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A good month for Being October 22, 2009

Posted by Jesse in : Being,Game Development , trackback

Every few days I still take a look at the sales data for Being to see if anybody is buying it. In the last few months, sales had dropped off to about one sale every day or two. Earlier this month, however, I logged in to find I’d sold nineteen copies on October 11th. I assumed it was some sort of fluke, but then on the 12th another ten copies sold. This left me wondering, “What in the world is going on here?”

I guessed that the game had been reviewed by a magazine or website, and that’s what had driven the traffic, but after much web searching I couldn’t find anything. (Let this be a warning to other developers. Do not use names for your game that are impossible to Google for.) It turns out that Being had been added to the “IGN.com Top Picks” on the Xbox Indie Games section of the 360 dashboard. Sweet! As far as I can tell, there’s no website or blog to go along with their picks, so I just grabbed a shot of the tv with my digital camera to add to my collection of press stuff.

Well, it’s been nearly two weeks since then, and I’m happy to report that Being has seen a tremendous spike in downloads. So far this month, I’m up to 1076 trial downloads, and 137 sales. I’ve almost had as many downloads in the last 11 days as all of the last quarter. Crazy!

The additional downloads have raised the game’s position on the “most popular” charts. Here’s a screenshot I just grabbed from Retronator. (Click the images for a bigger view. The layout of the blog isn’t really suited to wide images, and these versions are pretty hard to read. Sorry.)

Here is a chart I plotted showing Being’s sales stats since launch. There are a few interesting dates to notice. There’s a huge spike around November 21, 2008, which corresponds to the initial launch of the XNA Community Games. The next spike is around July 21, 2009, which is around the time of the rename to Xbox Indie Games, the addition of several new countries, and the price drop to one dollar. And finally, around October 12, 2009, you can see the spike that has me so excited. Whee!

Just for fun, here’s a chart showing the trial downloads. All of the same spikes are visible, but what’s really interesting to me is that the initial spike is so huge it makes everything else look tiny. It’s hard for me to believe that nearly 1400 people downloaded the trial in a single day, but I’ve got the data to prove it. Crazy.

And finally, last quarter’s sales have been tallied, and Being has now earned us over $1000. (That’s after Microsoft’s cut, but before taxes.) That’s pretty amazing for a game that I was expecting to get about 50 sales total.


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