When I was 15 years old I wrote and sold VIC-20 games to Compute Magazine. It was that short period of time when you bought a magazine and typed the programs in. I was stuck in my room with the VIC-20 and I think I sold seven games to them total. If I remember correctly, there was only one game I submitted they did not buy.
I found some of the old letters from Compute Magazine and posted them below. As you can see, you could make about $1,000USD per game in the mid 80s. That was good money (I removed my full name from the documents).
I turned 16 and used the money to buy a new car. Suddenly, I was more into driving around with friends and getting loaded than writing more VIC-20 games or moving on to the C64. I did not own another personal computer for a decade until I got my crap together and was in university. I guess my new Commodore collection that I started at age 44 is filling in for those missed years.
The VIC-20 is still my favorite computer by far (I have my original machine thanks to my parents). I still remember all the memory locations and how to make code on it both in 6502 assembly and BASIC. If you locked me in a room today with a VIC-20, a pot of coffee and no documentation I could write a good game by supper time.