5 Game Developer Success Stories [2024]

Updated: November 19th, 2023
Become A Game Developer

Are you passionate about video games and want to turn your hobby into a career? Have you always dreamed of creating your own game and seeing it come to life on the market? If so, then becoming a game developer may be the perfect business opportunity for you.

As a game developer, your job will involve creating, designing, and coding video games from start to finish. This includes coming up with ideas for new games, creating prototypes and mockups, coding the game using programming languages like C++ or Java, and testing and debugging the game to ensure it is functioning properly.

To start and run a successful game development business, you will need a few key things:

A strong foundation in programming and computer science. While you don't need to be an expert programmer, having a strong understanding of programming languages and computer systems will be essential to creating and coding your games.

Creativity and a knack for storytelling. Game development is about more than just coding - it's also about coming up with engaging and immersive storylines that will keep players coming back for more.

Marketing and business skills. Once your game is complete, you'll need to market it and get it in front of potential customers. This will require a strong understanding of social media, digital marketing, and business strategy.

A team of skilled professionals. Depending on the size of your business, you may need to hire a team of developers, artists, and other professionals to help bring your game to life.

With these skills and resources, you can start and run a successful game development business and turn your passion for gaming into a lucrative career.

Here are some real life success stories of starting a game developer:

1. Scirra Ltd ($1.2M/year)

Thomas and Ashley Gullen, founders of Construct 3, were passionate about computer games from a young age. Ashley's struggles to build his dream game led him to develop a general-purpose game engine called Construct Classic. They launched Construct 2 as a commercial product, focusing on HTML5, which proved to be a successful gamble. They now generate around $100k per month in revenue and have learned important lessons about running a business and listening to customer feedback.

How much they make: $1.2M/year
How much did it cost to start: $1K
Current team size: 3

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We Created A $100K/Month No-Code Tool For Video Game Developers

Construct 3, a browser-based game engine that allows anyone to create games without coding, has grown from a pay-once model to generating $100k per month in revenue through a subscription-based system, after launching with the help of early-adopter customers and a focus on organic growth, customer feedback, and white-hat SEO.

About
Thomas started Scirra Ltd almost 13 years ago
Revenue
Thomas grew the business to $100K/month
Costs
It cost Thomas $1000 to start the business
Read by 9,403 founders

2. YOU DON'T KNOW MY LIFE ($30K/year)

Dennis Hensley, a former entertainment journalist, came up with the idea for You Don't Know My Life! while hosting Virtual Game Nights during the pandemic. The game, which combines elements of Cards Against Humanity and personal storytelling, quickly gained popularity and now brings in about $2,500 a month in revenue.

How much they make: $30K/year
How much did it cost to start: $12K
Current team size: 0

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How We Make $2.5K/Month Hosting Virtual Game Nights For Companies

Dennis Hensley's co-created You Don't Know My Life, a boxed party game, and host virtual game nights via Zoom, bringing in about $2,500 a month in revenue as well as being featured in The Star, Parade, and The New York Times reviews.

About
Dennis started YOU DON'T KNOW MY LIFE over 5 years ago
Revenue
Dennis grew the business to $2.5K/month
Costs
It cost Dennis $12000 to start the business
Read by 2,320 founders

So... can you actually make money with a game developer?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

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3. Dilly Dally Games ($198K/year)

The game development started as a project for Christian's masters degree in computer science, and was going to sell software licenses on eBay and ship the game via CD.

How much they make: $198K/year
How much did it cost to start: $500
Current team size: 0

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How I Started An Online Gaming Company And A Free Arcade Game That Generates $16K/Month

Dilly Dally Games, run by solopreneur Christian Tuskes, has over 10k daily active users and earns between $16-17k per month from ad revenue due to its unique appeal to a demographic underserved in the gaming industry, as well as its focus on long playing times.

About
Christian started Dilly Dally Games over 16 years ago
Revenue
Christian grew the business to $16.5K/month
Costs
It cost Christian $500 to start the business
Read by 1,191 founders