I don’t think I can add much to the conversation that hasn’t already been said in a better way.
But one thing I’ve noticed in my research that holds back many indie devs (and small businesses of all sorts) is their aversion towards corporate tactics as well as a common generalization that all business is greedy and evil, which makes lots of small business entrepreneurs either give up due to to moral reasons, or suffer a serious disadvantage becuas they aren’t willing to go the same lengths as the competition when it comes to their business strategy, and especially marketing.
If you have a game that’s fun, then all you need to do is pay to market it to the right people - and if it’s as good as you believe, then eventually it’ll catch on. But that could also require more marketing expenses than you could ever afford, or maybe the game idea isn’t quite as fun as you think, or you aimed it at the wrong audience. Or maybe you did all that wrong and think your game sucks, but some random foreign audience might miraculously love your game and it still becomes a success.
So as it has been mentioned, theres definitely way too many variables at hand, and Its probably a detriment to your success to try and base your strategy based on what has worked for others.
Although ive definitely taken my time to study the websites, steam store pages, and funding campaigns for other games that have been successful to look for any correlations. But the only correlation is that these games look cool and seem to have a player base that think they’re fun.
My theory, personally, is that if you’re having fun with it and as long as you’re willing to build your game whether you’re making a profit or not… Then one day it is bound to be fun enough that atleast a small community of people will catch on and appreciate that there is a dedicated dev behind a fun game