The dream of sustainability
I wrote about it before but I think it's worth repeating. This time it's in the context of this post on Gamasutra: Let's get real about the financial expectations of 'going indie'.
I'm an independent developer, all of my income comes from my games, majority of it from Little Alchemy. Right now I'm able to support myself and a small team with this money. But I'm 5 years in and it wasn't the case for a lot of this time.
Before I was able to make a living as an independent developer I worked full-time making shitty facebook apps and patched my income freelancing as web developer. All of that while still living with my parents. Within the first 2 years, games earned me as much as $50 in donations.
Even when Little Alchemy started to make money I kept my full-time job for another 6 months because I wasn't sure about the future. I decided to quit only because I had a safety net. I knew that with my experience I could find a job as a web developer.
- Out of 5 years working on my games I spent half of this time working full-time.
- It took me 3 years before I was able to pay someone to work with me.
- When I quit I had no money but I had a solid backup plan.
- Cost of living here is relatively low which made the transition easier.
- I'm lucky as hell that it all started to be profitable at all.
- I'm, moderately successful, independent developer and I still struggle and I often feel insecure.
If you're considering going indie, please don't jump in without a plan. Remember it will turn you into an entrepreneur. You'll have to run a business and you still don't have the product that you're going to sell. The type of products that you're working on aren't particularly profitable and you'll have to compete in a crowded market.
Use that knowledge to put things into perspective.
posted: 25 March 2015