Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1375158 Posts in 65087 Topics- by 57341 Members - Latest Member: crass_sandwich

April 06, 2020, 05:27:24 PM

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsMASOCHISIA | The Long-Tail (Fall, Christmas & Lunar Sale Stats)
Pages: 1 ... 20 21 [22] 23 24 25
Print
Author Topic: MASOCHISIA | The Long-Tail (Fall, Christmas & Lunar Sale Stats)  (Read 46706 times)
oldblood
Level 9
****

...Not again.


View Profile
« Reply #420 on: October 16, 2015, 11:17:44 AM »

The guy in the video says that steam prevents you from revealing sales data!

Make sure not to tell Valve that I'm sharing my data then?

Saw you on Polygon! congrats on the release!

Thanks yeah! It seems the follow-up press releases seem to be leading to some traction. No "official" reviews but a few little blurbs.

Polygon posted a very positive video: http://www.polygon.com/2015/10/16/9549063/masochisia-gameplay-video-cheap-thrills

Rock Paper Shotgun wrote a very "meh" blurb: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015/10/16/masochisia-demo/

About 3-5 other smaller sites have all said they were checking it out. Kotaku also responded but I haven't seen anything from them.

The RPS blurb is a tad bit discouraging, primarily because Adam only seemed to play the first act of the game before writing the blurb. So while I get the game wasn't connecting with him (this game wont connect with everyone), the article comes off kinda negatively which is unfortunate since he only played a little bit of the game.

I'm not going to complain about coverage from a big site. I asked him to check it out, he did. But definitely feels a bit rough to see an article like that when you know he only played the first act of the game... I'm also a big RPS fan so that probably adds to the sting...

this might be completely ridiculously unreasonably out of scope, but if its possible i might even suggest an iPad/iOS port or something, as mobile is REALLY big on seasonal game showcases. apple loves to showcase that sort of stuff, and sites like touch arcade, pocket gamer and slide to play all give lots of coverage.

Its a good point. I've thought a lot about porting to iOS and Android (its Unity so not out of the question) but I don't know that the game has generated enough interest (e.g. sales) to make the effort worth the potential benefits. If the game was/is successful enough, definitely something to think about but for me- but if sales are on the lower end, I may be better served to move on to more commercial titles. Definitely something to think about though...
Logged

jamesprimate
Level 10
*****


wave emoji


View Profile WWW
« Reply #421 on: October 16, 2015, 12:28:29 PM »

up to you of course, i cant know how much effort a port will take for you, or whether it will be worth it in any way. but just for the sake of explaining my position:

at our level, sales and pr are largely a random walk, dependant on any number of variables outside our control. so the more chances to roll the dice the better! different platforms have different demographics, so tepid initial sales on one platform dont necessarily spell doom for the future ones, as they are in totally different ecosystems dependant on a million different things.

plus, releasing on different platforms gives media and people more chances to talk about it, and any new press creates a sales/press feedback loop with the other platforms. some big review comes out at the right time? boom. some lets player does a big thing on it? boom. some random celebrity decides to tweet about it? boom. some publisher becomes interested in horror games at the right time? boom. sad as it is, thats what the marketing metagame is all about: sparking viral events. a game being good just helps that be more likely. and from *my* perspective, once you've already sunk the lion's share of the work into making the game, giving it multiple opportunities to succeed is just good resource management.


as creative people, its extremely easy to be discouraged (or crushed!) by not being immediately validated, especially when its a very personal project such as this. but its important to take the long view on this stuff. now, literature might be a slightly different story, but the game is the same. take heart at the 80 rejections that this year's man booker prize winner had to suffer through:
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/oct/14/man-booker-prize-marlon-james-debut-novel-rejected-nearly-80-times

Or the hundreds of other extremely famous, fortune-making, era-defining books that were rejected, sometimes upwards of 200+ times, before finding the right circumstances to succeed: http://www.litrejections.com/best-sellers-initially-rejected/


now forgive me if my uninvited hype speech is annoying, and please feel no need to follow up on any of this what-so-ever, but long story short, if i were you i woudnt give up on masochisia quite so easily!
Logged

oldblood
Level 9
****

...Not again.


View Profile
« Reply #422 on: October 16, 2015, 08:27:39 PM »

@james: if this whole being a superstar indie developer thing doesn't pan out for you, you definitely have a future in marketing and distribution. That was a really good sales pitch.

I should at least do some tests. I think that while a lot of Masochisia's mechanics would transition really well into mobile (e.g. the movement etc) there are a few challenges with things like how dialogue heavy the game is and on a small screen I'd likely need to break up the dialogue into even smaller sizes with increased fonts so already long conversations could be mega-long etc. Also some concerns with Apple even letting the game on... I can get away with content on Steam that would probably not be Apply approved if they knew haha. That being said... I should probably at least look into it...
Logged

Greipur
Level 6
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #423 on: October 17, 2015, 01:46:58 AM »

I agree with jamesprimate, increase the "dice pool"!

I think we as indie devs are "taught" the way of extremes; either you make it or break it. In essence that's what I took away from Rami Ismail's new lecture

. Although an excellent talk towards people who haven't dipped their feet in the scene yet I think it feeds into the hyperbole that there's no inbetween. There is only a fail state and a victory state.

Making Crest the team and I have ridden the waves of "meh" since 2013 which is to me even more maddening than bein "validated" for failure. It's not a victory nor a failure. Just a limbo of uncertainties. I think that we should have this conversation more often that some of us just slog through for awhile until it gets better (or worse) and there's no quick way to success (apart from a few). Basically I think it boils down to subjectivity, what is a success? It all depends on where you "need" to be in the present imo, for example "I need to strike gold next month or I won't have any food on the table!". If that's not an issue you might succeed.

I saw the game Thea: The Awakening launch on Early Access the other day and it seems to be going well for them (for a start at least), but they failed miserably on their Kickstarter. I thought they were done for, but as jamesprimate said about platforms; not every platform will spell failure.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2015, 02:01:36 AM by Greipur » Logged

oldblood
Level 9
****

...Not again.


View Profile
« Reply #424 on: October 17, 2015, 08:42:55 AM »

DEVLOG 83.

So as promised... This is the sales data devlog. As Zizka already mentioned, technically speaking-- I'm not actually supposed to divulge information like this or show a lot of the data screenshots or graphs from Steam. And while I understand their need to keep data private from a business stand-point, I also feel its important to share with other developers (particularly ones who've never released a game on Steam).

I also think the fact that you're under NDA on Steam is used as an excuse amongst a lot of developers: "I would tell you about how good or bad my sales were, but oh- I can't sorry". And nothing wrong with developers who dont share sales data, but I think visibility into the failures as well as the successes (that we all read about) would help a of developers get a better understanding of the climate and challenges of releasing games on Steam in the current "indiepocalypse".

Hopefully if someone from Valve stumbles across this: Just trying to be helpful...

***

So with those disclaimers out of the way, let's dig in. So the game has been getting decent reviews from official sites and has a surprisingly high user review score of 96% (29 of 30 reviews positive).

This surprises me a lot. I really expected a much lower % (and it could and will likely dip in the future as more people buy it) but overall I'm really pleased with the reception. I thought the content and endings in particular would create much more mixed results than they have thus far. I think the generally positive feedback to the game is helping the game not landslide off the sales into oblivion after the first 48 hours of sales but I know the sales will continue to dip as time progresses.

So with those disclaimers out of the way, lets look at the daily sales breakdown (Friday October 9th - Friday October 16th):
     ● Friday (Launch Day): 149 copies
     ● Saturday: 75 copies
     ● Sunday: 57 copies
     ● Monday: 46 copies
     ● Tuesday: 46 copies
     ● Wednesday: 32 copies
     ● Thursday: 23 copies
     ● Friday: 33 copies
     ● Total: 461 copies

I included yesterday's data as well because the game was covered by both Polygon, Rockpaper Shotgun and The Horror Society (a large horror entertainment website). We did see the sales jump from 23 on Thursday to 33 yesterday and ironically this mornings sales are trending upwards too. Could be related to the coverage or could just be more people buying on the weekend? You decide.

Views from Friday to Friday

As you can see, I had around 14,000 visits on launch day and around 3,900 visits the day after (mostly stemming from the 1,000,000 home page impressions from Steam). The "Green Line" is clicks from those impressions and you can see those end after 2 days when we ran out of the guaranteed impressions and I've received around 1,500 - 2,000 views per day since. Curious where this will bottom out.

Interesting Note: Despite getting coverage from both Polygon & RPS yesterday, my daily views were actually down a small bit compared to the day before although my purchases were up. Take that for whatever its worth.

Overall the game has had just under 34,000 views during this time frame which is a 1.45% click through rate on the 2.34mm impressions. So my click through rate remains wells above the 0.34% click through rate global average. Of the 40,000 who visited the page, about 1.35% of them bought the game. I don't know the global average from Steam so I dont know if that statistic is good, bad or otherwise.

Interesting Note #2: 3,908 people have added the game to their Wishlist on Steam. Over that almost 4,000... 161 of them have bought the game. Which means over 3,700 people have expressed an interest in owning the game but havent bought it. Again, no baseline to compare to but likely a testament to how many people wait to buy games for when they're more deeply discounted in major holiday sales.

***

So is all this in-line with my expectations? Exceeding?

I'd be lying if I didn't say I hoped it would do better. Did I expect it to do better? No. But I hoped it would. If you reference Devlog 81 my actual expectations were: "This is probably a realistic scenario. Breaking even means the game needs to sell around 250-300 copies the first week and around 500-600 the first month."

Technically, I may break 500 copies today or tomorrow. So I'm already doing quite a bit better than my expectations. I will be participating in the Halloween Sale (for a small 15% discount) simply because having a horror game not on sale during Halloween when every other horror game will be on sale would be pretty dumb.

It will be interesting to see how the game does sales wise during the Halloween sale to wrap up October. I would assume the game could sell 100-200 copies during that sale but I'm not sure. It's hard to speculate cause I dont know how the game will sell during the next week or so leading up Halloween or if I'm high or low-balling what it will do on Halloween. It wont be a deep discount, so I doubt its gonna get a lot of the Wishlisters to jump in... But I'd speculate 750-1,000 copies in October may be possible? 1,000 is a stretch but I wouldn't say its out of the realm of possibility. But this is assuming sales dont flat-line in the upcoming week.

So it this life-changing sales?

No, I won't be quitting my deskjob.

I think if you're working on a more commercial game than Masochisia, and your game is getting good reception from users... I think you could probably crush these numbers. Its also worth noting we didn't get any press coverage for exactly a week after launch. If your game was getting a lot of coverage on launch week? I think this game could have sold really well it's first week and I think a more commercial game would have also sold really well.

Masochisia is (and always has been) niche'. So you need to take all these numbers with a grain of salt. That also being said, if your game isn't getting positive reception, I've seen games do dramatically worse than this in their first week, even if they were more "commercial". So as I said, take all this with a grain of salt. Every game is different but hopefully this helps shed some light behind the curtain of Steam.

If you have questions, let me know. Will do my best to answer questions.
Logged

Pehesse
Level 4
****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #425 on: October 17, 2015, 09:44:40 AM »

DEVLOG 83.


Can't stress enough how grateful I am that you decided to share this, and how much I agree with your reasoning for posting the data.

So thanks a lot, and good luck with the Halloween sale, then!
Logged

nnyei
Level 2
**



View Profile
« Reply #426 on: October 17, 2015, 11:55:58 AM »

Thank you for sharing your data! That was a really interesting read, and I'm glad the game's sales are exceeding your expectations. Sure, we all wish that our game will turn out to be the next hot thing, but rather than this starry-eyed pipe dream, you should look at what you actually accomplished. The 96% positive reviews on Steam only reinforce that, even if the game didn't sell millions of copies, almost everyone who played it enjoyed it. I think that's something you should take pride in considering how polarizing the game's subject matter is.

Here's to hoping that the Halloween Sale will make a notable splash in the sales figures. It's really good timing on your part that you managed to finish the game right before Halloween.
Logged
Vakey Rujevic
Level 1
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #427 on: October 17, 2015, 12:06:58 PM »

I want to thank you for sharing the data and congratulating you on releasing your first game and selling almost 500 copies on the first week! To me, that is awesome! Money is not the only way to measure success. You now have a finished game under your belt. That is huge! Your chances of success and getting attention for your next game will be much bigger.
Logged

Currently developing Life Of Sundura. Website | Devblog | Twitter | Tumblr
Zizka
Level 5
*****


Super Toaster X


View Profile
« Reply #428 on: October 17, 2015, 04:23:46 PM »

Quote from: nnyei
and I'm glad the game's sales are exceeding your expectations.

Quote from: oldblood
I'd be lying if I didn't say I hoped it would do better.

Just sayin'.  Undecided

EDIT for below: I guess they sort of are, yes.  Smiley

Thanks for sharing the data.

As far as helping you promote your game is concerned, what can we do? I haven't tweeted about your game yet seeing that I have 120 followers and felt like it would be a drop in the ocean. I'd be happy to though!

As I'm still new with Twitter, are there any #/@ I should go for to ensure maximum exposure?

« Last Edit: October 18, 2015, 03:37:13 AM by Zizka » Logged

nnyei
Level 2
**



View Profile
« Reply #429 on: October 17, 2015, 05:37:27 PM »

[author=nnyei]and I'm glad the game's sales are exceeding your expectations.

[author=oldblood]I'd be lying if I didn't say I hoped it would do better.

Quote
Just sayin'.  Undecided

I'm confused. Did I miss something?

Did I expect it to do better? No. But I hoped it would. If you reference Devlog 81 my actual expectations were: "This is probably a realistic scenario. Breaking even means the game needs to sell around 250-300 copies the first week and around 500-600 the first month."

Technically, I may break 500 copies today or tomorrow. So I'm already doing quite a bit better than my expectations.

(emphasis mine)
...Did I say something dumb without realizing it? Hoping for something and expecting something are two different things, arent't they? Sad?
Logged
fall_ark
Level 1
*



View Profile
« Reply #430 on: October 17, 2015, 08:58:18 PM »

That's not a bad number at all. Congrats! Niche also means those who do like the genre are more likely to try it out - there are  quite a few indie game sales number horror stories in recent years where the game simply fail to attract the press and in turn buyers. Like Airscape which sold around 150 copies in the first month despite having a few awards and some high-viewing LP videos, or Rotten Tater(of Fetus/Sutef fame)'s complete commercial failure of Thunder Gun.

With the review rating it's definitely going to attract more players in the long run, though how many of them will choose to buy at close to full price is a question remain to be seen.
Logged

Chinese localizer and influencer. Translated Dead Cells, Slay the Spire, The Count Lucanor, Katana Zero, Dicey Dungeons, and involved in the localization of Reigns, The Curious Expedition, Desktop Dungeons, etc.
If you have questions about Chinese loc and publishing etc., fin me at Twitter @SoM_loc
b∀ kkusa
Global Moderator
Level 10
******



View Profile
« Reply #431 on: October 17, 2015, 09:15:59 PM »

Niche also means those who do like the genre are more likely to try it out - there are  quite a few indie game sales number horror stories in recent years where the game simply fail to attract the press and in turn buyers. Like Airscape which sold around 150 copies in the first month despite having a few awards and some high-viewing LP videos, or Rotten Tater(of Fetus/Sutef fame)'s complete commercial failure of Thunder Gun.

those two games are way too below the quality and polisheness of Masochisia. At first look it's no wonder they failed commercially.
Logged
Franklin's Ghost
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #432 on: October 17, 2015, 11:09:45 PM »

Thanks for the great sales read, been interesting seeing how you approached all this and definitely helps other developers gain more insight into the whole process.

Think the sales numbers are good for such a niche game and I'm hoping the halloween sale will give it another boost.

Congrats again Smiley
Logged

and
Level 6
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #433 on: October 18, 2015, 02:09:07 AM »

Thanks for the breakdown Jon, it's really interesting reading. I think it's a good point that it's a niche title, so your expectations were at the level they were, but I have to commend you on doing an excellent job of setting people's expectations with both the trailer and the copy on the Steam page.

I think this is something that has played a big part on your massively positive reviews. People who bought the game got the game they wanted. I suspect (but really have no idea) that the high user ratings have resulted in it being more visible for longer, which could be what has led to your expectations being exceeded at this stage.

As for your hopes, there's still time. Long tails and sales can have a big impact.

Hitting the Halloween sale is definitely a good idea I think. I wonder, have you looked into what kind of discounts are most likely to get people to purchase or anything on that kind of data? I mean it might be that you'd earn more from a 10% or 20% discount (I have no idea at all though). Or could you try to get it in one of the flash sales if they do them? Where it's 33% off for 24 hours and then back to the normal discount or something? I know I say "I have no idea" a lot, but in this case I really don't. I'm just throwing out things that I'd be thinking of trying if I ever finished a game Wink


Logged

{VeTeR}
Level 0
***


The Dark Matter


View Profile WWW
« Reply #434 on: October 18, 2015, 01:16:23 PM »

Maybe a new video for hallowen to increase sales?
You can make interactive videos in youtube now (like one our guys did for Dying Light -

).
I feel that such trailer with your game's decisions and dark atmosphere would be awesome, and people will see exactly how the game works (I read that some people expected something different).

BTW. I played Masochisia to chapter 3 and I must say it's awesome Beer! - well designed, the dialogs and characters are interesting and creepy in the same time. I'm not used to narration and 2d games but I like it a lot. The real life distracts me from playing it so I will get back to it at night in dark with my headphones on.
Logged

Sunburned Games
Level 1
*


We are working on The Great Whale Road.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #435 on: October 19, 2015, 07:39:05 AM »

Hi Jon,

Timely reminder to buy my copy, and I will try it once I am back from IndieCade!

I still believe that your game can easily sell as much as for example Sunset. I saw the RPS review, while it was mixed it was positive enough to make people, who like horror and more experimental games, check it out. But we all know that it is far from commercial. Even if it doesn't sell amazingly well now, you should get a long tail when people play and recommend it once it has found its audience/niche.

I am convinced that there is commercial opportunity for indie games, if you stay clear of pixelart platformers or other saturated market segments. But I personally think that it needs to be 'entertainment' to sell. Sometimes art sells too, but that is a lot more uncertain.

Maybe there is a desk job waiting for me. Wink Good read btw.: https://medium.com/steam-spy/on-indiepocalypse-what-is-really-killing-indie-games-3da3c3a1ea76

Cheers,
Joachim
Logged

oldblood
Level 9
****

...Not again.


View Profile
« Reply #436 on: October 19, 2015, 09:04:45 AM »

As far as helping you promote your game is concerned, what can we do? I haven't tweeted about your game yet seeing that I have 120 followers and felt like it would be a drop in the ocean. I'd be happy to though!

As I'm still new with Twitter, are there any #/@ I should go for to ensure maximum exposure?

Thanks for the support Zizka. No need to worry about promoting it! Thanks for all the feedback and testing you've provided throughout the development.

Can't stress enough how grateful I am that you decided to share this, and how much I agree with your reasoning for posting the data.

Glad people are finding it useful!

Sure, we all wish that our game will turn out to be the next hot thing, but rather than this starry-eyed pipe dream, you should look at what you actually accomplished. The 96% positive reviews on Steam only reinforce that, even if the game didn't sell millions of copies, almost everyone who played it enjoyed it. I think that's something you should take pride in considering how polarizing the game's subject matter is.

That's a great summary and pretty much exactly how I feel. Like I said, I hoped it would somehow manage to go viral and sell a ton but I never expected it. Not with the subject matter. It's always rewarding just to finish a game but the fact its been well received (even if sales aren't life changing) its still pretty rewarding.

With the review rating it's definitely going to attract more players in the long run, though how many of them will choose to buy at close to full price is a question remain to be seen.

Yeah, that's definitely the interesting question at this point. Seeing what kind of impact sales have and if the better reception keeps a trickle of sales moving. I know all games bottom out, but curious how the games long-tail will perform.

Think the sales numbers are good for such a niche game and I'm hoping the halloween sale will give it another boost.

Thanks man, appreciate all the support. I think remembering how niche' the game is here is key. I think commercial titles with good receptions can definitely blow the numbers I'm getting out of the water even if the game isn't a top seller on Steam. It's just a huge market.

Hitting the Halloween sale is definitely a good idea I think. I wonder, have you looked into what kind of discounts are most likely to get people to purchase or anything on that kind of data? I mean it might be that you'd earn more from a 10% or 20% discount (I have no idea at all though). Or could you try to get it in one of the flash sales if they do them? Where it's 33% off for 24 hours and then back to the normal discount or something? I know I say "I have no idea" a lot, but in this case I really don't. I'm just throwing out things that I'd be thinking of trying if I ever finished a game Wink

Well I did a 10% launch discount. I don't really have a way of measuring if that added any sales or hurt the bottom line for launch week. I don't want to get too crazy with sales (simply because you're devaluing your work) and I especially don't want to do that too early and you piss off players who did buy it at full price.

I will likely tier the sales up gradually without getting too deep a discount this calendar year. 15% Halloween. 20% Fall and 25% Christmas. The game's already pretty cheap as-is. I know really aggressive discounts can lead to large sales so I'm not against bigger discounts, but I'd like to save those for other times in 2016. Could I make more money with deeper discounts at Christmas? Probably. Honestly, 50% off Christmas sale would likely make you more money than a 25% off Christmas sale but again- I just don't want to get too deep into that territory 2-3 months after release.

I also think waiting through the major steam sales will reiterate to people with it on their wishlist that waiting 2 months for a Christmas sale doesn't mean you get half price or better. So ideally it sets a precedent for the product and anyone waiting for a discount.

This is all purely conjecture at this point, but how I'm looking at sales. I've already shot down 2 bundle companies who reached out. I don't really want to think about bundles for a very long time, if ever.

Maybe a new video for hallowen to increase sales?
You can make interactive videos in youtube now (like one our guys did for Dying Light -

).

That would be a great idea but I'm not the best video editor. I had to hire someone for the last trailer and paying someone to make a new one means the odds of even breaking even are hard. If I was better at churning out quality trailers, would def be worth the time investment but sadly that's not an option.

I am convinced that there is commercial opportunity for indie games, if you stay clear of pixelart platformers or other saturated market segments. But I personally think that it needs to be 'entertainment' to sell. Sometimes art sells too, but that is a lot more uncertain.

Thanks for the support! I think that summarizes my take as well. I didn't think this game would ever even be for sale at launch, but the positive reception to the early demos gave me some hope. But you can read the first post of the devlog to see I set out to make this more as "art" than "game" so I'm definitely pleased with the results.

That being said... I think whatever I do next will be commercial haha. Making art games is creatively pretty liberating but it's really hard to make any money. As I said, I need to sell thousands of copies just to break even. Will be awhile before I'm "in the black" with Masochisia (and that's with sales exceeding my expectations).
Logged

Xonatron
Level 4
****


Be yourself.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #437 on: October 19, 2015, 12:42:40 PM »



I like these circle trees! I don't know why!

And thanks for sharing your sales.
Logged

Matthew Doucette, Xona Games
- devlogs: xona.com/tigsource
saluk
Level 2
**


View Profile
« Reply #438 on: October 24, 2015, 10:23:38 PM »

I've enjoyed your devlog since you started it, and am enjoying (is that an accurate descriptor of playing this game? probably not but I'll go with it) the game. Congratulations on taking this chance and getting to the finish line. I think the behind the scenes look at what the finish line actually looks like will be helpful to many.
Logged

Miziziziz
Level 2
**



View Profile WWW
« Reply #439 on: October 26, 2015, 03:05:56 PM »

Hey, I was wondering if you would mind sharing what exactly you did to get press coverage. Did you just send out press reports, or did you do other stuff like actually calling press places?
Logged

Pages: 1 ... 20 21 [22] 23 24 25
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic