Online Income Report #022 – February 2014

Each month I publish a fully transparent income report which documents my online earnings. These income reports exist to demonstrate my progress, share my experiences, and motivate others who want to make money online.

Check out my online income report for February 2014.

What I Did In February

I’ve been very productive this month having made progress on a variety of projects. Most of my work has been focused around writing and game development.

Pages Upon Pages

Since I’m pretty deep into Apple’s ecosystem, this month I decided to look into Pages by Apple. Pages is a word processor designed specifically for Mac with some nice cloud storage features that I wanted to take advantage of. After an hour of use I was glad I made the effort to try something new. I’m now designing the second edition of my book in Pages, which is coming along very nicely, and I’ve moved all of my Word documents into Page’s cloud storage solution.

During February I did a ridiculous amount of writing. I continued working on an upcoming blog post as well as the second edition of my book. I also devoted numerous hours to the game design document for my current major project Aeon Chapters (which I wrote a new development log entry for too). That’s in addition to my routine posts over at GameMaker Blog and the hundreds of emails and comments I reply to each month.

While I’m getting tired of typing so much, at the end of the day I really can’t complain. I can always work on video games to break up the monotony.

HTML5 Progressbuy-html5-games

I’ve been neglecting HTML5 over the past six months, opting instead to focus on developing my other income streams. During February, however, I’ve definitely reconnected with HTML5.

Last month I mentioned that I was designing a template project to use for my new HTML5 games. I’d planned to increase the resolution of the games, add new features like online highscores and social sharing, and finally add support for music and sound effects. With time and effort I managed to create a template project that I’m satisfied with. I’ll be able to use this template project as a base for all of my future HTML5 games.

I did make a change to my original design though. I determined that I would be alienating far too many players on low-end mobile devices if I increased the resolution of my games from 320×480 pixels to 640×960 pixels, so I won’t be supporting high resolution graphics after all. It will probably be a year or two until the market is ready for high resolution HTML5 mobile games.

This month I also performed some maintenance on a bunch of my HTML5 games, and I published three new HTML5 games: Blackjack (first to have audio), Cupcake Kerfuffle, and Pizza Whiz. I bought the exclusive rights to the Blackjack game (adding fully licensed sounds effects and a custom-made soundtrack myself) and the other two games are from my HTML5 partners.

Final Office Updates

Following in line with my recent income reports, I’ve continued to upgrade my home office. I’ve exiled my Windows 8 PC to the living room and replaced it with a second Thunderbolt Display. I’d still like to add a 4K display to my setup but my Macbook Air simply can’t power three external displays in addition to itself. I also decided to splash out on a nice ergonomic office chair.

These should be the last of my office updates for a while now.

home-office-setup

Platform Overview

Here’s a quick look at how my online platform performed during February 2014.

Games

The games I publish were played 754,422 times (11,651,138 total) and 72,252 ads were displayed in sessions I hosted.

This month I saw a large spike in plays, but served less ad impressions overall. I’m currently working on including ads in more of my HTML5 games.

Websites

My websites were viewed 180,424 times (4,569,015 total) by 99,424 visitors.

Thanks to a GameMaker Studio promotion, traffic to my other site GameMaker Blog increased significantly, while this site (which I recently rebranded to simply ‘True Valhalla’) saw an increased number of visitors but slightly less page views overall.

Subscribers

icon-upgrade

I have a total of 17,000 subscribers across various platforms, up 2,687 from last month.

Twitter – 7,820 (+1898)
Facebook – 6,826 (+276)
Google Plus – 34
Mailing lists – 2,100 (+529)
RSS – 220 (-16)

Following the pattern of strong growth this month, my total number of subscribers also saw a sizable improvement. The growth of my Facebook pages and mailing lists was primarily driven by GameMaker Blog. Twitter growth was supported by major changes made to my social media strategy and continued efforts to develop my platform.

Online Income Report

February’s revenue was fairly average, nothing too crazy. A solid income for a solid month of work.

Crunching The Numbers

online-income-report-february-2014

During February 2014 I earned a total of $2,914 solely online, down $819 from last month.

I know that compared to months like December when I made over $14,000 online these numbers might seem low, but making $3,000 online in a month is still impressive to me. It’s certainly enough for me to live on and I’m completely satisfied with how February turned out.

I’ll discuss some of my income streams below.

Mobility Engine Sales

This month Mobility Engine sales dropped slightly but were still quite strong. I’ve temporarily removed the banner ads for this product from my websites so I expect to see less sales next month.

Book Sales

Sales of my book Making Money With HTML5 were also strong. I’m now using Social Locker on the sales page to offer buyers a 10% discount when they go to check out if they share the page on social media (20+ buyers have taken advantage of the offer already.)

If you’re interested in making HTML5 games this year, why not pick up a copy of my book? There is still a lot of money to be made in this market.

HTML5 Sponsorships

After missing out on the number one spot last month, licensing HTML5 games to publishers has regained the title of being my best source of income. The HTML5 games market is in an interesting state of affairs right now due to the high number of developers overwhelming a limited number of publishers. This is forcing standards higher and filtering out less capable developers, meaning the entry barrier is on the rise.

What’s Next?icon-office

During March I plan to finish the huge blog post that I’ve been working on these past couple of months. I don’t think I’ll be ready to publish the second edition of Making Money With HTML5 yet, but I will continue working on it. I plan to create a mailing list for buyers so I can deliver the update soon. The update will be delivered free of charge to all buyers.

I’ll also be working on new HTML5 games and I’ll probably be updating some of my older ones too. So it looks like I’ve got another month of writing and game development lined up!

Thank you for reading!

Matthew

  • Really awesome. Just found your blog. I will start learning from your experience.

  • Pakistan says:

    Hey matt, I’m quiet impressed by your earning and your age 21. Can you tell me how old were you when you decided to start making HMTL5 games? Where does your game traffic come from? For example, if I make a killer HTML5 game and host it on my own private domain, how on this world would it ever get millions of plays like you game does? AFAIK, you games aren’t even up on popular gaming site e.g. Kongregate, Miniclip, etc. Last question, why aren’t you publishing your games on IOS, Android? People can easily rip you off.

    • Matthew says:

      I started doing this full time when I was 19, which was just over 2 years ago.

      Not all of the game traffic is on my websites. If you check out my income report from May 2014 (or later) you’ll see I mention most of the plays being counted are from my clients. At the time of writing, I’m getting about 100k visitors per month to games hosted on just this website.

      I’m not publishing on iOS/Android yet because so far I’ve only published very simple games that won’t make any money on the App Store or Google Play. If someone published one of my games there I’d just report it and they’d probably have their account banned for copyright infringement.

      I hope this answers your questions. Thanks for reading!

      • PAKISTAN says:

        Hey again. I did read you report till the end. You said you get a million views, while only 10 percent of those are played on your website. Do the client just host your games on their website and share the ad revenue?

        • Matthew says:

          The ad revenue only comes from sessions hosted on my site.

          • Pakistan says:

            So the client just redirect the traffic to your website?

  • Shreedhar says:

    Mathew,
    Well when I see simple games blast through the top and people simply do waste lot of money to make games, investing in highend graphics and all stuff like that.
    You are a true inspiration to us really.
    One thing I wanted to ask you, do we really need to focus out on sponsorships rather than ad revenue in HTML5 games??.

    • Matthew says:

      Sorry I missed your comment. I don’t know if you’re still interested in my answer, but I know you can definitely earn a lot just through ad revenue. But personally, I find sponsorships a much better option. It comes down to personal preference.

  • Ruub says:

    Aye!

    where is that blog post mate!

    • Matthew says:

      Didn’t manage to finish it this month unfortunately. Looks like it will be tied in with my book’s update mid-April.

  • Daniel says:

    From what i see it looks that slowly due too high competition html5 games market will not be as good as I thought. Your revenues form book are almost like from game licensing. Also revenue from ads is not that great. Still good money if to combine but as you said with such limited game websites interested to buy games companies would have to find other options. There is no way to be so much games in the market to be beneficial for all.

    • Matthew says:

      Just two reports ago I made ~$14000 from HTML5 sources alone. The report before that was ~$12000 from HTML5.

      Of course I will have comparably “low” months like January and February, but the market is clearly still alive and strong.

      • Daniel says:

        Yes completly true And I agree. I think more new games are required. I just was a bit worried because i started to make games too. I have a question to clarify, you wrote that games were viewed 700k times. Those are numbers including websites that bought your licenses? I ask cause Ads view count is low.
        Thank You

        • Matthew says:

          Yes, the play count includes sessions that I’m not hosting myself. I don’t like to rely on advertising revenue so I don’t heavily focus on it.

  • Walt @ Found Success says:

    Great month imo, not as good as last one, but really nothing to complain about here.

  • Doug Cox says:

    I have to say, I like the way you break everything down. Most people would never give out this information.

  • Nice income report again this month Matthew :D $3000 is still very very impressive for making money online :D I’m looking forward to ready the Aeon Chapters update too! :P I played Cupcake Kerfuffly, and it’s very interesting :P got me addicted for a while before I had to force myself to stop playing XD haha anyways, well done and keep it up Matthew :D looking forward to next month’s report as always! :D

  • postepenno says:

    Thanks, Matthew, for another interesting report!
    Btw, in your opinion what HTML5 game market will look like in one year?

    • Matthew says:

      Thanks for commenting!

      It’s hard to say what the HTML5 game market will look like in a year, but as long as there is enough sustained interest from publishers the market should still be going strong.

      I’ve seen a few major publishers stop buying games recently but I’m not too worried. As long as you build quality content you’ll be able to make money.

      • Dclor says:

        I personally believe HTML5 is the future. I am a User Interface/Experience designer by trade and I can tell you that a lot of stuffs are moving to HTML5.
        In case of Gaming, well I don’t know much about it but, I think HTML5 games are surely the future. They don’t need any specific platform to run on, they are small in size than other games, so why not HTML5?

        • hearbeast says:

          I agree. More and more developers are moving towards HTML5 because it makes cross platform development easy.