My first indie Steam game revenue (First Month in Early Access) – Yerba Mate Tycoon
Like I promised, I’m back with statistics from my first Steam game “Yerba Mate Tycoon“, which is a niche game about running a yerba mate company. Most people won’t even know what is it (yerba is equivalent to coffee in South American countries). The game was first released on Windows, then after few days on Linux (21.06) + macOS (24.06), the marketing budget was $0. The statistics are from the first month of Steam early access (15.06 to 15.07 June/July), if an image is too small, you can click on it, to open it in full size.
PS: this post is also available as a video, if you just wish to read this post, just continue reading, and ignore the video :-}
I had sold 410 (276 in the first week) game copies on Steam, which gives me $632 ($414.4 in the first week). The Cash is after Vat/Steam 30% cut. From $632, I still need to pay various taxes in my country. At launch, I was selling my game for $3.5 (10% discount), then the price went back to the full price of $4. The average game price after Steam Cut/Vat was ~$1.54 (we need to count regional prices, it’s before taxes in my country). On the launch day, I had sold 120 game copies.
^ The first month of sales, revenue before Vat, Steam cut, taxes. Dailly Steam units and revenue.
Around 2.5-3% of sales come from Linux, and the other 2.5-3% of sales come from macOS, the rest (over 90%) come from Windows. If we look at sales in regions:
32% of Units come from Latin America (11% revenue)
21% of Units come from Eastern Europe (26% revenue)
21% of Units come from Western Europe (32% Revenue)
12% of Units come from North America (21% Revenue)
^ Those regions generated 86% of sales and 90% of revenue
^ % of sold units + revenue in regions
If we look at countries stats:
26% of Units come from Argentina (6% revenue)
18% of Units come from Poland (25% revenue)
10% Units come from the USA (19% revenue)
10% Units come from Germany (18% revenue)
7% Units come from Turkey (3% revenue)
^ Those five countries generated 71% of sales and 71% of revenue
^ % of sold units + revenue in countries
High sales in Argentina/Latin America are because yerba mate has high popularity in those regions. High sales in Poland are because I’m from Poland. About low % of revenue in Argentina, it’s because Argentina is poor, it’s about regional pricing, The game price in Argentina (at launch week) was around ~$0.5 (we need to cut from it vat, 30% Steam cut, more taxes, etc.).
Steam WishList Stats/Other Data
Steam wishlist is an important indicator of game sales, usually a higher wishlist rate = higher sales. Yerba Mate Tycoon was visible on Steam (before launch) for like 8 months, In those months I had gathered ~724 Wishlist, We can see some spikes, they are from my “marketing” actions.
My Steam wishlist 1-day conversion is 9%, the 7-day conversion rate is 12.8%. I think that’s low? But the game launched out of nowhere, there was no information before launch (just on launch day, etc.). I launched just before the steam summer sale, but my game couldn’t participate in that sales + there were other events, the launch time was terrible. But I did it because I just wanted to release my game + it was a great release time for me (I got more time, I could do fast updates).
^ Right now, Yerba Mate Tycoon got a 1516 Wishlist, lifetime conversion rate is 10.2%. Those 1516 people gonna get e-mail notifications at game release + sales.
^ Daily wishlist additions, it’s getting worse and worse
Oh, and as a bonus, before Steam launch, I launched my game on itch.io and game jolt ($3 price), but in the first month, I sold 0 copies. Right now, my game was removed by me from the game jolt, I keep it on itch.io, I sold 1 copy on itch.io for a gross of ~$3.99.
^ The 1-month wishlist balance after release is +802, nice.
Was it worth it? Plans?
In terms of cash, it was not worth it, if we count costs (without time) + taxes, then the “earnings” from those $632 will be lower than 0. I had lost the cash, the first month is mostly the “best” month of sales, so my next month’s sales will be worse and worse, maybe a few % of my first month. Someone might be curious why I’m still keeping early access, working on the game, to be honest, I don’t believe in some magic “boom” and millions of players, I’m just fixing bugs, adding new things because… People have paid for the game :-} I could drop it because Yerba Mate Tycoon generated cash loss (working more on it, generate bigger losses). But people paid for it, it got some players, so I will work on it :-} I know that some developers drop in that situations game, it’s a logical step from a business side, but it’s against my work ethic. I never promised huge things, but I have to finish what I started.
^ Yerba Mate Tycoon got first place in the “new and trending” on the “parody” tag, I got some first places on the experimental, economy, and other tags too. So other games did worse 🙁
I am not sure how much time early access will take, in each week I’m releasing updates, fixings bugs, adding new things. In the plans, I got more marketing actions + I need to finish early access (tons of updates ahead). I want to port the game to Android/IOS. That will take me a bit of time too (but to be honest, I think the game will sell worse on those platforms than on Steam because there are more games on mobile, paid games are a hard topic).
Before the game launch, I knew that game will be a failure. I was expecting most sales from Latin America (low price), my all previous mobile games were a failure, wishlist number was low + in the first month of early access (outside of Steam) I sold 0 games copies. So, there were no success indicators. I got no problem with it, everything is running according to my plan, If my whole life is a failure, then a “failure” is something normal, it won’t affect me :-} As a curiosity, my first mobile game was released a few years ago it got 178x downloads (free game) and “earned” 18.95 in the first month, compare it to Yerba Mate Tycoon, huge progress, but of course, YMT cost me more + it took a lot more efforts/time. But still, that’s progress. I still need to resolve the huge problem with Poland taxing, which’s is a serious enemy against my plan (no profit, but you have to pay taxes? Welcome to Poland), I think I will also release a post after Early access or/an Android/IOS release with stats if you got any questions to feel free to ask me (but please, ask simple questions).
PS: I will sell kidney, In 2020/2021 I had eaten more rice than in 1998-2019. Maybe my 1st game was a failure, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th (this one) were failures too, the 11th (future game) will be a failure, but that’s normal :-} Failures are just part of the life. I’m just a 22-year old newbie, I don’t expect anything.
You can buy Yerba Mate Tycoon here:
I would be also very happy if you would follow me on other media, so you won’t miss new statistics or game releases :-}