How to Get Rich Programming

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

Jeff Atwood explains How to Get Rich Programming by citing an interview with Paul Preese, the author of casual Flash game Desktop Tower Defense, who is making around $8,000 per month from his game:

So here’s a couple ways to a create successful game online:
  • Find an investor who’s crazy enough to give you millions of dollars
  • Put it on a distribution network and hope you get enough customers willing to buy it as a download
  • Make a Flash mini-game, let people play it for free, and watch the ad revenue pour in when the site gets 20 million pageviews a month.

That’s the option Paul Preece took with his phenomenally popular Desktop Tower Defense, and though he has no professional experience with game development, the Visual Basic programmer is now making, by his estimate, high four figures monthly for his ferociously viral little game.

DTD’s main revenue source is AdSense, but with its avalanche of popularity, advertisers have approached Preece directly, leading to “Affiliate deals, sponsorship, custom versions for other companies etc. The last two are in the pipeline but I thought I’d add them in at a low level.”

Preece’s main expense is running the server. “Hosting fees are negligible,” he says, “at $130 per month. But I am getting very close to the 1200GB bandwidth allocation!” That plus “the continuous supply of late night Red Bull” comprise the bulk of Desktop’s budget.

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