Our Business Developer, Richie de Wit, has created a helpful tool called: the Guesstimator for Steam. It aims to give game developers an understanding of the business proposition of creating a game. The tool is entirely free and made in Google Sheets.

How it works
The Guesstimator for Steam provides an estimation of the costs and possible revenue when creating a game. First, determine the budget for your project, including all fixed and variable costs. A more accurate budget will lead to a better grasp of the financial possibilities to earn back the initial investment.

Then, make a proper competitor analysis. The Guesstimator for Steam requires the review counts of comparable Steam titles that have been published after July 2018 in order to generate sales scenarios. For a realistic estimation, it’s advised to not use top-rated titles. Compare your game in terms of gameplay, genre, price, studio size, experience and level of execution. The tool also allows you to tweak price points, investment amounts, recoup percentages, partner percentages and more – to further show you how these parts influence your business proposition.

Not a prediction: but a guesstimation
With all the input submitted, the Guesstimator for Steam presents you with low, medium and high sale scenarios. Note that the Guesstimator for Steam is not a Totally Accurate Business Simulator. The numbers can be used as a starting point for discussion and to get a better understanding of your business case. Don’t make any business decisions based on this document.

The Guesstimator for Steam is created based on data and conclusions shared within the industry. Mainly inspired by the information shared by Jake Birkett on using Steam review counts to calculate sales numbers and the data from Danny Weinbaum on genre viability and trends on Steam. Feedback on this document has been provided by many from the game industry, special thanks to Chris Wulff (Those Awesome Guys) & Alastair Hebson (SUPERHOT).

The Guesstimator for Steam is entirely free and can be accessed on this page.