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Christian games a profitable business? – tireswing



Posts: 12
From: Oklahoma, USA
Registered: 03-26-2007
Hey everybody! Been lurking for a while, but this is my first post.
I have what I think is a pretty good Christian game in development right now. I am reaching a point where I really need to decide what I'm going to do with it.
If I'm going to make a serious run at it, I'll probably have to invest some money into it. I'm trying to find information about the sales potential for a well-made Christian puzzle game on the PC is. Do most of the sales come from retail (Christian bookstores, etc.) or online?

Perhaps Tim, of, could provide if not solid numbers, a general state of how online sales of Christian games are going??

Also, if retail is the best way to go, would some of you know some approachable publishers?

Just from what I can observe online and in the christian book stores, the christian games market is definitely not overcrowded. While the shelf space for christian computer games is certainly limited, there are some seriously outdated games that still have shelf space (at least here in Oklahoma City).

I know a lot depends on the individual product, but on average ... Is it worth investing a considerable amount for artwork, music, and promotion? How likely is it that I could get a decent return on that investment? Or is it better for a puzzle game to do the best I can as inexpensively as I can and be content to make a few bucks here and there?




Posts: 1828
From: Indiana
Registered: 10-11-2004
Hey Tireswing -- welcome to CCN!

That's very exciting that you have what sounds like a good Christian game in the works!

"I'm trying to find information about the sales potential for a well-made Christian puzzle game on the PC is."
The best two examples I can think of is Walls of Jericho and Secret Chamber, both made by Full Armor Studios.

I'm not entirely sure what's up with their homepage as it currently looks hijacked by Zango or something.

Still, those games have made it onto the shelves of Family Christian Stores, though I really have no ideas as far as the numbers that they've shipped.

As far as approachable publishers, I know that Digital Praise is a Christian publisher who is open to publishing 3rd party games (afaik, they did this with both Light Rangers and Solomon Says). I would also recommend that you contact Peter Churness of Rebel Planet Creations, as they have a distribution line set up from their recently-released Axys Adventures, and there might be a good pipeline there for you. And as you already mentioned, Tim Emmerich (of ChristianGamesNow fame) is a great person to talk to as well. If you are interested in secular publishers, I believe that GarageGames is open to considering distributing Christian-based games through their online portal (provided that they are good). Matt Langley has mentioned this in the past on these forums, though he'd be able to tell you more about it.

As far as advice on how to make money / what to expect, I don't have a lot of real experience -- it's too bad that you missed this year's CGDC, as it would have been a perfect place for you to network and get answers to a lot of your questions. Ah well, there's always next year.

Sorry for not giving any hard answers, but perhaps something I said was something you hadn't heard of before.

Again, welcome to CCN! We're very glad to have you here, and I'm quite interested in learning more about what you're developing!

In Christ,

[This message has been edited by HanClinto (edited August 09, 2007).]



Posts: 1335
From: Melbourne, FL USA
Registered: 11-09-2002
If it's a PC-based puzzle title I would recommend trying to get it available on a casual games portal. Talk to Brethren, they might be interested in adding it to their own games portal:

Others are Big Fish Games, NStorm, PlayFirst, Reflexive Arcade, Real Arcade Trymedia Systems, Pogo, PopCap Games, iWin, Yahoo! Games, MSN Games, etc.

See this:

Now for small titles if you're looking into retail distribution you're not likely to get a mainstream publisher. The most you could expect is a release in Christian bookstores, which unfortunately reach less than 1/5 the evangelical demographic. But talk to Digital Praise; they can handle the publishing end for you. Brethren published Light Rangers via Digital Praise for example. Ask for the Bean brothers.

Now it IS possible to get mainstream distribution through other channels into stores like Walmart, etc. BUT the amount of money involved is quite prohibitive. But they're at least more supportive of video games than christian bookstores, which tend to do zero marketing and hide the games in the rear of the store at the bottom of the software shelf.



Posts: 12
From: Oklahoma, USA
Registered: 03-26-2007
Guys, thanks for the great info!

@clint - Thanks for the info about Digital Praise and Rebel Planet. I'll try to get in touch with them once I'm a bit closer to a finished product to show. As for the CGDC, I am sorry I missed it. I checked out the calendar and it looked like an awesome schedule. But as you say, there's next year. As for my game, I'll try and upload some screenshots fairly soon.

@gump - Thanks for the info on the casual games portal scene. I hadn't been While I am striving to match the level of polish of the top casual games, the casual games market is very, very crowded. So, I hadn't really thought of pursuing the casual game portals, but I guess so long as its non-exclusive distribution, it couldn't hurt.