I view this as more of a math question than an opinion question.
Assuming a $5 pricepoint and the .175 gross cut, an author needs for their story to sell about 11,500 units in the first year to earn $10,062.50 for those vital first 12 months. I think most people would view these sorts of results as successful, especially for a HG, but perhaps even for a CoG?
But really this understates how many units need to be sold, because a large percentage of sales happen in launch week, and usually the product’s price is slashed up to 40% that week, so using my back-of-the-napkin math, let’s say you actually need to sell 15,000 units that first year, not 11,500, to earn that $10,062.50.
Again, congratulations! That’s quite a solid launch!
But you’ve only earned $10K USD gross, and that’s not enough to survive. So do that three times (in a calendar year!) and you’re up to $30K! Depending on your cost of living, whether you have a partner and/or dependents, that may or may not be enough to support you for the year.
Most people just aren’t going to be able to crank out three high-quality releases in a year, much less get them all through the publishing queue, in a single year, even if they are working 40 hours per week doing it. So does that mean it’s not doable?
Well, not in a year it’s not, but if you slowly build it might be. For example, if you build up your library (maybe cranking out a story a year? that’s still a fast pace for most) while you’re still working a day job, and get to the point where you’re earning steady monthly royalties on stuff you’ve already written, then yes, then you could probably make a go of it as a long-term proposition by picking up your pace and adding to your library more frequently.
But all of your projects will need to be at least moderate ‘hits’ and you’ll likely need to be writing in popular genres to accomplish that. Also, if you’re submitting as a HG writer, you’ll have at least minimal expenses set off against your earnings (mostly artwork, but some people have paid for editing too).
Also remember, one last thing, other than writing a story in a popular genre with a compelling plot, strong prose, meaningful choices, and satisfying endings (no small feat), you have VERY little control over how things go saleswise after your game is published. Profit margins are so small it doesn’t make sense to advertise with your own $ like indie authors do on Amazon. There aren’t really any special promotions (like BookBub) that you can use. All new IOS HGs and CoGs are launched through the Omnibus app, and I have no clue if there’s any way for any author to give their products “a bump” in that app (I don’t think there is). So in these respects, it’s MUCH different than the indie book word where authors can tweak pricepoints, do ads, do promotions, etc after launch to try to bump sales.
(BUT the good news is that your expenses submitting a project will either be non-existent or minimal, and that most all of your earnings will be profit!)