Home Gaming Indie developer releases accurate sales figures – how profitable is the Xbox Live Indie section?

Indie developer releases accurate sales figures – how profitable is the Xbox Live Indie section?

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Indie developer, Elbert Perez at Occasional Gamer, has decided to release some of the stats from his 3 Indie titles that have been released on the XBLIG.

If you were hoping to make a half decent game and walk away rich you are going to be disappointed with these results.

Gum Drop Celestial Frontier

First up we have Gum Drop Celestial Frontier which is a physics based shooter where you smash your enemies with a huge ball instead of lasers.

The game was first released at 240 points and then later reduced to 80 points. It was downloaded 2696 times but only paid for 87 times… a conversion rate of 3.23%.

Next up he made Neo Terra which is described as a real time strategy game, far be me from being a gaming critic… oh wait.

Um okay I think it looks terrible but that is not the purpose of this article so back to the point.

Neo Terra was released at the 80 point mark and was downloaded 1949 times which resulted in 164 people buying it (8.41% conversion rate)

Neo Terra

Last but not least he made Impossible Shoota (header image) which is a dual stick shooter which, according to Elbert, was a lesson in minimalistic game design.

Impossible Shoota was downloaded 8077 times which resulted in 613 purchases (7.59%). The reason for the huge jump in downloads was that the title was featured on IGN’s top Indie Games list.

80 MS points is worth $1 and even with one of the busiest gaming websites in the world featuring his game he only managed to clear $613 and that’s before Microsoft takes a cut.

I’m still tempted to try my hand at game development one day but I have to say that these results have put a major dampener on my dreams of becoming the next Cliff Beszinski.

Source: OccasionalGamer

Last Updated: April 12, 2010


  1. Angus

    April 12, 2010 at 10:58

    We had a similar situation for our game “Zatacka 360”, roughly 150 sales so far at a conversion rate of around 7.5%. The main problem is getting the money to SA without inadvertently committing some sort of tax dodge or money laundering.


  2. dislekcia

    April 12, 2010 at 13:38

    Those conversion rates are still really high. Phenomenally high, even… The problem is simply the lack of exposure that XBIG gets in general, it just doesn’t get that many views that you can convert into paying customers. That’s it. Which is why we haven’t taken SpaceHack further until we can get an XBLA slot for it.

    @Angus: You got a link for your game? Also, SA has a tax treaty with the US, so provided you fill out the correct forms from the Creators Club website, you won’t need to pay any tax in the US – only standard SA company earnings tax.


  3. Robert

    April 12, 2010 at 23:14

    Stumbled across this after I bought your game Zatacka on xbox and I don’t regret it man. Played it with my friends for ages, it’s pretty cool to look at.


  4. Forest Inaba

    May 19, 2010 at 19:57

    This article helped me a lot, thanks


  5. Adam

    August 6, 2010 at 05:08

    Our advergame, “Old Spice The Fresh Card Game”, did better then these. We had 12,300 downloads so far and 403 purchases at 240 MS Points, so about $1200. Our other game, “Sidehill Gouger”, has had only 2100 downloads and 140 purchases at 80 MS Points so $140.


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