mazoku

Current state of the market

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22 hours ago, Daikrys said:

I dont know of any. People reported that MarketJS is only promoting their own games, am i right? As for CodeCanyon, i think its a great place to offer scripts or simple templates but not for complete well made games, but personal opinion here. You could also get in touch with a member that has contacts and doing well, offer him a reasonable share and outsource the business stuff. I havent made any html5 related business for a while so please take my advice with caution.

You are correct about marketjs

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What about promoting your own games? If you make a good HTML5 game, can't you just put it on a website, and then promote that site?  You would have total control over the ads. Maybe use in-app sales and skip ads completely.  If you managed the site, it would also allow you to put some hooks in to a backend, so people stealing your game would not get a working copy.  I think both True Valhalla and OkinJin games were going to pursue this.  Personally, I would prefer to be the master of my own fate, than rely on some other company to license my game (though I realize that's the way it has traditionally been done).

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4 hours ago, vornay said:

What about promoting your own games? If you make a good HTML5 game, can't you just put it on a website, and then promote that site?  You would have total control over the ads. Maybe use in-app sales and skip ads completely.  If you managed the site, it would also allow you to put some hooks in to a backend, so people stealing your game would not get a working copy.  I think both True Valhalla and OkinJin games were going to pursue this.  Personally, I would prefer to be the master of my own fate, than rely on some other company to license my game (though I realize that's the way it has traditionally been done).

And how are you going to generate millions of user traffic to play your game in first place?  There is a reason why portals put 100s of thousands of dollar in advertisement. If you can generate that kinds of traffic without investing in ads then my friend you are the next bill gates. 

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On 06.05.2017 at 6:17 PM, Daikrys said:

I dont know of any. People reported that MarketJS is only promoting their own games, am i right? As for CodeCanyon, i think its a great place to offer scripts or simple templates but not for complete well made games, but personal opinion here. You could also get in touch with a member that has contacts and doing well, offer him a reasonable share and outsource the business stuff. I havent made any html5 related business for a while so please take my advice with caution.

Thanks for the advice! Yes, as I have studied the MarketJS, they really seem to steal others' games, their gameplay, graphics and even level design! and then they sell their own versions, I don't feel that I'd like to work with such sort of guys. CodeCanyon -yeah, I agree with you, it doesn't fit the big project at all. Hm, I'm not as experienced at the moment for making business with someone else. So, I have to make this way myself at the beginning. We are a small, I'd say, tiny studio - and marketing is the biggest problem this time. I've been reading a lot about it before that "As you've made a game, everything tested, polished, graphics/code are good - it's not the success at all! You should find a good marketing strategy" - I admit, that's true. 

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6 hours ago, vornay said:

What about promoting your own games? If you make a good HTML5 game, can't you just put it on a website, and then promote that site?  You would have total control over the ads. Maybe use in-app sales and skip ads completely.  If you managed the site, it would also allow you to put some hooks in to a backend, so people stealing your game would not get a working copy.  I think both True Valhalla and OkinJin games were going to pursue this.  Personally, I would prefer to be the master of my own fate, than rely on some other company to license my game (though I realize that's the way it has traditionally been done).

Well, what I needed is just a little bit of cash earned on sponsorship. For living, website and other self-promotion costs. I understand that if you are doing something new or simply not a clone - you've got big problems... As sponsors rely only onto their audience. So, self-promotion would be great for my case. However, I'm totally afraid of all this stuff with ads >< I've found tons of services, I've read here on forums which ad companies are good and so on, however -it's just making a mess in my head >< I have no idea which one to choose, and I'd like to have a control over the earnings - without waiting a month for approvement. Yeah -great idea about the hooks, however, it depends on what is your game was made for. If you have your ads there, maybe there's nothing bad in it if someone steals your game to their website - it will show your ads, you'll earn your money and your game becomes popular. Oh, my ideas are always a kind of Utopia.

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On 5/8/2017 at 11:44 PM, vornay said:

What about promoting your own games? If you make a good HTML5 game, can't you just put it on a website, and then promote that site?

Yes, that strategy has worked well for many game devs (and non-game devs) and it has significant advantages over  licensing, but it has disadvantages as well. You have to do your own marketing and building an audience will likely be a slow process unless you have a lot of money for ads. It also works better for known game types that people search for in Google, like solitaire, chess, sudoku,  But those games already have competition so you really have to produce something that's top notch. It's a longer, tougher, riskier route than licensing, but it can lead to a nicer destination if you're successful.

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I've heard about HTML5 games business several years ago but decided to start in 2018 so I'm newbie. Can You tell me if I understand this market right?

Tier 1: 

You sell non-exclusive licenses in marketplace like codecanyon or scirra store. Average price is between 20$-60$. You can expect 0-20 sales (codecanyon provide numbers). 

I've noticed that most projects are Construct2 projcets. Is it becaouse it's popular among devs or market prefer this more than javascript sources?

 

Tier 2:

You sell non-exclusive licenses to publishers like softgames/spligames/etc. Average price is 300$-500$ (very not sure about this numbers). I Have no idea how many sales can You expect.

My hypothesis is to show first your games to publishers and if they reject this then move to marketplaces like codecanyon. Am I right?

Are publishers ok to show them game in progress (for example raw gamepley on rectangles without artworks) ?

 

Tier 3:

You sell exclusive license to publishers metioned above. Average price is 2000$-5000$ (even less sure).

What is most common scenario of exclusive deal? Developer offer non-exclusive license and publisher says that he wants it exclusive? Or it's developer offer exclusive license first?

When I sold my game as exclusive Can I publish it on my website in portfolio section (without ads)?

 

Extra tier: Contract work.

 


This is how it works?

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@mkardas91, I'd say that's a fair summary.  But because it's all very niche there are no golden rules - most games go unsold so be sceptical if the goal is to make money.  Some extra experiential info that may be useful:  "Tier 1" value is often in the upsells (extended license and custom work), not the regular license.  "Tier 2" suffers from hassle of making sales and time to add custom API requirements that can negate the value of the underlying license - therefore sell in bulk / build up a back-catalog first.  "Tier 3" is prove-it first, sell-it second - lower odds of any positive outcome - but why sell a cash cow when it's more lucrative to milk it?  "Tier 4" is gun-for-hire, usually more robust income than other tiers but not as fun.  But don't forget "Tier 5" where it's whatever you make it - look around to see where else browser games are relevant beyond this niche ...

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8 hours ago, sk1e said:

What do you mean by that?

We (and others) leverage several opportunities beyond the 4 tiers listed, but I'd be irresponsible to suggest them as viable options to potential newcomers.  Consider that really good advice (with evidence to support it) is usually obsolete by the time its published - so intentional vagueness can be more effective inspiration.  Money is patience.

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44 minutes ago, b10b said:

We (and others) leverage several opportunities beyond the 4 tiers listed, but I'd be irresponsible to suggest them as viable options to potential newcomers.  Consider that really good advice (with evidence to support it) is usually obsolete by the time its published - so intentional vagueness can be more effective inspiration.  Money is patience.

So you, being for a while in this market, when you think what game to do next, you just guess from your previous experience, or you just know from sponsors what they want?

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@sk1e when we create new IP we make games quickly that our friends or family want to play or that leverages our existing interests.  That has worked OK for us as our expectations are set low when it comes to spending time on indie.  How about you, how do you select your next game project?

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2 minutes ago, b10b said:

@sk1e when we create new IP we make games quickly that our friends or family want to play or that leverages our existing interests.  That has worked OK for us as our expectations are set low when it comes to spending time on indie.  How about you, how do you select your next game project?

We just have started (have 2 games, third in production, but no sales so far) so, we are just guessing/experimenting at this point, i think. Third game is based a bit on previous feedback, but it is really hard to find some meaningful info for newcomers like us.

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On 1/27/2018 at 2:06 PM, mkardas91 said:

I've heard about HTML5 games business several years ago but decided to start in 2018 so I'm newbie. Can You tell me if I understand this market right?

Tier 1: ...

Tier 2: ...

Tier 3: ...

Extra tier: Contract work.

6

From the outside, these just don't look like a promising business perspective and I'm not sure why developers continue to spend their efforts with these goals/markets in mind. There seem to be a finite number of publishers (less than 10?) who (may) buy (non-)exclusive licenses.

I read that there is some secret list with publishers that is hidden from new forum members but after spending some time here I am left with the impression it's not something I should care about...

I  recently started working on a few HTML game ideas and I do have plans for the monetisation of the eventual final products. The plan is quite long-term and for now it's nothing more than a fun project.

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Hehe, times go by, years pass, but something never changes - TV is still plugging his book :D

10 hours ago, blossy said:

From the outside, these just don't look like a promising business perspective and I'm not sure why developers continue to spend their efforts with these goals/markets in mind. There seem to be a finite number of publishers (less than 10?) who (may) buy (non-)exclusive licenses.

I read that there is some secret list with publishers that is hidden from new forum members but after spending some time here I am left with the impression it's not something I should care about...

I  recently started working on a few HTML game ideas and I do have plans for the monetisation of the eventual final products. The plan is quite long-term and for now it's nothing more than a fun project.

Golden dream to make your hobby your best source of income. Reach ikigai.

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11 hours ago, sk1e said:

But on the other hand, there will always be demand for good games

Considering the time and energy needed to produce a game,  devs probably should be more specific in their business plans :)

EDIT: I'm specializing in bad games. It's an almost untapped niche. The demand is there, but not many people can produce a properly bad game. Most are spewing average stuff that begs to remain ignored.

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1 hour ago, blossy said:

devs probably should be more specific in their business plans

Agree, but when you dont have any resources beside your skills and time, it is rather hard to make a proper and specific business plan with  game market is so overcrowded and main problem is not to make a game, but to make your game be noticed. You can spend half a year making game for Steam and make zero sales, but if you can make a game per month, then you get feedback from the market faster and you learn faster, and you can find your niche faster. At least that what we where thinking :D May be im wrong tho, dont have big sales to back this theory so far

 

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On 8.02.2018 at 1:13 PM, blossy said:

I'm not sure why developers continue to spend their efforts with these goals/markets in mind.

When you start your adventure as a game developer these are just the easiest and the most reliable ways of making any money out of your games. In these models of business you don't have to care about all these other things that have to be made if you want to earn money (hosting, monetization system, testing, marketing and so on). They create plenty of additional problems you need to solve on your own. When you're a newbie in games development business it all can easily overwhelm you. It's why most of them choose sponsor/publisher/client route at the beginning and just focus on only creating games. As time goes by and they gain experience, they start to think how could they make money on their games without any intermediaries between them and players. I think it's a quite natural process and if you looked around a little bit more in this forum, you could find topics where developers write about their far from ideal experiences with sponsors/publishers/clients and their plans of making money on their own way. So it's not that all developers (and maybe even not most) make (or try to make) business in one of these 4 mentioned options. These options are just probably the most popular on this forum.


If you would like to change it, you should finish your project, make it a financial success and share your story with specific figures. Then for sure many developers would like to follow your path and if they repeated your success, your business model would become another popular way of making money out of games and you would become another HTML5 games star B) Wish you luck and I hope some day we'll be given opportunity to read your story kind of "How I made $1,000,000 on my bad game" :) 

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53 minutes ago, bambo said:

When you start your adventure as a game developer these are just the easiest and the most reliable ways of making any money out of your game....

If you would like to change it, you should finish your project, make it a financial success and share your story with specific figures. Then for sure many developers would like to follow your path and if they repeated your success, your business model would become another popular way of making money out of games and you would become another HTML5 games star B) Wish you luck and I hope some day we'll be given opportunity to read your story kind of "How I made $1,000,000 on my bad game" :) 

2

All you've written makes a lot of sense, but I am skeptic about certain points...

1. The first games of a new game developer aren't very likely to catch a publisher's attention. In HTML5's early days - maybe, but now? I see only polished products in any of the big publishers' catalogs. Yes, most of them look like cookie-cutter clones of popular mobile titles so they would be easy to reproduce (in some basic form) for a newbie. But the lack of polish (usually) is the thing that distinguishes a newbie dev's release.

2. Making games for publishers doesn't look fun. You're most likely sacrificing your uniqueness and the fun factor of making games. You may get bored prematurely - before the 'polish' phase, and a bored hobbyist dev may decide to give up. 

3. I actually like  @sk1e's approach - make whatever you want to work on, throw it out there and observe the reactions.

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1 hour ago, Red Spark said:

Making games as a hobby is much more fun and liberating than doing that commercially. Commercial gamedev is one of those disciplines that doesn't pay well and will eat your soul alive.

+1. Commercial also can force you to make choices you wouldn't have necessarily made, and can be stressful when it doesn't go to plan.

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On 10.02.2018 at 4:51 PM, blossy said:

3. I actually like  @sk1e's approach - make whatever you want to work on, throw it out there and observe the reactions.

If I understand you correctly, you want to make original good „bad” game that will fit a niche audience needs? Then release it on popular games publishing platforms (it's how I understand „throw it out there”) and hope it'll get people attention?

Seems it might work for a niche game. :) But even if you'll make it and encourage others by telling your success story, there still be many who choose one of 4 options. They just prefer to make popular games rather than niche ones or they just don't really feel niche needs/aesthetic – and maybe it's one of reasons why there aren't more good „bad” games, even if some try to make it.

I don't want to judge these options and say that any of them is completely senseless. I think they all have their advantages and developers can choose between them, depending on what they currently feel like doing or have just done :)

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