Cthulhu Saves the World developer Zeboyd Games says it's made more money in less than a week on Steam than it did in more than a year and a half on Xbox Live Indie Games.
Most of us like to imagine indie devs as guys driven by passion and creativity, who make games not for money but for the sheer love of the medium and a consuming need to express themselves. And this may be true for some, but even the most ardent booster of the indie scene has to eat, which is why Zeboyd's recent announcement about its experiences with Steam versus Xbox Live Indie Games is both interesting and, to those in the business, very relevant.
"We are pleased to announce that Zeboyd Games has already made more revenue in less than a week on Steam than we have in over a year and a half on the XBox Live Indie Games service," the studio announced on its website. "Thank you again to everyone who has made this huge success possible!"
While Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World sold reasonably well on Xbox Live Indie Games, Zeboyd was forced to launch a Kickstart program in January to help finance the PC ports of the games because Microsoft only pays XBLIG developers on a quarterly basis. "XBLIG is quickly proving itself to be a less than ideal platform for our kind of games," the studio said at the time. "If we want to become a full time development studio, then just making games for XBLIG is not going to work."
Zeboyd revealed in a transcript of an Ars Technica interview that lifetime XBLIG sales of Breath of Death VII, released on April 22, 2010, are about 50,000 copies at $1 each, while Cthulhu Saves the World, which came out on December 30, 2010, has put out between 16,000 and 17,000 copies at $3 each. In other words, Zeboyd's games have cranked out at least $100,000 in sales less than seven days after arriving on Steam. Not bad, guys. Not bad at all.