‘Crabstarter’ project gives an insight into indie mobile-game economics

Two Lives Left says it spent $100k developing Crabitron for iPad, but has only made $3.8k back so far.

Independent mobile games developer Two Lives Left is sharing sales data from its iPad game Crabitron in a spoof Kickstarter crowdfunding page.

The Australian studio’s “Crabstarter” project was started as a tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign for the game – “a giant space crab simulation” – which was commercially released on 18 April.

“After two years of development we ended up with a game that we loved. We had no idea how to market it. So we decided we would do a Kickstarter — only, we had already built the game,” explains the developer.

“This led to the idea of a ‘reverse Kickstarter’, a kind of system where you could fund the game, see how well the game was doing, and get your reward immediately.”

So how well is it doing? Well, it’s early days, but at the time of writing Crabitron has generated just over $3,800 of revenues, compared to development costs of $100k. It’s currently being featured as a New and Noteworthy app in the US App Store.

Read more at Guardian.co.uk

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