This news article is from Ukie partner IndieBI.
For game developers and publishers, the chore of collecting their most important sales and marketing metrics often feels like a special circle of hell. Aggregating fresh data from across a dozen relevant sales platforms can take hours of frustrating menial work. Analyzing that data to find good insights is so time consuming it’s borderline impossible for most people. All of this effort makes gamedevs across the board miss out on valuable business opportunities and leave meaningful amounts of revenue untapped. IndieBI makes this effort go away.
In a nutshell, IndieBI is a suite of clever business and sales data aggregation and analytics tools for PC, Console, and VR video games. It helps game developers and publishers collect, crunch, and deeply understand all of their sales, marketing numbers, and financial outcomes. All of this leads to smarter decisions and better planning. This means more games sold down the line, more stable studios full of happier gamedev people, and more games successfully released for all of us to enjoy.
We originally built IndieBI way back in 2018 as a homebrew tool to help us manage our sales at SUPERHOT - an independent PC/VR/Console games studio. With games shipped across a dozen major sales platforms, tracking our sales and making smart decisions was quickly becoming a huge challenge and a source of anxiety. We were starved for anything resembling modern business intelligence and there were exactly zero options available off-the-shelf that’d properly hit the spot for us. Efficient business management is a pretty hard problem - and admittedly not the most glamorous aspect of game development - so there really was nobody in the industry working to solve this.
So we went ahead and started solving it ourselves.
IndieBI automatically grabs all of the developers' freshest numbers from all of their most relevant distribution platforms, crunches them up, and displays them in neat interactive dashboards and advisory tools.
The insights IndieBI provided for us felt like a breath of fresh air. They quickly translated to very meaningful sales improvements for all of our games. Changes to our discounting strategy and regional pricing alone amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars of increased revenue, more than footing the bill for creating this early version of IndieBI for us.
Encouraged by this early success we started refining and sharing our tools with other friendly indie (and not so indie) studios in the industry. Traction and interest picked up quickly and for the last couple of years IndieBI has been steadily growing and developing with select partners in an invite-only beta. We’ve since tracked nearly $2B in sales across 1700+ titles from a growing community of over a hundred amazing partners, ranging in scale from underdog one-person indie studios all the way to hugely successful companies like Innersloth, Vertigo Games, and entire funds and publishers like Raw Fury and Kowloon Nights.
“IndieBI has been life changing for Kowloon Nights. We are funding self-publishing studios across the world, allowing them to directly collect revenue and sales data from the platforms themselves. Tracking 50+ games across 12+ platforms used to be a real challenge for us. Now, IndieBI provides us with a live dashboard showing how all of our titles are doing in real time.” - Alexis Garavaryan, CEO of Kowloon Nights and Kepler Interactive
Today we’re super happy to announce that we’ve just finished raising an industry-driven angel round of $3M USD. The funding will serve to propel IndieBI towards becoming a true industry standard - an independent and universal analytics and sales optimization platform for everyone building and publishing PC, Console and VR games. We’re gunning for a world where all game developers like us have easy access to best-in-class business tools, data-driven best practices, and advice - no matter if they’re just starting out with their first indie title, or if they’re already a publicly traded international games publisher. We’re extremely excited for the leaps towards that world that this new funding unlocks for us.
We’ve also taken great care to structure this round around our own games industry roots - building our investor circle strictly out of games studios, publishers, individual studio heads and founders with rock solid games industry backgrounds. With their support, we’re keeping IndieBI firmly grounded in the industry we’re serving. It’s always been a platform built by the games industry for the games industry, and we feel extremely privileged to announce that now it’s also 100% funded by the games industry!
As part of this round, we’ve secured the support of a powerhouse collective of games industry investors such as Olga and John Graham (Humble Bundle), Nate Mitchell (Mountaintop), Forest Willard (Innersloth), Cy Wise and Alex Schwartz (absurd:joy), Paweł Feldman, Chris Jurney, Matias Myllyrinne (Redhill), Anna Sweet & Nate Salpeter, Lindsey Rostal (Timberline), Brjann Sigurgeirsson (Thunderful Group), Alastair Hebson (SUPERHOT), Derek Bradley (A44), Tom Beardsmore (Coatsink), Richard Wu (Seed Studio), Raphael van Lierop (Hinterland), and Alexis Garavaryan (Kowloon Nights and Kepler Interactive). We’re also backed by the teams and founders of some of the companies already involved in our beta, including Innersloth (Among Us), Hinterland (The Long Dark), SUPERHOT, and Boneloaf (Gang Beasts).
“Information and advice on sales modelling and pricing from IndieBI has facilitated the scheduling of more frequent and aggressive sales and promotions, significantly increasing revenues for our studio.” - James Brown, CEO Boneloaf - creators of Gang Beasts
The individual support of our investors means a lot to us and the funds will allow IndieBI to continue growing rapidly. It reaffirms our commitment to providing a universal, industry-driven data intelligence platform for games studios and publishers the world over, and it gives us the credibility and resources we need to expand the team quickly. IndieBI’s is already 25 talented people strong, with more new positions opening all the time at jobs.indiebi.com.
The traction we’ve seen so far and the results we’ve seen our partners achieve are extremely motivating. There’s still a very long road ahead of us - and we expect no part of it to be easy! - but we’re feeling very inspired and proud of how far we’ve come so far. Without IndieBI, even basic facts like “how many games did we sell last week?” were deceptively hard to nail down for all but the most established games companies. If you were selling your games across all the major sales platforms (Steam, Xbox, PlayStation etc.), you’d routinely burn hours of error-prone, manual work just to collect all of your recent sales numbers in one place. And it got even harder if you wanted to reliably crunch those numbers and find actionable insights. Questions like “what was the actual impact of putting our games into Xbox Game Pass?” or “what discount % should we use for our next Steam Sale?” often took multiple days to answer or ended up answered with knee jerks and gut feelings.
IndieBI makes answering questions like these almost automatic. We’ve already seen the analysis and insights provided by the platform as far as triple the expected sales revenues for some of our partners and yield millions of dollars of upside for developers when negotiating deals with major platforms.
However, the PC/VR/Console games industry doesn’t really have any industry-standard business intelligence patterns for us to follow when building IndieBI. The industry is already half a century old and yet there are no other established off-the-shelf BI tools for indie studios and publishers like us. Mobile and free-to-play games have their AppAnnies and Sensor Towers, but nothing like that is available for premium PC, Console, and VR games. Nobody has yet created a single, easy to use tool that would provide understandable sales and marketing analysis across all platforms, highlighting opportunities, detecting anomalies, and suggesting actionable ways to improve your commercial performance.
IndieBI’s on the very forefront of that, ensuring there’s still a fair amount of trailblazing on the books for us. We’re hoping the momentum from this round and the enthusiasm of our early traction keeps propelling us forward, helping to grow our team (now hiring Data Science people and Engineers at jobs.indiebi.com!), and to reach more and more partners around the world (sign up to join the beta waiting list at indiebi.com!)
We’re looking forward to the work ahead and the meaningful, positive change we believe IndieBI will bring to our industry over the coming months and years.
IndieBI is headed by Tom Kaczmarczyk (co-founder of SUPERHOT) and Callum Underwood (founder of Robot Teddy), with Alexis Garavaryan (CEO of Kowloon Nights, and the recently announced Kepler Interactive) on the board as a key advisor. It’s built by a global team of engineers, designers, and analysts with headquarters in Łódź, Poland.