Hidden in Plain Sight has been purchased 10,000 times.
This is such a staggering figure to me, I don’t really even know how to process it. It’s stunning, really. When I first made Bad Golf, the idea of 10,000 sales was my huge “wouldn’t that be awesome if…” dream scenario. I never expected it to actually happen, but you can’t put something up for sale and not harbor some secret dreams of it getting huge. And with Bad Golf, it didn’t.
So, I don’t really know what to say. I really wish I could take credit for cracking into some untapped resource of game design and done something really revolutionary (like Guitar Hero or Portal or Journey). But maybe that’s not the way it has to work to be successful. Maybe you just have to make a game that is fun, and that motivates people to tell their friends about it.
If anything, I think that’s what I’ve learned. There are plenty of games that are fun, but aren’t particularly interesting to tell other people about. But Hidden in Plain Sight, being a social game, somehow lends itself to sharing it with friends. It’s not only fun, but it’s fun to share. As in “Oh, you HAVE to play this.” That’s not a component of a game you typically study in Game Design 101. And I didn’t either, but somehow stumbled upon it.
By far, the biggest influence on sales were the SourceFed videos that came out in October, and those were a direct result of the game being shown at IndieCade. Those led to hundreds of sales immediately, but also created an initial shockwave big enough to spread out over time and generate thousands of sales since then. If one person out of every twenty tells a friend and leads to another sale, then you can see how some initial influx of players will lead to a long-tail of sales. I think that’s what happened.
For those interested, 10,000 sales means $10,000. But Microsoft takes 30%, and then withholds some tax (I just got a 1099 from Microsoft Corp, which is kind of neat), so I think I’ve net around $6000 over the past year.