Another day, another post mortem
Posted by Alex Jordan on
Another well-written post-mortem by an Xbox Live Indie Games developer can be found here. It chronicles the development of Dysnomia, including the hiring and agreed upon 50/50 revenue split with a second team member, the development process, the meager budget ($100 for roughly 1,600 hours of work), and ultimately his sales figures.
Once again for an XBLIG developer, the Dysnomia Team experienced a paltry conversion rate of roughly 6% in trial downloads converted to actual purchases. He's made a decent chunk of pocket change, somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,500. On a whim, I compared that to the 1,600 hours spent on development. Unfortunately, the result suggested that the Dysnomia Team earned about $0.90 per hour for development, not including sunk costs. Split between the two developers, and that goes down to $0.45 per hour.
For hobbyists, that's a shrug. For aspiring indie developers looking to make a career, that's horrifying. Nobody wants to wake up and realize that child laborers in Malaysia make more than you do!