Welcome to the first Godotes issue that has some non-itch data!
This week, finally, I'm dipping my toes on Steam numbers.
Does the list include every Godot game on Steam? No idea! but at a minimum, it's much, much better than what I had compiled on my own, so I'll be using it for this issue.
And also, once again, sorry for the delay. Last week I just didn't have the time to finish.
What's this issue about, then? Money, for the most part. Paid games made with the Godot engine, in particular.
How many are there? How much do they cost? When were they made? How are they doing in terms of profit? Etc.
To accomplish this, I'm gonna need to make a couple of BIG assumptions before starting, so in the end the numbers I'll end up with will be somewhat standardized:
- There's an average of 45 sales per review on a game
- Sales on Steam and Itch work in the exact same way
The first point is a really interesting one if you wanna take a look at it in more detail, but the fast and dirty version goes something like this: You can, kind of, get an approximation of the sales of a game based on the number of reviews its has.
This number is affected by many factors such as the year it was published or the time since its publication. And the final gross revenue number will change depending on things like price variation, regional pricing, etc.
"The older the game, the higher the number of sales per review" is probably a decent rule of thumb.
But because I'm not as interested in having an exact number as I am on just getting a rough idea, I'll use the same amount of sales per review (45) across the board. That number is the same used by the Steam Revenue Calculator, I think.
If you wanna read more about this topic:
- Using Steam reviews to estimate sales by Jake Birkett
- How that game sold on Steam, using the 'NB number'.
The second point is just to make the numbers work. I have absolutely no idea how the sales/review ratio works on itch. It could be more, it could be less, or it could be the same. If anybody has some data, please let me know. But in doubt, I'm just going to be an optimist and assume they are the same. Exactly the same. And I'm even going to take a step further: Unlike on Steam, there are a lot of games on itch with 0 reviews. That sucks, and it screws me up because it makes the numbers much, much smaller. So, to have something to work with, I'm going to cheat: Every game with 0 reviews will be counted with 45 sales anyway.
Is this a good methodology? Probably (almost certainly) not. But the numbers are going to be prettier, and that's all I can ask from them.
So just don't look at these numbers waiting for anything more than a simplistic guess. Take them as a window to a very interesting and complicated subject.
Now, let's go!
🧮 How many games are we talking about here?
Between Itch and Steam, I have 204 paid games with 4,035 reviews and an estimated $1,355,483 in gross revenue.
Steam really is just insane. ~1/3 of the games but 8+ times the reviews and 12+ times the revenue.
Considering the $100 fee it charges for publishing a game, odds are that developers putting their games on Steam are doing it with a greater focus on commercialization. So it's no surprise that the biggest games are on both platforms and that most of the $.99 games are missing from Steam.
But all of this is just Steam vs Itch talking, most likely an engine agnostic discussion. So let's leave it here and go back to Godot.
First of all: Is Godot a viable option for a commercial game?
Hell yeah, it is!
City Game Studio: a tycoon about game dev is the flagship example: with an estimated gross revenue of $371,279 combined between Steam and Itch, reviews and articles in multiple languages, a Discord channel with more than a thousand members, and some big time Youtubers like GrayStillPlays playing it, there's no questions about Godot's capabilities for professional game development. At least in the right hands.
The developers making the top games clearly know what they are doing. Most of the games are just gorgeous.
City Game Studio's menus are a thing of beauty. You can check some screenshots on their press kit's page
The Interactive Adventures of Dog Mendona & Pizzaboy ($136,933.65 on Steam) it's a ridiculously good looking Point & Click adventure
Gravity Ace ($18,212 on Steam + itch) could be used as an example for Game Feel design, just take a look:
And that's just to name a few.
3D also has some big players.
Cruelty Squad is the number two Godot game in terms of sales, standing at $187,106, is a 3D shooter.
The same goes for ΔV: Rings of Saturn, a 3D space simulator with over 52 thousand dollars in gross revenue, and the number 2 Godot game on Itch (N°9 on Steam)
Of the top 10 best selling Godot games on Steam, 3 were made in 3D, with combined revenue of over $287,969. Not too shabby huh? Especially taking into account the fact that only ~7.2% of Godot games on Itch are tagged as 3D.
It's probably safe to assume that the developers making these best selling games are better than the average Godot dev on itch (if you were to give me five years, starting now, I wouldn't be able to make City Game Studio on my own), and that's why 3D is more represented. A more seasoned developer wouldn't have the same problems the rest of us would get into 3D with no experience.
What about the years of publishing?
On Itch, Not much. The numbers go hand in hand with the growth of Godot, and in pretty much the same way as Godot games as a whole: ~54.8% of all premium games on Itch were published on 2020. ~20% and ~13.7% on 2019 and 2018 respectively.
Steam on the other hand is a little different: Only 13 games were published on 2020, compared to 16 on 2018 and 16 on 2019. Also, the highest revenue for Godot games was in 2019 with $656,627, more than six times as much as the $102,078 in 2020 and $103,097 in 2018.
Why 2019 was such a big year?
5 out of the top 10 best selling Godot games on Steam were published on 2019: City Game Studio, Precipice, 100 Days to escape, Rpg in a box, ΔV: Rings of Saturn.
They alone account for $618,039, or over ~49% of all the revenue, Godot games have made on Steam.
Basically, there's just not enough data to draw any conclusions about why a year was better or worst than another. Especially because that's a conversation that far exceeds that of Godot. It's an industry discussion, not a Game Engine one.
For Itch, the best year is 2018: The games made on 2020 account for $28,897.20, or ~28.3% of the total gross revenue on the platform. 2019 for the ~15.9% ($16,245) and 2018 for an enormous ~54.8%, or $55,949.85
Once again, the determining factor is the games: 8 out of the top 20 best selling games on Itch were published in 2018, including the top two: Gravity Ace and ΔV: Rings of Saturn. Those eight games represent $51,977.25, or ~50.9% of every dollar made on Itch by paid Godot Games.
If there's any conclusion to have is simply this: Godot is awesome, and a good developer/team can do amazing things with it. nuff said.
I would think most people using Godot already knew that given the sheer number of options Godot has, but having a couple of successful examples in front of me was a nice experience. This was probably the most interesting data I had so far. At least the one I liked the most.
📰 Godot news round-up
Twitter - Godot documentation now has a custom 404 error page:
Twitter - GDQuest is going to start publishing new tutorials every Thursday
Twitter - A new update on automatic tiles
Youtube - First part of a new tutorial series for a Multiplayer Shooter
Linux - Godot 3.2.3 for Arch Linux
Extra - Affinity 1.9 released, 50% off right now for Photo, Designer and Publisher.
If you have anything you want to share with the Godot development community please let me know by sending an email to email@example.com