Dead Pixels: Sales, zombies killed and other fun numbers.


I’ve been putting off writing this post for a few weeks.  Not because I don’t want to reveal numbers, but because I hate writing.  I’m dyslexic and it means it often takes me a very long time to write something that others will put together in a couple hours.  The reason I’m making this post is that 2 years ago I would have killed to see sales numbers for a Steam game.  So think of this post as me giving back.  I already done a postmortem on Dead Pixels after the Xblig release, so this post is more about numbers and less about what went right and wrong with the game.

For those that have never heard of Dead Pixels, you can see screenshots, videos, reviews and info about the game at the official site

And heres a quick time-line of events.

February 2011 Dead Pixels development started.
September 2011 Dead Pixels released on Xbox live Indie Games for 80MSSP ($1).
January 2012 Free DLC update released.
May 2012 Dead Pixels released for PC ($3) and included in the Indie Royale bundle.(Pay what you want)
December 2012 Dead Pixels released on Steam($3).

Part I

Sales Numbers

What Most people are here for.

At the time of writing Dead Pixels has sold in total just over 150,000 copies.  A breakdown of that looks like this:

Sales Pie


So it’s about

  • 19,000 sales through the Indie Royale
  • 54,000 sales on Steam
  • 76,000 sales on Xblig
  • 1000 sales elsewhere.

Now no doubt someone somewhere is screaming “WTF! Why is Steam not the biggest chunk of this delicious pie chart!  Why is Xblig the biggest? No games sell on xblig!!!!! It’s dead there and full of massager apps and Minecraft clones!”

Well there are few reasons for this. Primarily the xblig version had a 14 month head start.

“But Cuthulu Saves The world got more sales in 3 days of Steam than it in total Xblig!!!!” I hear someone cry.  The actual quote by Robert Boyd of Zeboyd Studios is:

“We are pleased to announce that Zeboyd Games has already made more revenue in less than a week on Steam than we have in over a year and a half on the XBox Live Indie Games service.”

A lot of people have misread this to mean Steam gets you automatic success, and that Xblig makes you no money.  It’s a bit of a disservice to Zeboyd Games to think that.  The reason they done well, is that they made a good game that people enjoy.  Their success wasn’t just because they had a game on Steam. There are some games out there that fail on Steam, and people need to realise that Zeboyd Games are probably above average when it comes to their sales compared with other indie games.

Getting back to Dead Pixels, a big difference between the Xblig and Steam version was the price. The Xblig version was 80MSP ($1) and the Steam version was $3.  So while Steam has not sold as many copies of Dead Pixels, if I remove the “Indie Royale” and “Other” sections from the pie chart, and then make it based on an estimation of revenue instead of sales numbers it looks more like this.

Money Pie

So while 3 months of Steam sales has not overtaken 17 months of xblig sales, revenue from Steam has.

So no doubt people are curious about how long it will take for Steam to over take Xblig sales numbers.  After a lot of work in spreadsheets and formulas I have predicted it will take days.

Yes, thats right infinite days.  As in not happening.

Throughout the whole of 2012 Dead Pixels sales averaged at about 100 sales a day on Xblig.  This has actually gone up in 2013, and at the time of writing Steam and Xblig are getting about the same number of sales per week.  So unless xblig has a dip in sales, or Steam has a spike in sales, things wont change in Steams favor.


Part II

Gameplay Numbers

The numbers only I care about.

When the Steam version of Dead Pixels was coded, it was made to store certain stats and upload them to steam.  This was done both for me to view, and for the achievements.  The following numbers are based on around 56,000 Steam players.

The achievement most players have unlocked is the “Bloodbath” achievement for getting the kill combo to 40 kills.  39.8% of players have this unlocked.

The least unlocked achievement is “If you’ve got the cash”. To get this players have to spend $1,000,000 in the traders.  Only 0.6% of players have this unlocked.

And lastly according to the achievements only 24.9% of players have finished the game on any difficulty.

 Some stats collected by the game.

Total number of zombies killed 64,004,296
New Games Started 155,339
Games finished 19,452
Coop games started 29,146
Coop games finished 1956
Gameovers 223,422
Survival mode highscores 10,409
Survival mode coop highscores 1633
Time attack highscores 1993
Time attack coop highscores 176

Part III

Social networking numbers

The numbers no one cares about.

As I’m posting numbers, I thought I would do a quick run down of social networking stats.


The twitter account is not a good source of data.  There was a time when I followed everyone that followed me, and it lead to me removing 1800 people that I was following to make it usable again.  This meant there was a drop in my followers from spam accounts unfollowing me (Good riddance!)

  • Account Name: @CSR_Studios
  • Account created: 9 February 2011
  • Following: 129
  • Tweets: 5544
  • Followers at Xblig launch: Around 500-800
  • Followers at Steam launch: Around 1400
  • Current followers: 1602

More and more I feel like my twitter account is mostly followed by spam bots with only a small percentage of fans and fellow devs.  It’s sad but I’ve learnt that the number of followers doesn’t mean much 90% of the time.


I have 2 facebook pages.  One for CSR-Studios which is advertised on the main site, and one for Dead Pixels which is advertised in game (With a clickable link in the PC version) and on the Dead Pixels site.

  • Page name: DeadPixelsTheGame
  • Date Created: September 20, 2011
  • Likes at Xblig launch: 0
  • Likes at Steam launch: Around 1300
  • Current likes 2522
  • Male/female percentage: 93.7% male 6% Female
  • Biggest demographic: Male aged 18-24 (37.8%)

There was a slight f♥♥k up on my behalf when it came to the Facebook page and the Steam launch. For the first 3 days the in-game link took players to this website instead of the Facebook page.  So while the jump of 1200 likes in 3 months is great, it could should have been higher.

For those wondering, the Facebook page is defiantly a better way to communicate with my fans than the twitter account and has a higher percentage of people that are interested in Dead Pixels following it.

  • Page name: Csr-StudiosUK
  • Date Created October 31, 2011
  • Likes at Xblig launch: 0
  • Likes at Steam launch: Around 40
  • Current likes 132
  • Male/female percentage:: 96% male 3.7% Female
  • Biggest demographic: Male aged 18-24 (31%)


Hopefully some of this information has been useful to you.  If there is some piece of data that a lot of people want, that I can provide, I’ll update this post.

If someone reminds me a year from now, I’ll do a follow up post to see how much things have changed.

Zombie silhouette by Akira