Gamethink

Monday, June 28, 2004

[Reposted from LJ] MNPR:RPG, By the Numbers (1 month)

posted by Chad

Still sick. Gah. Can barely think, so apologies if my math's screwy below. Oh, and no Origins Award for me; many congrats to all who won!

Monkey, Ninja, Pirate, Robot: the Roleplaying Game was published on May 27, 2004. The "90-day sell cycle" will end on on August 27, 2004. This period is generally regarded as really the only open window for new game products; after those 3 months, sales decrease (unless the game is a really hot- or consistent-seller -- AKA "evergreen"). At least, that's my understanding of the industry.

However, I'd like to do a quick and dirty "one month of release" look.

MNPR:RPG sales for this 30-day period were:

  • RPGNow: 15 copies.
  • Complimentary/Review Copies: 17 copies.
  • Total copies in circulation: 32 copies.


So far as I can tell, out of the 17 comp/review copies sent, there's been 1 review published here.

Currently, MNPR:RPG is #29 on the RPGNow "Best Selling Non-D20 RPG This Month" list. Also, the game has no purchaser comments at RPGNow.

I'm going to pull the curtain aside below with the money details, in a public forum. Oooh, scary!

MNPR:RPG had a development cost of less than $20 (art supplies for my incredibly detailed stick-figure drawings), and has made that back already.

Overall gross has been $90. Minus $20 for art supplies means net profit is $70.

If I had written the game for the industry standard flat rate of 3 cents a word (MNPR:RPG being 31,692 words), I would have made around $950.76. Thus far, I've only made about 7% by doing it myself than if I would have done it for someone else. On the other hand, so long as MNPR:RPG sells copies, I will continue to accrue earnings from it.

Then again, I need to sell 147 copies (at $8 retail per copy, minus the 25% RPGNow percentage for distribution, I make $6 per copy sold) to equal that flat fee payment. I need to sell more than that to make the game a better deal for me than work-for-hire.

Maybe now, with the numbers out there for all to see, it will become clear why I pimp so hard, and why I really wish folks would pony up their reviews, make mentions of my games in their LJs and to those friends that they think'd be interested, and so forth.

Every single copy sold is vitally important to the bottom line of ASMP (i.e., me). The money is not the reason that I'm in this industry. However, if the money for self-publishing is less than what I can get for doing WFH, why should I self-publish?

About the only reasons I can see are: 1) controlling my own IPs; 2) being locked into the full revenue stream, no just a flat payment or small royalty; and 3) having a need to have something out in the public eye.

But I won't be quitting my day-job anythime soon.