This led to a group of people to answer his question about how many copies we thought Democracy 2 and Kudos 2 had sold. Numbers ranging from 1 to 12,258 were shouted out, none of which Cliffski can confirm nor deny due to being “commercially sensitive” information.
Despite his lack of total openness, Cliffski did reveal that the money he makes from direct sales of his games via the Positech site are enough to pay the bills and such like. His point was that he doesn’t need the sales from other channels like retail sales or digital distribution networks.
He then showed us this fancy graph;
Moral of the story then? If you really want to help an indie game developer you are best of buying directly from them as more of the money goes right into their pockets. Cliffski’s graph shows that this is the current trend, for him at least. People are buying more Positech games directly than through other sources. Also of note is the spike in sales, these fit in with the releases of both Democracy 2 and Kudos 2.
It would be very interesting to hear more from him on this subject, and indeed more from other indie developers about this.