We are happy to announce that Q.U.B.E., the first Indie Fund-ed game to market, took only 4 days on Steam to generate enough revenue for Toxic Games to repay the full investment amount of $90k. As previously promised, we aim to be as transparent as possible with all our investment work, so we’d like to provide everyone with a brief recap of how things unfolded in this case.
Toxic originally pitched Q.U.B.E. to us in late August of 2010 with an estimated budget of $42k. We approved the game for funding about 2 months later.
Back then we had a two stage approval system. We would first vote on whether to continue investigating the project, and then collected budget and schedule information for a final vote the following month. Since we only have one call per month, the approval process took too long. We’ve since changed this to a single vote system where we vote whether to fund a game on the first partner call after they were submitted. That means a typical turnaround time of up to a month instead of up to 2 months.
With other games we were funding, we found that sending a developer a check every month to cover their expenses wasn’t working very well. It was a headache for us, and monthly build-based payments felt too publisher-y, and somewhat disrespectful to the developer. In short, it felt icky, so with Q.U.B.E. we decided to take a different approach and pay 50% of the total investment amount up front, and the other 50% when the first half was close to running out.
We sent the team their first payment of $21k in October 2010, and the second half (also $21k) was sent in January 2011. At that point it became clear that the game would run over budget, and it did, so we decided to provide Toxic two more payments totaling $47.5k. We are very happy that we were able to fully fund the game, as it was important to us, and to Toxic’s future as independent developers, that the team shipped the best game they could.
In the short time that it’s been available on Steam, Q.U.B.E. has sold over 12,000 copies. As such, Indie Fund recouped its investment in Q.U.B.E., and now we’re looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Toxic Games. Our goal is to help developers get and stay independent and it will take some time to see if we’ve achieved it. With the investment already paid off and discussions in progress about bringing Q.U.B.E beyond PC, we’re feeling pretty hopeful.
Our heartfelt congratulations to Toxic Games. We’re proud to have played a small role in what has already been a great success.