anyone who’s done it they’ll tell you it’s much more difficult than it seems.

Cliff Harris, the one-man studio over at Positech Games, recently revealed just how hard it is to turn a profit in Indie games. Despite having success with the Democracy and Gratuitous Space Battles series, his latest expansion Democracy 3: Africa has still yet to break even after 3 months. Harris stated..

“Normally everyone takes their salary, and after other costs are paid, if money is left over, there is profit. The thing is, as the company owner, you normally take a tiny salary and thus working out if ‘game x’ made a profit is not as simple as it seems. Do you consider a game profitable if it makes more than the bare minimum salary you pay yourself? or if it makes ANY money at all? or if it earns more than the average salary you would get in a comparable job elsewhere? and WTF is a comparable job anyway?”