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Giving indie developers a boost


Breath of Death VII: the post mortem

On 23 September Zeboyd Games released a post mortem of their game ‘Breath of Death VII: The Beginning’. A game for XBLIG that cost under $200 to make and has, to date, sold more than 30,000 copies with a conversion rate of 66.7% per cent! It's a very interesting read.

"Most Indie developers fail to properly market their games before or after release. It’s an understandable failing as it’s difficult to get big media sites to take you seriously. If you’re a small developer that nobody has heard of, they tend to ignore you. Despite this, we decided early on that we’d really try to market Breath of Death VII in every way we could short of actually buying advertising space. We put a trailer on YouTube and, we posted about it on forums, talked about it on our website, and emailed reporters and reviewers."

"We really hit a home-run when a very positive article about the game showed up on Kotaku. Not only did this article give us hundreds of extra sales a day for about a week, but it also resulted in another high profile article showing up shortly thereafter on Yahoo Games, which gave us a similarly huge boost."

"I’ve seen several examples of indie developers spend thousands of dollars on assets and tools and that’s just wrong. You can make a good game with free or inexpensive tools. Use free tools and split profits with your teammates rather than hire outside help – save big expenses for later games when you’re already making good money."


"Making Breath of Death VII: The Beginning was a great experience for us. It taught us a lot about game development and allowed us to gain contacts and fans that will help us when we release our future games. Oh and the money is nice too. Sales are definitely down from what they once were, but I guess the surprising thing is that it’s still selling as good as it is now (around 50-100 sales/day) when the game has been out for over five months already. And to be honest, any sales the game makes now are just icing on a delicious cake – the game has already paid us handsomely for the work we put into it."


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