Weird download statistics


First of all, if you haven't voted for Driftmoon yet, please vote! The last vote next week is the most important, that determines the winner!

I actually came here to talk about download statistics. Those are often well kept secrets, you wouldn't want your competitors to know you're doing bad! The reason I wanted to reveal my statistics is that one of my games is keeping me up at night. It's weird.

A bit of background. Most of my games are from way back. I actually started making games in 1998, and the oldest one available here is The Forge released in 2000. The newest actual release, if you don't count Driftmoon, would be Notrium from 2003. Now six or more years is a lot of time to get downloads. Too bad I've only got statistics from 2004 upwards, so we can only guess at what numbers these games have started with. And I'm only talking about downloads directly from I honestly have no idea what the numbers would be from other sites that offer my games. Should I double these or what?

I said I didn't have statistics from before 2004. Well I lied there. I tracked Notrium in 2003. To a young man just starting game development it was a huge success, with well over 300 000 downloads in the first couple of months alone. After that the downloads settled into about 5000 per month, gradually declining to 2000 per month that I now see. So that's in the range of 600 000 - 700 000 total downloads up until now.

Before Notrium there was Magebane 2, and after a rough start it soon settled into 5000, declining to current 2000 per month. The total numbers for Magebane are pretty similar to Notrium. The difference between the games is that Notrium took two years to build, and Magebane about half a year. Wazzal and The Forge have always been pretty regular with 500-1500 downloads per month. I think they're both at about 100 000 total for their lifetime.

So what was the fuss about?  It's about the fact that Bikez II has netted well over 2,5 million downloads! I think about 80 percent of the downloads are from Brazil. If you're reading this from São Paulo, here's hello to you. If I got a dollar from each of you, I'd get a decent income. The download numbers for Bikez II are actually continually increasing due to more people getting an Internet connection in Brazil. The counter at one of the bigger sites Baixaki is going at 1.2 million.

So what do you make of it? My statistics software claims it doesn't count robots and download accelerators, so the number cannot be that far off. Did the game just get lucky in Brazil, such that it has nothing to do with the actual game? Maybe there's potential for making money out of these growing economies? Is there a huge demand for games like Bikez II, enough to warrant an eight year old game to continue succeeding? Is it riding on the success of Grand Theft Auto, with the difference that it works on really old computers? Or is it just the girl in the menu? I'm at a loss with this one, I really am.

Who wants to see Bikez 3? If one million comment, I'm going to start right now.

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