Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

What Game Could I Build for a Million Dollars?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 13, 2016

So let’s say you were given a million dollars to build your dream game. Could you? At least in the U.S., the chances are… well, only if you don’t dream very big.

Michael Fitch tackles the question in “What Does $1 MM Buy in Game Development?”

I don’t know what it would take to have indie games from a small, say, 6-person or 8-person studio bring in a consistent $1 million per year. If I did, I’d try and do that. 🙂  But that’s the flip side… budget has to be scaled to expected, consistent return. That’s what’s clobbering the videogame industry right now… not that there’s been a time where it hasn’t been a problem.

And if you are wondering why DLC and “freemium” and annual fees on software have become a thing, that’s the reason right there.


Filed Under: Game Development - Comments: 2 Comments to Read

  • Victor said,

    Your best bet is to bunker down and hire just one programmer for how many years it takes to make a proper skeletal foundation for the game with all the core features prototyped.
    Art should come later and music and sound can be churned pretty fast.

    Content is the real killer so finding ways to make it easy is the key.

    I wouldn’t trust myself with a multiple person studio until I clearly know what I am doing and how good my team is.

    That’s my opinion anyway.

  • Cuthalion said,

    I think if I got $1M that I had to use toward game dev (because realistically, I’d just keep it otherwise!), I’d split it in half and use the first half as the first game’s budget. Have two full-time people and a couple part-time / commissioned folks at decent (but not competitive) wages for our area of the country. That would mean the $500,000 would give us 4 years to have the first game out before we need to start on the next game. Then, we plan a game that will take 2 years to make, release it after maybe 3 1/2 (because reality), and hopefully by the 4 year mark, we’ve gotten a handle on customer service and any patches that we end up needing and can decide what to do with the next game without having to count on getting all our money back from the first one right away.