25 Jul, 2022
Partnership Article: we’re exploring how indie game developers can create additional income from their games, with our partner Legends of Learning.
Indie games have risen to become some of the most acclaimed and successful products of the video game industry, but making a solid income from producing an indie game can prove challenging.
Developers of indie games can never know how the game they’ve labored on is going to be received. In an environment of uncertainty like that, it can pay (quite literally) to have a stable and steady platform for what you create.
An up-and-coming avenue for this can be found in educational game platforms such as Legends of Learning, which is seeking indie game developers to create fun games that can help teach millions of students.
But the challenge in creating an indie educational game is ensuring that it hits the mark as an educational tool, while also being exciting to the player. Since educational games also need to appeal to teachers, it can be a tough balance to meet.
Why do indie game developers need the right platform for educational games?
Legends of Learning smooths out these hurdles thanks to its platform, which invites you to create educational indie games, brings them to educators, and gets you paid. What you, as a developer, have to do is what you already focus on the best – creating indie games.
What’s more, you get to own the IP for the game you make for Legends of Learning. You can publish your game on Steam, Apple Store, Google Play, Itch.io – wherever you like. You can even repurpose your existing games.
More than 500 studios from all across the world are already creating games for the platform and earning money – Legends of Learning has paid out millions to developers on the platform, and payouts are accelerating year after year. The games they create are being used by over 100,000 teachers across the United States to educate students of various grades.
What kind of educational indie games can be made?
Legends of Learning is quite serious about the quality of games on its platform. Upon submission of a game, technical and content feedback is made available to the developer within 10-14 days.
At the same time, developers maintain complete freedom on how to approach the topics they have chosen. Legends of Learning provides you all the educational content you’ll need to develop the game, so that you can focus on what you do best: designing the game itself.
Games made for the Legends of Learning platform hone in on specific learning objectives like “photosynthesis” and “history of planet earth”. You can create games in any genre that you think fits the topic best, or that you excel at (e.g. you can create a tower defense game to teach “Ecosystem Stability” or a match-3 style game to teach “Natural Selection”).
Furthermore, games developed with the Legends of Learning platform in mind are expected to be short, averaging at 10-15 minutes of game time. Their compact game time allows you to conserve your resources as a developer and develop the game quickly.
Legends of Learning is also conscious of the problems plaguing most mainstream educational games, and so encourages game design that integrates gameplay with the educational concept.
This means less games about playing to answer questions or unlocking textbook factoids, and more games that provide engrossing experiences, such as a photon trying to hit a chlorophyll.
How much money can indie game developers make with educational games?
According to Legends of Learning, a median new game can earn $8,000 to $13,000 annually. High-quality games in certain topics can take it even further, and the revenue goes up with every passing year.
It’s a particularly good revenue stream to have on the side, as the revenue from building a game for the Legends of Learning platform can then be put into funding your main indie game projects. This way, you build on both your studio’s experience and its finances.
And of course – you can sell the created game on other platforms yourself, promote it in your portfolio, and hone your craft.
Nathan Ting, Director of Business Development and Studio Sourcing at Legends of Learning, “It’s been especially rewarding to pay out millions of dollars to independent studios around the world for their incredibly creative ways of teaching. Teaching students through games is the future and indie devs can really benefit from this phenomenon. It’s great to see the marketplace responding to teacher and student feedback, and we are continually amazed by the game designs we see.”
How can indie game developers get started with educational games?
Interested in giving it a go? Check out this sheet for some of the best performing games on Legends of Learning and check out the games that are working well. You’ll also get a brief from Legends of Learning on the topic you choose, familiarizing you with the concepts you are required to teach through your game. Check out this one, for instance, about ‘Food and Animal Needs’.
So if you are an indie game developer, you can make money even apart from your main project. Get in touch with Legends of Learning as an indie game developer by filling out this form.
To learn more about Legends of Learning, check out the official website here. You’ll also find them on Twitter at @legendlearning. We’ll also be hosting a webinar with Legends of Learning on the 2nd of September at 3.00pm UTC, which you can register to attend here.