Jonathan Blow über Geld: flat
Autor: Cedebo
Datum:11.08.08 10:45
Antwort auf:Braid von joda

Er postet in den Comments seines Blogs auch über die Entwicklungsdauer, die Preisgestaltung und inwiefern sich so ein Spiel rechnen kann. Oder auch nicht.

Braid took about 3 years and 5 months to make, though there were some breaks in there, so if you condense it down it’s less. I did consulting at some points during Braid to have some income, but I eventually stopped this and got a loan to finish the game, because I felt the consulting was interfering with my ability to work on Braid in a concentrated way, and thought that the quality of the game might suffer (and that it would take too long to be finished).

As for how much money it takes to break even — it’s a lot. When all those people on forums complain about the price of XBLA game, what they don’t realize is that almost everyone is losing money on these games. (It’s just economy of scale; if only 60,000 people buy a game, and it costs $10, not enough money ends up in the developer’s hands to justify anything but making shovelware.)

For me to truly break even (i.e. not be financially punished for choosing to make this game), I would have to earn back:

(1) The testing, localization and ratings board submission advance that was put forth by Microsoft. (This is a significant chunk of money.)
(2) All the money I paid other people to work on the art, sound, and extra programming. (This is A LOT).
(3) Replace the savings I spent for cost-of-living, buying software and hardware, and stuff like that, during the years spent developing Braid.
(4) Pay back other misc debts that accrued during this time due to me being broke and / or focusing money on finishing the game (e.g. the taxes I did not pay last year.. that’s sizable).
(5) If I hadn’t been working on Braid, I would have had a job for those years, so… years worth of income at a reasonable-to-high-end job. (Realistically speaking, this part is just not going to happen — I used to do game technology consulting and bill at a very high hourly rate. So rather than expecting to make that, my attitude is just, to make *something* reasonable).

Now, the kicker is that 1-2 are pre-tax, but 3-5 are post-tax. So any money that doesn’t go directly into paying off the advance or the people who worked on the game, gets automatically divided by 2 (as I get mauled by the IRS and the state where I live).

So the way you figure out how much money Braid is making, is:

Take the total number of copies sold, multiply that by $15.
Multiply that by a fraction higher than .5 but less than .8.
Subtract two big numbers from that.
If the result so far is positive, divide it by two.
Subtract two or three more big numbers.

Right now this comes out to a significantly negative number, but the hopes are that over time it will come out positive.


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