15 votes

Developer says their game started selling 400% better on Steam after releasing torrent

11 comments

  1. [2]
    Deimos
    (edited )
    Link
    This is kinda dismissive of me, but I think using "400%" in this story is misleading and makes it seem a lot more significant than it was. The game was in Early Access for 7 months and got 4...

    This is kinda dismissive of me, but I think using "400%" in this story is misleading and makes it seem a lot more significant than it was. The game was in Early Access for 7 months and got 4 reviews that whole time, so it hardly sold any copies. Steam Charts says the average number of people playing it is less than 2. Since coming out of EA this month, it's gotten 13 more reviews, and 9 of them explicitly mention buying it because of the torrent (or the articles about the torrent).

    We're not talking about a game that went from 100,000 to 500,000 sales here. It was probably something like getting 10 sales instead of 2. It's nice, but nobody would have been interested if the story was "Developer said their game sold 8 copies after releasing torrent".

    22 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Yeah, it's clear this was an attempt at marketing. The torrent release and articles like this one are effectively a publicity stunt. I don't blame them for trying -- after all, it has worked...

      Yeah, it's clear this was an attempt at marketing. The torrent release and articles like this one are effectively a publicity stunt. I don't blame them for trying -- after all, it has worked before.

      I think the real story isn't that their sales increased but what you pointed out: many games, even decent ones, go completely and utterly unnoticed. It used to be that launching on Steam was a near guarantee of success. Getting onto the platform meant your game had finally "made it." Now there's simply so much on the platform, with more added every day, that a game with no marketing is just another drop in the flood.

      10 votes
  2. [2]
    teaearlgraycold
    Link
    It seems to me that Steam would do well to provide developers with a "pay what you wish" system with a suggested price given this has worked so well.

    It seems to me that Steam would do well to provide developers with a "pay what you wish" system with a suggested price given this has worked so well.

    16 votes
    1. soctar
      Link Parent
      This reminds me of Bandcamp's "pay to own, play (generally) as much as you want" model -- I feel like it works because the ethos of the Bandcamp community is largely just "We want to support the...

      This reminds me of Bandcamp's "pay to own, play (generally) as much as you want" model -- I feel like it works because the ethos of the Bandcamp community is largely just "We want to support the creator".

      6 votes
  3. [2]
    Ellimist
    Link
    Gonna be a bit snarky here but it's almost like treating your intended customers like people instead of dollar signs might be more beneficial in the long run. I applaud this developers approach....

    Gonna be a bit snarky here but it's almost like treating your intended customers like people instead of dollar signs might be more beneficial in the long run.

    I applaud this developers approach. It's the first time I've heard of it myself but I'll likely check out the torrent and may even buy/donate just to show appreciation to the developer.

    6 votes
    1. Keegan
      Link Parent
      Also this helps avoid people buying keys on G2A and other sites like it, which afaik makes devs lose money and time, so it's just easier to give people a torrent.

      Also this helps avoid people buying keys on G2A and other sites like it, which afaik makes devs lose money and time, so it's just easier to give people a torrent.

      7 votes
  4. TheJorro
    (edited )
    Link
    There's always an uptick in sales when someone releases their games out on torrent. It worked great for Darkwood a year or two ago. It seems, at least for indie numbers, getting in with the...

    There's always an uptick in sales when someone releases their games out on torrent. It worked great for Darkwood a year or two ago. It seems, at least for indie numbers, getting in with the torrent crowd is a great way to generate bursts of sales. There are a good number of people out there who will buy any game that releases a torrent out of principle out there, check out the Steam reviews for this game right now.

    5 votes
  5. HoolaBoola
    Link
    That comment warned my too cold heart. I do wonder, though, whether putting your game freely available would continue to help boost sales this much if more developers did this. I bet it would be a...

    “There are many individuals in such positions, those who can’t afford to buy, but eager to support in other ways, be it word of mouth, sharing around social media or even a simple fan email sending their positive feedback and appreciations,” Bobokhidze continued.

    That comment warned my too cold heart.

    I do wonder, though, whether putting your game freely available would continue to help boost sales this much if more developers did this. I bet it would be a small boost, though not 400%. At least for most games.

    And that comments section is kinda cute about how positive it is. Are Polygon's comments always that constructive?

    4 votes
  6. [2]
    MimicSquid
    Link
    In the absence of a demo, how else are you supposed to try it out to see if you like it? I mean, I personally buy on steam and return it in 15 minutes if it doesn't click, and their return policy...

    In the absence of a demo, how else are you supposed to try it out to see if you like it?

    I mean, I personally buy on steam and return it in 15 minutes if it doesn't click, and their return policy is lenient enough that it works ok. If I didn't have that, streaming seems like a good backup.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        Yeah, 2 hours is the cutoff. For me, I feel like if the core loop doesn't grab me in the first half hour I'm not willing to slog through it in hopes of the experience improving further in. There...

        Yeah, 2 hours is the cutoff. For me, I feel like if the core loop doesn't grab me in the first half hour I'm not willing to slog through it in hopes of the experience improving further in. There are too many games and books and tv shows and movies and plays and events and everything else to bother grinding through something boring or un-fun.

        3 votes
  7. nothis
    Link
    I'm genuinely curious whether game piracy might be down because people just don't bother anymore? If you can't afford games, well, you can dedicate your time to one of a dozen F2P games all your...

    I'm genuinely curious whether game piracy might be down because people just don't bother anymore? If you can't afford games, well, you can dedicate your time to one of a dozen F2P games all your friends play.

    People who actually bother to torrent indie games must be a somewhat unique demographic.

    3 votes