He Went $63,000 In Debt To Make His Game

He Went $63,000 In Debt To Make His Game

Video game development can take a terrible toll on a person’s mind, body and soul. It can do even more damage to their bank account. Gordon Midwood, a developer whose game Derrick the Deathfin was released on the PlayStation Network at just about the worst possible time to release a game, says he went £40,000 ($63,000) in debt to get it done.

Some of that money came from personal loans and credit cards, and some of it came from Midwood’s dad, the dev wrote on his blog a couple of weeks ago. As Midwood writes: “It’s entirely possible, or indeed by the looks of things at the moment 100 per cent probable, that sales will never amount to enough to pay back even a quarter of my personal debts.”

In an email, Midwood told me he couldn’t share exact numbers, but development has cost “significantly more than has been made back so far”. Even after making a deal with Sony to help get the game on PlayStation 3.

“Sony have been very supportive throughout the process of completing and promoting the game,” Midwood said. “They loved the concept from the first time we pitched it to them and they have been to very easy to work with since then. The publishing and promoting is on our shoulders though, as we can’t afford to pay anybody professional, ha!

“I’m not allowed to say exact numbers I don’t think!” he wrote. “It might well be quite a bit under 5k, which I don’t think I’m allowed to say either ;)”

So onwards and upwards. Debt or no debt, Midwood says he and Derrick co-creator Ron Zo are going to keep making games. “In fact, we are already scheming,” he said. “We will always create!!!”


  • I wish them all the best. I know from experience it’s a terrible position to be in. Hopefully with some fresh exposure and a little luck they can at least recoup capital.

  • I don’t think this is available on Australian PSN, cost too much for certification? I’ll have to look out for it on my US account and support the little guy.

  • What a silly thing to do. Seriously. I am all for supporting indie development but if you are that stupid to take out high interest loans on CC etc How good could your game be?

    • being a great manager of finances or business is not synonymous to being a good game designer.

      His game could be fantastic but that wouldn’t stop him from ending up in the poor state of business he’s in.

    • I think you’re missing the part where he put himself into debt because he believed in what he was doing strongly enough to keep going forward despite knowing the risks. If no one ever put themselves on the line for the sake of their art, this world would be poorer for it.

  • personally i think this would have been better off on PC on steam or something and then down the line in an indie bundle.

  • Ehh, tbh, the game doesn’t look that appealing to me and aparently a lot of other gamers thought that too. At $15, you’re asking a lot. Drop it to $8.99 or something and you’ll see a better response… but as it is, I don’t see myself paying $15 for this anytime soon.

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