• Announcements

    • Spaff

      These Forums are closing!   10/04/2019

      After more than a decade of serving this community well, these forums have finally run their course and it's time to close them down. That doesn't mean we want to close the doors on our community, quite the opposite!
      Our discord server grows ever busier by the day, and we encourage all Double Fine fans to meet us over there www.discord.gg/doublefine In a short time these forums will become a read only archive and will remain that way until they become needed again.
      You never know, it might happen.  There is... a prophecy. Thank you all for being part of these forums, and remember that the fun is definitely not over - so please join us on Discord! Love ya, Spaff, Tim, Info Cow, and all of Double Fine.
Sign in to follow this  
The_Typer

Successful or No?

Recommended Posts

Yeah, long tail + Act 2 bump + new release platforms + discounts should mean this game makes very healthy numbers this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Double Fine still has the whole mobile market to explore later. I'm pretty sure their dream of self-funding is very close to become real.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Apparently, the Topseller-list is revenue based, not sales based (i.e. any game half the price of BA has to sell twice as much to be in the same place). With some more digging, I think it's pretty easy to get a measure on how well it's performing. DayZ sticks on #2 and sells a million copies in a month or ~30k copies a day. It also costs about the same as BA. So if BA stayed near the top of the list for a few days, it has to have sold some solid ten thousand copies already.

Edit: If anyone has any clue how long it stayed in, say, the top 5 (during pre-order period already?), that'd be nice to know. The first time I checked was after release.

On the flip side, there's Garry's Mod, which sold about 50k copies/month or 1.5k copies/day during a time where it was staying around #20 (where BA is now). As it costs about half as much, that means for BA the sales need to be halved; so like 750 copies/day.

In other words, the more often BA peaks, the better, but if it gets steady sales that keep it around #20 for a few months, that's fine too.

The Garry's Mod comparison is actually super useful to help ballpark numbers. As you've pointed out, Garry has been pretty forthcoming with sales numbers (older). (He also just published numbers on how Rust sales have compared).

Here's the info you want on sales chart history: comparing Rust, Garry's Mod, and Broken Age

Looks like it's doing pretty well. Also, since it's tracking so closely to Garry's Mod right now, if you found some recent absolute numbers you'd get pretty accurate revenue numbers for BA, I suspect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why are we wringing our hands and making excuses? If the game were a wild success on steam, we'd be hearing it from a celebratory dev team. It's obviously selling pretty modestly, but the results are so unclear that there's no way we'll know if it's good enough for DF or not until they tell us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Double Fine will probably tell us how much money they've generated through a Backer Episode, much like what they did with Brütal Legend. Though, it may take some time since Steam only pays out to companies once a quarter. It may be until April or May when we hear about it, and that might be around Episode II releases. Quite possibly to backers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why are we wringing our hands and making excuses? If the game were a wild success on steam, we'd be hearing it from a celebratory dev team. It's obviously selling pretty modestly, but the results are so unclear that there's no way we'll know if it's good enough for DF or not until they tell us.

No one are making excuses, we're looking at the charts and speculating, for fun and because it's interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know for some people this kind of speculation might look like hunting for excuses, but I do it for the fun of it. I do the same thing with movie boxoffice results from time to time as well. I don't get a dime if I am right or wrong, but I find it oddly entertaining to see where as my estimations go right or wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yea, on one hand it is probably the case that people are playing a short time and then don't return to it once they have completed it (while most other games have different experiences), on the other hand we don't know how many of the backers are now playing the game because they were reminded by the media coverage and or didn't had the time before to play it.

At least metacritic looks fine: http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/broken-age-act-1 I think that with the lack of difficulty (puzzles) and length this ratings are very good. It is a bit sad that probably the most influencal german magazine "gamestar" only gave it 79 points though and an other german magazine only 76 (pc games) out of 100 points. The problem here is, that germany still is one of the biggest markets for adventure games and you need 80+ to be seen as a "good" game there.

Anyway, I also am one of those guys that noticed double fine because of the kickstarter and bought other games of them I otherwise wouldn't have bought. I think it had a huge impact and lots of people take notice of them now and this will continue until act 2 and beyond no matter if the news are "broken age - a failure" or "broken age - a moderate success". And this alone will be worth the money they may not get back. Especially if they continue to produce creative low budget games and maybe another adventure after broken age to please the adventure fans with all the tools they made now (it should be a lot easier and cheaper, I hope).

All in all it is a bit sad that 3 M just weren't enough. Otherwise it would have been a huge success already. I hope that other kickstartergames and also double fine learnt from that. But I am very curious for the RPGs (wasteland 2, Pillars of eternity and torment: tides of numenera) to see if they manage with their budgets, because RPGs usually are a lot more expensive with people expecting 40 hours gameplay+ from them and tend to compare it to games with 20 times the budget like skyrim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here's the info you want on sales chart history: comparing Rust, Garry's Mod, and Broken Age

Looks like it's doing pretty well. Also, since it's tracking so closely to Garry's Mod right now, if you found some recent absolute numbers you'd get pretty accurate revenue numbers for BA, I suspect.

Ha, awesome. Thanks! Massively useful, exactly what I was looking for. I dunno about recent sales figures, but I simply took the last that was available here, which is September last year. As you can see, GMod sold about 250k units @ 10 USD, which means 2,5 million in revenue. Mapped to Broken Age, this means about 100k units @ 25 USD. And now I made this handy graph:

ba_graphkjjz2.png

So if BA was performing exactly GMod there, it would sell about 100k copies in a month. It's slightly below that, at about 80% I'd say, so it's on track for like 80k copies in a month, of which my best estimate is that about 50k copies are already sold. Currently, it will sell about 1000 copies per day.

So that's that :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lol if the game had a cheap achievement like the one for opening the game , that could give a better estimate as in counting how many people got that

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here's the info you want on sales chart history: comparing Rust, Garry's Mod, and Broken Age

Looks like it's doing pretty well. Also, since it's tracking so closely to Garry's Mod right now, if you found some recent absolute numbers you'd get pretty accurate revenue numbers for BA, I suspect.

Ha, awesome. Thanks! Massively useful, exactly what I was looking for. I dunno about recent sales figures, but I simply took the last that was available here, which is September last year. As you can see, GMod sold about 250k units @ 10 USD, which means 2,5 million in revenue. Mapped to Broken Age, this means about 100k units @ 25 USD. And now I made this handy graph:

ba_graphkjjz2.png

So if BA was performing exactly GMod there, it would sell about 100k copies in a month. It's slightly below that, at about 80% I'd say, so it's on track for like 80k copies in a month, of which my best estimate is that about 50k copies are already sold. Currently, it will sell about 1000 copies per day.

So that's that :)

Adventure games don't tend to sell as steadily as other games, so let's imagine pessimistically that Broken Age will sell 60k copies this month. That's net sales of $1.5 million, of which Double Fine will probably see about $1 million.

I think that's in the low range of what we can expect Double Fine to make from the game in the first month since pre-orders opened. I think it'll drop off quite sharply after that, with a small bump from whatever DRM solution they go with an another small bump from mobile versions.

I'd estimate based on these shaky figures that in the first few months sales will die off around 120,000 - 250,000 which is a big range, but deliberately because there are so many unknowns.

Things that will almost certainly improve that figure:

Amnesia Fortnight is happening VERY soon. I think they might be filming the pitches now:

http://distilleryimage4.ak.instagram.com/e375d6328a1011e3944f12e000151e5c_8.jpg

I would be astonished if there wasn't some sort of Broken Age + Amnesia Fortnight bundle deal as part of this if you pay over a certain amount.

Later on in the year, Steam Summer Sale will hit. I think Broken Age will see significant sales from that as it's perfect timing. By that time almost all the people who were going to buy it anyway will have, and it'll be an easy choice for the 'I'll wait for the sale' crowd. I can see LOTS of sales coming through this, though the value of each sale will of course be less.

Then when Act 2 comes around there'll be another round of hype and reviews that will increase sales and all the 'wait till it's done' people will buy it at that point, which is probably looking at July-August now.

Then another Steam Sale at the end of the year. I think year long sales of 350,000 - 550,000 are a reasonable estimate range. If we assume that 1/3 of those come from a sale of average 50% sale that's a Double Fine take of (approximately) $4.8 million - $7.5 million

Which, coincidentally, is about enough money needed to make another game at the Broken Age level without crowdfunding, or possibly something bigger, considering that they have an engine and toolchain now.

OR, those numbers may be way off because of all we don't know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It actually doesn't. The budget of Act II no longer depends on the sales of Act I. That idea is off the table, because it was a bad one from the start. With 'perhaps' and 'maybe' figures, you can't do budgets. DF matched the KS funds with money of their own, so we're talking about approximately $6 million flat for the entire game, and that's it.

Is that true? I hadn't heard this. Or if I had, I'd forgotten.

Speaking of mobile sales -- it COULD be a lot of money for DF, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ThunderPeel: I can't quite remember where I heard it first, either in a recent episode or a post, but that was the gist of it, yes. It's welcome, but not needed. In the

the other day, Tim described it that way that the money from the first part "... helps us be more secure as we stay independent".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It actually doesn't. The budget of Act II no longer depends on the sales of Act I. That idea is off the table, because it was a bad one from the start. With 'perhaps' and 'maybe' figures, you can't do budgets. DF matched the KS funds with money of their own, so we're talking about approximately $6 million flat for the entire game, and that's it.

Is that true? I hadn't heard this. Or if I had, I'd forgotten.

Speaking of mobile sales -- it COULD be a lot of money for DF, right?

Ditto, kinda a relief; as you said impossible to budget accurately with a guesstimate. Especially as (I've just learned) Steam only gives money quarterly.

If we're estimating ~100k sold in the first month I think DF will be satisfied; a long way off that pie-in-the-sky 500k figure but the game will definitely make it's money back in the long run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Note that Broken Age had 87 142 Backers on kickstarter and then approximately another 150 000 through Humble Bundle and Slacker Backer program

With these numbers they already have a sale of 237 142 units and counting with another 100 000 from Steam the first month if KestrelPis estimations are correct

That means there would only be ~150 000 units left to reach the dream goal of 500 000 units sold

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Note that Broken Age had 87 142 Backers on kickstarter and then approximately another 150 000 through Humble Bundle and Slacker Backer program

With these numbers they already have a sale of 237 142 units and counting with another 100 000 from Steam the first month if KestrelPis estimations are correct

That means there would only be ~150 000 units left to reach the dream goal of 500 000 units sold

1) I don't think they're counting backers in the number of sales they want to achieve, because that's money that's already been spent on the game

2) I'm not sure those figures are accurate - they sound too high. You must be counting people who only backed the Amnesia Fortnight and didn't also back Broken Age. I'm not sure we have good numbers on how many people actually became backers through humble. Slacker Backers there were 8413 of, I don't expect Humble made that figure MUCH higher.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if core backers are part of this count, but most of the Humble Bundle sales didn't include BA since it obviously wasn't part of the basic package.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's also important to remember that the iOS/Android versions haven't even been released yet. There is a large audience that only plays games on the portable devices, and they haven't even been given the opportunity to buy yet. Not everyone has or wants Steam.

If the PC version on steam is able to completely pay for development and even a little profit, everything sold on Google Play and the iTunes store is going to be 100% profit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm confident this game is going to sell well.

they are #8 for Mac sales and #3 for linux. i know that PC users far outweigh the number of Mac and Linux users. but being in the top ten or slightly below it in any service that provides sales to over 5 millions people is a great thing.

they have a long road ahead with many opportunities to gain revenue. Humble bundle, App store, GOG, steam sale.

I have bought two gift copies for friends, and when it comes out for mobile platform i'm going to be purchasing it again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1) I don't think they're counting backers in the number of sales they want to achieve, because that's money that's already been spent on the game

2) I'm not sure those figures are accurate - they sound too high. You must be counting people who only backed the Amnesia Fortnight and didn't also back Broken Age. I'm not sure we have good numbers on how many people actually became backers through humble. Slacker Backers there were 8413 of, I don't expect Humble made that figure MUCH higher.

I agree with this. A lot.

In terms of the game being a success, in technical terms it already is.

As we've discussed, we crowd funded a game. That budget helped pay for a game. It was made clear that Double Fine did have to find an extra $3 million to help continue the project.

That game we helped fund got made and is done and now available on Steam to everyone.

Now because Tim designed a game that's too BIG and LARGE for the prospected budget across a certain amount of time, the game was split in two with the gamble that the funds raised from the release of the first part will fund the second.

I suppose this splits the discussion into two different realms of "success".

Our backer money is technically now used up, but because the game designed by our money is now cut in half, it's continued work doesn't hinge on the success of Broken Age Part 1, but moreso determines what choices are probably going to be made in the development of Part 2 and how many people they can hire for the team, and other related decisions (where they can get more money in sales of Broken Age, etc. etc).

So if we're going to just count in terms of units sold that helps fund the second game, we're counting from I'd say pre-orders and release day onwards.

However technically anyone who backed high enough to get the game also bought the game. So in total units sold just as a selling point statistic, then we could include backers and slacker backers.

I think that distinction needs to be made clear if anyone is trying to count how many units have been sold and how much MOOLAH that sends to Double Fine.

Backer money has been SPENT. It's not helping the company further except in the fact that our money gave them the ability to make this game and make MORE MONEY off of it (which is wonderful!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just using some simple Algebra, Double Fine needs to sell roughly 171,527 copies (Rounded up from ".586") in order to break even from the amount of money that they spent in order to give us Broken Age, including Act Two. I used the formula "X(24.99*.7)=3,000,000" Where 24.99 is the price, .7 is the amount Double Fine keeps from Steam, X is the variable for the copies sold, and 3,000,000 is roughly the price Double Fine is looking to get back in order to break even.

I think Broken Age has been released too early for Humble Bundle but I know they did something similar with Brütal Legend last year. Maybe they'll release it with the soundtrack and ask $35 for it like they did last time. They also have Spacebase DF-9 in Early Access, and Hack N Slash can be pre-ordered, and they're both Amnesia Fortnight 2012 titles. Let us not forget The Cave, which came out late January 2013 (Though, I'm not sure if Double Fine has the rights from SEGA for the Steam version or not).

It's possible with this lineup that Double Fine can have a very successful Amnesia Fortnight 2014. Which will help prove that Double Fine can become a fully independent studio, and help Broken Age become a success.

Then, of course, there are the Steam sales. I imagine Double Fine will play is conservatively at first, but as the game gets older, then the percentage off will increase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just using some simple Algebra, Double Fine needs to sell roughly 171,527 copies (Rounded up from ".586") in order to break even from the amount of money that they spent in order to give us Broken Age, including Act Two. I used the formula "X(24.99*.7)=3,000,000" Where 24.99 is the price, .7 is the amount Double Fine keeps from Steam, X is the variable for the copies sold, and 3,000,000 is roughly the price Double Fine is looking to get back in order to break even.

I think Broken Age has been released too early for Humble Bundle but I know they did something similar with Brütal Legend last year. Maybe they'll release it with the soundtrack and ask $35 for it like they did last time. They also have Spacebase DF-9 in Early Access, and Hack N Slash can be pre-ordered, and they're both Amnesia Fortnight 2012 titles. Let us not forget The Cave, which came out late January 2013 (Though, I'm not sure if Double Fine has the rights from SEGA for the Steam version or not).

It's possible with this lineup that Double Fine can have a very successful Amnesia Fortnight 2014. Which will help prove that Double Fine can become a fully independent studio, and help Broken Age become a success.

Then, of course, there are the Steam sales. I imagine Double Fine will play is conservatively at first, but as the game gets older, then the percentage off will increase.

I'd be interested to see how Amnesia Fortnight goes - last time I seem to recall they lost money on it despite the Humble thing being quite successful. Though of course usually they never get ANY money back from AF, so it was still a win from a business perspective (it's essentially an investment in R&D)

I don't think it's too early for Broken Age to be a part of the Amnesia Fortnight Humble event, in some form (perhaps a deal where if you give $25 or more you get Broken Age + Soundtrack + Amnesia Fortnight prototypes), and I think they'd be silly not to do something like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd be interested to see how Amnesia Fortnight goes - last time I seem to recall they lost money on it despite the Humble thing being quite successful.

I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually have broken even on AF 2012. Tim sent out a tweet to encourage people to buy it, as they were nearly there and that was before they started the pre-order for the Blu-Ray release (which I assume would have at least some profit margin).

I don't think it's too early for Broken Age to be a part of the Amnesia Fortnight Humble event, in some form (perhaps a deal where if you give $25 or more you get Broken Age + Soundtrack + Amnesia Fortnight prototypes), and I think they'd be silly not to do something like that.

Maybe they'll also throw Hack "n" Slash and a new version of Autonomous into the mix. The sandwich made me think of the Humble Double Fine Bundle: maybe we can customise our own Amnesia Fortnight Sandwich this time.

There is also at least one unannounced title. I read in an interview with Drew Skillman on a Dutch website that he was working on a "to be announced" project of which he was not the project lead. With already four teams working on different games I'm having trouble guessing what this could be. Maybe an Oculus Rift title with Nathan Martz at the helm?

Regarding Broken Age, I think it can also do really well in the Mac App Store. The Cave is always in the top 100 game charts there. Not sure if that is because games don't sell really well on the Mac App Store, but I would say that it could help sell Broken Age among the more casual gamers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd be interested to see how Amnesia Fortnight goes - last time I seem to recall they lost money on it despite the Humble thing being quite successful.

I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually have broken even on AF 2012. Tim sent out a tweet to encourage people to buy it, as they were nearly there and that was before they started the pre-order for the Blu-Ray release (which I assume would have at least some profit margin).

I don't think it's too early for Broken Age to be a part of the Amnesia Fortnight Humble event, in some form (perhaps a deal where if you give $25 or more you get Broken Age + Soundtrack + Amnesia Fortnight prototypes), and I think they'd be silly not to do something like that.

Maybe they'll also throw Hack "n" Slash and a new version of Autonomous into the mix. The sandwich made me think of the Humble Double Fine Bundle: maybe we can customise our own Amnesia Fortnight Sandwich this time.

There is also at least one unannounced title. I read in an interview with Drew Skillman that he was working on an "to be announced" project of which he was not the project lead. With already four teams working on different games I'm having trouble guessing what this could be. Maybe an Oculus Rift title with Nathan Martz at the helm?

Regarding Broken Age, I think it can also do really well in the Mac App Store. The Cave is always in the top 100 game charts there. Not sure if that is because games don't sell really well on the Mac App Store, but I would say that it could help sell Broken Age among the more casual gamers.

I'm actually surprised The Cave is still doing so well on the Mac App Store, that's good for it (even though it's a game I was personally mildly disappointed by*).

You might be right, Amnesia Fortnight probably did break even in the end. In either case, it was great value for money as R&D as it got Spacebase made that recouped its Indie Fund investment in a few short weeks, and we have Hack 'n' Slash coming.

There's definitely an extra value proposition this time around. They can end up bundling in stuff like Spacebase too, because it's a previous AF title, as well as all the old prototypes, and the new ones. Cool stuff, but I doubt Amnesia Fortnight is going to become a money-making engine for them any time soon (except in the sense that it already is, as a way of generating game prototypes and ideas)

*feel like I should qualify this, because I did enjoy chunks of the game, I just think the platforming got in the way more than it didn't. It was deliberately not-challenging, instead supposed to be a fun way of getting around. But it wasn't fun enough to counter the annoyance of having to backtrack and juggle one item at a time, especially for a game that demanded multiple playthroughs. But I enjoyed the world and the mini-plots and the atmosphere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just using some simple Algebra, Double Fine needs to sell roughly 171,527 copies (Rounded up from ".586")

The general approach is OK for getting a ballpark, but your significant figures imply a degree of accuracy that just isn't there.

Presale copies were sold at 10% off. It's unknown how many presales there were (based on the chart positions, probably not too many) and will affect the revenue numbers. In general, # of full priced sales is going to be a lot less important (between discounts and different price points for bundles, mobile, etc). Similarly, we have no idea about soundtrack sales through Bandcamp/Steam.

Also, I'm assuming you got $3M as a number that they need to recoup by subtracting $6M-3M, but remember, both those numbers are pretty inexact. When they talk about $6M in the doc, they could just as easily mean $5.8M or $6.3M - we're not privy to any of the details of the actual budgeting. Also, I'm not sure how accurate the $3M from crowdfunding number is - while they ended w/ $3.3M from KS, remember 10% fees come out, then there's 2PP's budget, and then fulfillment costs for rewards (11K t-shirts, hundreds of posters, books, etc don't come for free!). I recall $2.3M being mentioned as the number after all of these costs, although I don't have a reference handy (and I don't know offhand about the Slacker Backer numbers).

There are a lot of unknowns, so I'd just try to keep that in mind when throwing out/trying to figure out numbers.

I'm guessing we'll see a video/project update followup where Greg or Justin will give some thoughts on how sales were (at least versus their expectations, if not actual numbers), but it's probably too early to tell. I'm sure everyone would have loved if BA stayed in the top 5/10 longer, but if it hangs around at the current level for a while, that's great. If it drops precipitously, well, that's probably bad. (Probably won't happen - there's not a lot of stuff out now, the game is good, and hopefully word of mouth will help the audience keep expanding, but who knows, maybe Oprah recommends it and sales go through the roof. Hard to predict these things.).

At this point it feels like Double Fine has a lot of experience w/ doing sales/bundles, so I'm sure they can turn the knobs as appropriate. Honestly, that'd be a pretty interesting documentary section in topic, but who knows if they'll be going into that at all...

From what we've seen so far, I think Act 1 sales is successful since it's been well received and will give the team the breathing room they were looking for (bringing in $1-2M, relaxing deadline pressure) and Act 2 will be able to go off pretty much as planned. With the additional sales opportunities (mobile platforms, Act 2 release), I think that chances are good that Broken Age will end up making DF some money as well as serving as a flag planting.

Like you mentioned, they have a lot of fires going at any given time, so hopefully the number will work out so DF can keep doing their thing independently. It's incredibly exciting to see that happening and I'm glad to be cheering them on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm actually surprised The Cave is still doing so well on the Mac App Store, that's good for it (even though it's a game I was personally mildly disappointed by*).

I'm always surprised by it too, particularly because I've rarely seen it on Steam since its launch. It may have to do with pricing as well, because it's considerably cheaper on the Mac App Store. Also, it's listed as a Double Fine app (not Sega), which makes me think that DF owns the rights to the Mac version.

Cool stuff, but I doubt Amnesia Fortnight is going to become a money-making engine for them any time soon (except in the sense that it already is, as a way of generating game prototypes and ideas)

They'll probably gain more in terms of publicity than actual money.

I think releasing the DFA documentary for the general public in the near future might also be a very good move to help sell Broken Age, as that will no doubt be covered by the press and receive some (hopefully positive) reviews.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it would be smart for them to release the documentary for free. I cant imagine anybody who watched the documentary not wanting to try out the game.

I dont have enough faith in humanity not to foresee hundreds of threads of Backers crying about it and also 2playerproductions might not be so happy about it :D

Still i think it would be a brillant move although it probably will never happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this