The Ouroboros King, 1-year post mortem

On February 27th, I celebrated a year since the release of The Ouroboros King. I’ll use this opportunity to share some of the numbers and analyze the value and efficiency of my actions.

I also wrote a post-mortem concerning the game’s development and release.



  • Sold 17,630 copies
  • 84k$ revenue after Steam’s 30% cut (4.8$/ copy)
  • The US sold 48% of units, followed by the UK, Canada, and China with 6% each
  • Total of ~41k wishlists, and ~7k conversions (17% conversion rate), but there are still 25k wishlists that I’d love to convert
  • PC amounts to 95% of revenue, Linux to 3%, and Mac to 2% (I released the Mac version in September or October, Unity Cloud Builds helped a lot)

iOS (released in November):

  • 30.7k installs, 1.7k purchases (5.5% conversion rate)
  • 9.5k$ revenue (5.5$/ copy)

Android (released in November):

  • 4,693 installs, 409 purchases (8.7% conversion rate)
  • 2k$ revenue (4.8$/ copy, the price is lower than that of the AppStore)


  • ~9k$, approximately distributed as:
    • 2k$ Unity license
    • 2k$ translations and Chinese publishing
    • 1k$ soundtrack
    • 1k$ illustration
    • 1k$ ads
    • 1k$ self-employment tax
    • 1k$ tax consulting

That resulted in ~87k$ in profit before income tax.

I didn’t track the time spent on the project. I spent a year developing the game, and another 6 months making improvements. My best estimate is that I worked the equivalent of a part-time job (hours/ day on weekdays) during that time. This amounts to ~1350 hours and a net salary of 41$/ hour (here I deducted labor tax, which is non-linear). That’s better than the job I recently quit (~25$/ hour), but I still need my next projects to do well.

I’ll now analyze if those extra 6 months were worth it.

Extra content

I spent ~2.5 months fixing bugs and adding content, including Infinity mode, practice mode, and extra pieces.

It’s hard to analyze the impact of these changes, but I’m pretty sure Aliensrock wouldn’t have played the game in June if those changes hadn’t happened. So that’s at least 16k$ net, 47$/ hour after taxes, so worth it.

Additionally, it made me more satisfied with the game (the initial release was a bit rushed) and increased positive reviews from 82% to 86% (meaning reviews since the update are 88.5% positive). Here I’m attributing the increase to the extra content, but maybe games to get better reviews over time or localization may have helped.


The game was originally released with English as its only language. Given its success, I decided to localize it and expand its audience. But… Was it worth it?

Localization cost me about a week or two of development time + translating to Catalan and Spanish myself, and translator fees. I found translators via Fiverr, which cost me about 150$/ language (0.025$/word). That was pretty cheap, but the quality wasn’t great. Next time I’ll probably go with a translation agency, which will be 4x as expensive.

For China, I went with a publishing deal that also included marketing, and was a revenue share scheme without upfront costs.

To estimate the impact of localization on sales, I’ll compare sales of countries that speak a language before and after localization. However, we can’t just compare the raw numbers since the time frames are not comparable. I compared them as a percentage of English-speaking sales.

As you see, localization didn’t have much impact on most languages. The negative impacts on German and French are probably caused by some streamer playing before the translation or statistical noise. I hoped Steam would push the game a bit after the translations were added but it looks like it didn’t.

In China, my publisher did some marketing so the impact of the translation is bigger.

All in all, it didn’t pay much but I’ve gained some experience and will be able to use my localization system in my future games.

My advice to other devs is: to either localize before launch (optimally before the announcement) or not bother.


I spent about 2-3 months part-time working on the mobile version. The main tasks that I had to do were: change from a horizontal to a vertical layout, add in-app payment, and fight Apple’s systems (it’s so much harder than Android, but Unity Cloud Builds saved the day).

I was hoping (though not expecting) to get Pawnbarian levels of success but didn’t. Still, it was worth it, and I’ll be porting my future games as long as it makes sense.

Controller support

I added controller support to help my console publisher with the ports, but the game hasn’t been released on consoles yet (will probably release in May). Nothing to analyze here.

Paid ads

I tried to run paid ads on Google (search), Meta, and Reddit, spending around 300$ on each with no measurable results (just 7 wishlists, 0 sales). I guess those platforms are so popular that you have to highly optimize your ads to see reasonable results, and it’s very hard to run profitable ads for low-price games.

Tik Tok

I spent some time trying to make TikToks for The Ouroboros King and got ~10k views on TikTok, ~7k on YT, and a few more on IG. I don’t have any tracking, but I don’t think those numbers justify the time I spent making the videos.

To pay ~40$/hour for 2 weeks part-time, I’d need to sell ~250 copies which would mean a 1.5% conversion rate. From what I’ve read, TikTok conversion rates are much lower.

It didn’t work for me, but it’s because I’m bad at it, I didn’t particularly enjoy it, and my game may not be the best fit for the platform.


  1. TOK made ~87k$ in profit during its 1st year
  2. Adding extra content post-launch can be profitable, by making streamers re-play your game
  3. Localization should be done before the release, but getting a local publisher after the release can still be good
  4. The mobile port for TOK was profitable, even though the game isn’t a hit
  5. It’s hard to make paid ads for indie games profitable
  6. I’m bad at TikTok
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