Friday, 27 February 2015

February Update - My experiences with releasing on Steam and Greenlight

So it's been a busy and exciting past couple of weeks. Plazma Being went up on Steam on the 9th of February and Systematic Immunity went up on Greenlight on the 25th.

Wall of text time :P

I'll talk about Plazma Being first. Naturally I was over the moon to get the chance to publish the game on Steam (and I still am of course. I think it's bloody awesome!), and naturally I had some dreams and aspirations regarding sales figures and such. One can't help but read articles about other people's successes on Steam and think such thoughts as "well if I only sell half that many..." or "surely a few thousand sales should be possible...". But in the end I was a little bit disappointed by my figures. I put this down to a number of things (which could all be wrong, and are all my fault by the way).
First, I think I jumped the gun a bit (over-excitement) and released the game too fast. I was relying on the visibility of being on Steam to result in sales instead of putting more effort into contacting the press. Seeing as Steam has the "Popular New Releases" tab now instead of just "New Releases", you need to get them sales figures up fast to increase your time on the front page.
Second, the game has already been out for about two years and during that time I've sold about 10,000 copies (mostly through bundles). So many people who may have bought the game on Steam already owned it.
Third, there's a number of games coming out every day on Steam, so if you can't generate a bit of buzz yourself then your game will quite quickly fall through the cracks and disappear. As I said before I was relying on the visibility of simply being on Steam, which I now realise was a mistake.
All in all though, I'm still really happy about the whole thing. I feel it's quite an achievement to get my first game through Greenlight and I'm always happy when more people play/show an interest in the game :D


Ok on to Systematic Immunity. As I mentioned above I posted up the game on Steam Greenlight on the 25th of February. So far the response has been pretty good. I'm engaging in a bit more of a thorough email carpet bombing campaign of the press this time and in the first day there has been 3 news articles and one trailer post of the game. Not too shabby :) I put a bit more effort into trying to make a decent trailer as well and I'm quite happy with the result:

So what I found interesting was the difference between the view count on the first day between Plazma Being and Systematic Immunity. On the first day of my Plazma Being Greenlight campaign the game got about 2,300 views. On the first day of my Systematic Immunity campaign the game got about 600. That's just a bit over a quarter of the views. Whether that's down to a severe drop in Greenlight traffic or something to do with with my game logo being uninteresting I don't know. But I wonder how long Greenlight will last now with all the talk from Valve about moving in a different direction with it. It'll be exciting to see how it goes whatever happens.

Anyway, if you've made it this far I commend you. In fact I think you should reward yourself by going here and clicking "yes" ;)

And/or going here and purchasing yourself a quality piece of gaming entertainment.

All shameless plugs aside, thanks for reading as always and take it easy :)