Only 20 percent of games make a profit

Only 20 percent of games make a profit

According to analyst research only 20 percent of released games will ever turn a significant profit.

Granted, this bit of rather shocking news only caught our attention thanks to Forbes magazine making a mistake, but it's still worth reporting that apparently only 20 percent of games ever turn a significant profit.

The information, which is based on data gathered by the Electronic Entertainment Design and Research analyst firm (EEDAR, originally showed that only 4 percent of games ever make a profit but EEDAR has now issued a correction to those figures.

According to the correction as posted on Kotaku the research actually shows that a full 20 percent of released games are able to turn a significant profit. The confusion stems from the fact that only 4 percent of all games that enter into production ever make a profit; but most games that begin production are never released.

According to EEDAR, a major problem for game developers and publishers is that often more than 60 percent of a games allotted budget will be spent on redesigning fundamental aspects of a game.

It has to be said of course that 20 percent would still seem to be a shockingly low figure, but given the amount of awful games out there and the endless Wii cash-ins that flood the market we'd say that only 20 percent of games ever really deserve to make a profit.

What were the last five games you bought? Were they worth the cost? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
steveo_mcg 25th November 2008, 11:14 Quote
L4D, Audio surf, CoD4, Lego Indy, The orange box. I think those all made profit.... Though maybe not Indy.
Stickeh 25th November 2008, 11:24 Quote
'Significant profit' That means something worth boasting about, i'm sure others make a profit, but obviously nothing special, if a game you can release can cover your programmers / developers pay checks i'd be pretty happy, the mega profit hyst helps your company to expand, and maybe give out some bonus's
faugusztin 25th November 2008, 11:34 Quote
Last 5 ?
GTA4 (don't know, it's not released yet), L4D (worth the cost), Fallout 3 (worth the cost), Far Cry 2 (not worth the cost), Crysis & Crysis:Warhead (don't know, it's 50/50).
Tris 25th November 2008, 11:42 Quote
last 5 for me would be wow:wotlk(pc), dead space (pc), sc4(x360), gta4(x360), cod4(pc). Think all of those count as successful games...maybe i am just too mainstream :D
I think all were kinda worth it, tho the xbox games less so due to the increased cost
chiper136 25th November 2008, 12:30 Quote
Originally Posted by faugusztin
GTA4 (don't know, it's not released yet).

I think rockstar has made a little profit of it already...i know us console owners cower under the pc might but we do have some small change to buy games with :P
Whalemeister 25th November 2008, 12:37 Quote
LMAO!!! That pie chart is the funniest thing I've seen all day!

Last five games, Fallout 3 (well worth it), FarCry 2 (hmmm), Crysis:Warhead (Good for £20), Audiosurf (Best value ever!), Mass Effect (well worth it!)
Fod 25th November 2008, 12:41 Quote
last five games, um.....
left 4 dead (tenner. yes, worth it)
gears of war 2 (so far it's awesome)
littlebigplanet (yes!)
fable 2 (oh yes)
fallout 3 (i haven't started playing this one yet...)
ginbong 25th November 2008, 12:44 Quote
GRID and Warhead (Worth it), Far Cry 2 CE (Not really worth it, haven't finished yet), Fallout 3 CE (Worth it though haven't finished yet), COD: World at War CE (Can't comment, no time to even install and play xD)
ginbong 25th November 2008, 12:46 Quote
All my games are for PC btw sorry
Loot3r 25th November 2008, 13:01 Quote
no wonder we sit with so many dying titles that get no support and a half finished game!
steveo_mcg 25th November 2008, 13:04 Quote
Originally Posted by Fod
last five games, um.....
left 4 dead (tenner. yes, worth it)
gears of war 2 (so far it's awesome)
littlebigplanet (yes!)
fable 2 (oh yes)
fallout 3 (i haven't started playing this one yet...)
Veles 25th November 2008, 13:06 Quote
Last 5 games I bought?

L4D - would be worth every penny if my ****ing modem wouldn't die every 5 minutes so I could actually play online how it's supposed to be played[/rant]
A Kingdom for Keflings - Really enjoy it, not a whole lot of replayability though
Fallout 3 - Definitely worth it, great game
Fable II - I like it, but it is just Fable 1 how it should have been made, little bit boring but I'm glad I bought it

Not sure what I bought after that, I guess it was Force Unleashed, got it off the bay, meh, would rather have that £30 for something else looking back on it.
we'd say that only 20 percent of games ever really deserve to make a profit

Unfortunately we all know that the ones that make a decent amount of profit are all the shitty franchise cash ins.
Blademrk 25th November 2008, 13:24 Quote
hmm, last 5:

Kingdom for Kelfings (addictive, but not much to go back to once you've finished it) - should have been about 400 MS point and not 800.
Gears of War 2 (Multi-player is awesome)
Soul Calibur 4 (still trying to get into this)
Lost Odysey (I'm at the beginning of the last disk - enjoyed it so far)
Burnout Paradise (Multi-player is fun, however I found the single player (in order to unlock some Licenses/cars) a bit of a chore).
fargo 25th November 2008, 14:18 Quote
I'm sure there are some great rpg games out there but thats not my bag so I stick to fps main series:
tomb raider
far cry
anything else I won't waste my money on although I plan to check out fallout in the near future.
right now I have cod waw,far cry2 and tomb raider underworld loaded a great way to get thru the
UrbanMarine 25th November 2008, 14:27 Quote
Yup it's true because 20% of the game released are worth buying. The other 80% are pure crap. Maybe it was the pirates stealing parts of the 80%. First ships, then games and now %. Those pesky pirates!!!!! Making better games = better profit. GTA4 made a 400mil dollar profit hmm what could their secret be??? Oh yeah Rockstar makes good games geezzz never would of figured ;)

One thing i've noticed a chunk of the profit making companies have street credit. Valve, Rockstar, Bungie, Westwood (now EA Westwood), 3DRealms (which puzzles me), Bethesda Game Studios etc
Mentai 25th November 2008, 15:08 Quote
God of War 2
Persona 3 FES
World of Goo
Painkiller Gold Edition

I don't know how many of those turned a considerable profit, I know God of War 2 is platinum, and Left4Dead is very successful. World of Goo probably has made quite a bit considering how small the studio is, but Persona 3 FES is a bit of a niche product, they only do limited prints of it in the PAL region, though I suspect it does well in Japan.
And Painkiller... that Yahtzee review probably sold more of it over steam than it had previously haha.
Cadillac Ferd 25th November 2008, 19:32 Quote
Left 4 Dead - 60$: Honestly, Left 4 Dead is great fun if you manage to round up a few friends but really it's only multi-player and the campaigns are all kind of repetitive after a while. Probably not worth the full 60$ asking price.

Fallout 3 - 60$: Huge, sprawling, gigantic, massive world with ludicrous amounts of replayability. Definitely worth it.

Fable 2 - 60$: Not nearly as sprawling as Fallout 3 but still pretty expansive by most RPG's standards. Pretty good game, just a shame that the advertised multi-player (a big reason I was so excited for the game) ended up being so terrible and the storyline kept flipping from really good to completely terrible. In the end worth the 60$ but had I known what was actually in the box I would've been less excited about spending it.

Forza 2 (used) - 10$: Decent racing game, worth the 10$, if I had bought it used I think it would've been worth the 30$ price they ask for it nowadays.

Castle Crashers - 10$ish: Another fun multiplayer game, worth the slightly higher than average XBL asking price.
yodasarmpit 25th November 2008, 19:39 Quote
The truth of the matter is simple, with 99% of games released being either shite or direct copies of others, then 20% making a significant profit is a pretty good stat tbh.

The vast majority of people only buy a few games a year, and when those cost £30 a pop you choose wisely.
Firehed 26th November 2008, 01:23 Quote
Hitting retail really works against them in this day and age. By the time they hit the shelves at WalMart, you've had about six different parties take 50% of the remaining markup, leaving a couple bucks for the actual development firm. Download-based distribution reclaims most of that - even if you only reach 20% of the original audience, the vastly improved profit margins would probably still put you ahead.
Xir 26th November 2008, 08:13 Quote
Ankh 2
The longest Journey
Myst - Complete edition

emmmm, the games i prefer to play are somewhat different from the games i prefer to buy.
I buy the games for my girlfriend and she gave me Half Life 2 and Battlefield 2 during the same time...

If I could only remember who's got my copy of "Diskworld Noir"

[USRF]Obiwan 26th November 2008, 09:35 Quote
Still holding the money in the pocket for L4d, In my opinion still to expensive for what you get. (yes played the demo)
FC2 still in the seal on the shelf
Crysis played it liked the visuals but gameplay kinda sucked.
i'm now all over RA3, I just love the C&C universum
Fod 26th November 2008, 10:19 Quote
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg

nowhere you'll be able to get it ;)

the game is published by EA. i have a friend who works at EA.
dom_ 26th November 2008, 13:24 Quote
Originally Posted by CardJoe

According to EEDAR only 20 percent of games which actually make it on to retail shelves are able to turn a significant profit.

Not surprised at all.
How many films made do you think make profit?
Xir 28th November 2008, 08:11 Quote
Originally Posted by dom_
Not surprised at all.
How many films made do you think make profit?

Quite a lot if you look at Movietheatre, DVD, Rental and tv-licences. But usually movies are declared a "Flop" if they dont make what the cost within the first week(end).

Even Kevin Kostners "big flops" eventually made a profit...not like Waterworld doesn't run 2-3 times a year on the tv ;-)

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