He Went $63,000 In Debt To Make His Game

Illustration for article titled He Went $63,000 In Debt To Make His Game

Video game development can take a terrible toll on a person's mind, body, and soul. It can do even more damage to their bank account.


Gordon Midwood, a developer whose game Derrick the Deathfin was released on the PlayStation Network at just about the worst possible time to release a game, says he went £40,000 in debt to get it done. In U.S. money, that's around $63,000.


Some of that money came from personal loans and credit cards, and some of it came from Midwood's dad, the dev wrote on his blog a couple of weeks ago. As Midwood writes: "It's entirely possible, or indeed by the looks of things at the moment 100% probable, that sales will never amount to enough to pay back even a quarter of my personal debts."

In an e-mail, Midwood told me he couldn't share exact numbers, but development has cost "significantly more than has been made back so far." Even after making a deal with Sony to help get the game on PlayStation 3.

"Sony have been very supportive throughout the process of completing and promoting the game," Midwood said. "They loved the concept from the first time we pitched it to them and they have been to very easy to work with since then. The publishing and promoting is on our shoulders though, as we can't afford to pay anybody professional, ha!

"I'm not allowed to say exact numbers I don't think!" he wrote. "It might well be quite a bit under 5k, which I don't think I'm allowed to say either ;)"


So onwards and upwards. Debt or no debt, Midwood says he and Derrick co-creator Ron Zo are going to keep making games. "In fact, we are already scheming," he said. "We will always create!!!"

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Can someone tell me how indie devs spend so much money on making a game? It really is something I don't really get where the costs go into. I always figured for indie devs they just create the game as an afterwork hobby or whatever, much like what mod authors do. Or if they don't work, then their day to day expenses I guess you could count that but its not money directly towards the game.

what did the 63k go to for this game? salary for other people he had working on it? Is it a case that they have to buy certain skillsets, like sounds or assets, etc?