Longtime developer Cliff Harris released his spaceship battle indie sequel Gratuitous Space Battles 2 on Steam back in April 2015. The game received middling reviews from critics and fans, and admitted that he has stopped supporting the game to anyone who has asked about it.
To explain why, he detailed in histhe economics of working on an indie game rather than a AAA title.
Choosing to ignore GOG and Humble Store sales ("most people wont have any idea how well it sells on any of those"), he showed that the game had just under 11,000 sales on Steam.
He calculated, "Assume average of 50% off maybe? so assume $10 a copy? so lets say it made $108,000 and add in another $50,000 from other sources. However steam take their cut so thats really only about $120,000. Actually thats a bit shy of the real figure, which is just over $150,000." The development cost was $115,000, making his pay for working on the game roughly $12.74 per hour, not counting the work he did post-release that was to him "something that made zero economic sense."
"If you think that you can run a business in the UK earning £17,549 which is the sterling equivalent, you are flat out wrong," Harris wrote.
He went on to say that the game failed because it was released in a logjam of space strategy games, though reviews uniformly stated that one of the negative points was that it felt "unfinished" and had stability issues.
Harris finished that his indie dev company is "doing fine" and that he's working on something new. Hopefully, it won't be another cash drain.
What do you think? Read his blog and let us know.