I can never remember if the saying goes “15 seconds” or “15 minutes” but the end result is the same. Just about anybody who looks for the lime light will get it, even if only for a brief moment. When I released Zombpocalypse in December the website was literally brought down and it forced me to move some files off of the server. In January alone, I received nearly 300k hits and the game was a success; well sort of…
Hot or Not
Like everything on the web, what’s hot today is old news tomorrow. Even though the game received significant attention and the reviews I could find all had nothing but supportive things to say, it didn’t amount to a single coin. Now that February has passed, the attention to my site is on a steadily decline with just under 50k hits. I’ve recently applied to Google’s adSense in hopes that it might result in some kind of monetary return on the past years of my life put into this game but something tells me that it won’t quite pan out.
Shaking the Tin Cup
I’m sure I’ve said this in the past but it really does amaze me how something so popular failed to produce any monetary value. Even the Donate button went brittle and stale from lack of attention. A friend jokingly said to me, “You need to move that Donate button. I almost clicked on it!”, though I laughed I couldn’t help but feel that it was a common consensus among the others out there who have chosen to download and play the game. It’s a little disheartening when your game isn’t worth that inexplicably sticky quarter between the seats.
Behind the Scenes
I know that making games is not about making money; it never has been. No one comes into this industry to get rich or be famous, we do it because we love to make games. I truly do enjoy developing games, but my reason for stopping Zombpocalypse development (read previous post) had a lot to do with what I’ve been talking about here. There is this common idea on the web that if it is not free then it must be crap or crackable. The reality of the situation is that it cost money to make games. I was able to offset my costs by developing the game entirely myself but even that costs money in software, site management, business registration, taxes and fees, increased utility bills for running code servers and more. In truth, the only thing I saved was payroll which was countered by the shear time I had to spend in doing it all myself. Originally, I had hoped to pick up enough donations to pay for real art and continue development on the game. After the grand total of $0 in, what may likely be, the peak of the games career it became clear to me that it just was n0t worth anything to anyone so I thought it best to cut and run.
…and the Future?
Well, it really is hard to say. I would gladly re-visit Zombpocalypse if there was a new peaked interest in it, but there is such a flood of zombie games right now that I think it may be getting lost in the mix. Without someone to help me re-envision the game, I am afraid that there just isn’t enough here to keep gamers coming back. Without financial support, it seems unlikely that I will be able to find (and keep) anyone who may be interested in getting involved in the game.