Can you make a living as an indie developer?

By | February 8, 2016

It’s one of those perennial questions making the rounds in #gamedev circles.  Everyone wants to know; can you make a living doing what you love? The asking is more puzzling than the answer; not because it is particularly perplexing but because it is pointedly pedestrian. It’s been asked a million times of a million different callings and the answer remains the same: If you’re good at it, you can make money.

I elaborated on this point in a discussion with a student:

Most people won’t make money because most people will make crap games. Some people will make good games and still won’t make good money. Some people will make crap games and make a crap ton of money! And some people will make good games and make good money.

Ultimately what constitutes good games and what constitutes good money are both highly subjective. The customer base, humans, are all highly irrational. As a result, defining success is difficult; predicting success is extremely difficult.  But making good games probably can’t hurt!

In time I hope to curate a repository of who makes how much. Check the forums regularly for more information.



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