Interview with Cliff Harris (cliffski) from Positech Games

4 02 2009

Cliff Harris is a lone wolf indie developer for over 10 years. Yes, he’s been here before the whole casual gaming thing has started. I interviewed Cliff to find out what makes his site and games so special that he is able to earn over $200k a year in direct sales. If you want to know how to become portal-proof start reading.

You made almost $200k in 2008. That’s pretty impressive for indie developer. My sales are 10 times worse. What have you done to achieve such great sales?

Cliff HarrisAhahaha. I didn’t make $200k in 2008. That’s the revenue from direct sales through my main payment provider. I earn other amounts from other deals. And then to find out how much I actually *make* you’d have to subtract all the expenses, and they can be surprisingly high when you actually pay for advertising, and a dedicated server. I guess the way I achieve it is to make games that are not easily copied and cloned, and I put quite a lot of work into promoting them. I also get very into the business side of selling games. if you sell games, and you don’t know which pages on your website have the lowest bounce rates, if you don’t know what the average CPC is for your ads and do A/B testing to increase the CTR…. and much more importantly, if you have no idea WTF I’m talking about, then you are quite simply losing sales to people like me, who study this stuff :D.

Imagine that I know what CTR, A/B testing and all that stuff is… but still my ads are not efficient. Maybe I am just not patient enough? How long do you test them before you pick a winner ad?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Reflexive strikes back with $9.99 price

3 02 2009

I believe Reflexive was last one of the big players in the casual market that sold games for $19.99. Yesterday Reflexive announced EXCITING new pricing strategy… now I am really excited to hear for who it is exciting? But lets hear the official message first:

Hello Everyone,

We are happy to announce an exciting new pricing strategy for the games and products in the Reflexive game catalog. The prices of games in the GameCenterSolution catalog now reflect a more competitive position which we expect to represent an attractive offer in today’s marketplace. This compelling pricing strategy is intended to empower you to sell more volume, have greater customer loyalty, and ultimately increase your monthly earnings. By offering games to customers for under $10, we are anticipating higher conversion and better customer satisfaction resulting in better overall sales volume for you.

If you have any questions or feedback please contact me: …..

Michael Mei

BFG sells your games for $6.99, iWin for $9.99 and now Reflexive joins the party. I believe this would not happen if not for Amazon deal, so lets hear more:

Reflexive Games are now available through the Amazon Game Downloads store

Developers and publishers, greetings. Today I’m excited to share news that Reflexive is now providing games for the beta launch of the Amazon Game Downloads store, This is Amazon’s first step into the downloadable games space. This means that all of Reflexive’s developer and publisher partners now have the opportunity to make their games available on, in addition to and our GameCenterSolution affiliate network.

Here at Reflexive, we’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time. We believe Amazon will really help to expand the audience for your casual games, by introducing all the great games you create to millions of potential new customers. Your games can now benefit from customer reviews, recommendations and all the other features shoppers are familiar with on

For more details about the beta launch of the Amazon Game Downloads store, check out the Video Games blog post.

If you have any questions about the games currently offered through Reflexive or about submitting new games to the Reflexive network and the Amazon game download distribution channel, please contact us at

Thanks for your continued partnership and support as we enter this exciting new chapter in Reflexive’s history.


Lars Brubaker
Reflexive Entertainment, Inc.

That’s actually a good news and I was really looking forward to Amazon stepping into downloadable market. The new pricing strategy makes sense at Amazon – those downloadable games have to compete with all retail games prices at $9.99 (cd or dvd case).

Now if you are Reflexive’s affiliate then go change your game prices… and forget about ~$7 per game sold earnings.blockquote

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Sales goes up. Price goes down. New pricing model at eSellerate.

9 01 2009

eSellerate is my favorite e-commerce provider. I was very happy with them until I started to earn a bit more and jumped on the 15% commission. It’s still not bad, but if you compare it with 10% or even 8.9% that others offered it sounds expensive. Beginning of 2009 eSellerate introduced new pricing model (or should I say models?).

Now you can choose between fixed 8.9% pricing with limited features and 11.9% pricing (than can go down to 8.9%) with full features.

I’ll stay at full featured version, but if you’re just starting it may be worth checking the cheaper version (or both).

Last but not least – for most indies the new pricing model will be fixed model at 11.9%. I don’t know any indie developer that earns more than $1.000.000 :D

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So I made how much $$$ in 2008?

8 01 2009

OK, I don’t have that much time at the moment to post comprehensive sales stats, but the thread at Indiegamer and Jakes post at Grey Alien Blog got me inspired to at least post a short info about my sales. I am far away of what Cliffski earns, but it looks like it’s nothing to be ashamed of ;-)

My sales stats for 2008: $21,650.09 and 1152 units.

I have released 6 games so far on PC, Mac and Linux (not all of them have Linux versions). Two of them have been released in 2008.

Note that those sales stats are only from eSellerate – my primary e-commerce service before any fees, affiliates commissions and discounts. I did make some money selling other games as affiliate and earned even more on portals and through retail distribution.

Be sure to check my blog later for more comprehensive sales analysis.

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