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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsMASOCHISIA | The Long-Tail (Fall, Christmas & Lunar Sale Stats)
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Author Topic: MASOCHISIA | The Long-Tail (Fall, Christmas & Lunar Sale Stats)  (Read 45113 times)
oldblood
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« Reply #480 on: February 13, 2016, 09:41:50 AM »

DEVLOG 86.

I know. I know.

I said 85 was the final devlog but I wanted to create a follow-up post to talk a bit about the long-tail after release and the various sales that occur on Steam and some of the results I've had from them. Hopefully you guys will find this data useful and hopefully it will help encourage those of you who release games that don't exactly rock the sales charts on release...

Thus far, I've participated in 3 sales since the game was released a little over 4 months ago. 3 sales is more than I expected and is pretty high for a 4 month old game, but a lot of this has to do with the game releasing in October with two of the largest annual sales (Fall & Christmas) following its release in November & December. There's certainly a fine line in not devaluing your work too quickly and I understand that some developers refuse to participate in these sales, but-- in my humble opinion: gamers have evolved on Steam.

The advent of Wishlists and regular/periodic sales means that while a lot of gamers do buy games at full price, dramatically more are willing to wait for sales (sometimes very deep sales depending on how low their interest levels are). Leveraging people who support the game at launch and then creating a long-tail of revenue spikes via sales can be a great way to fund your ongoing development costs.

Is it the right way to handle things? I don't know. But its how I do it...

***

FALL SALE: This was the first real sale I participated in with the game marked at 25% off. The sale lasted one week but didn't generate a lot of interest. It sold around 135 copies over the course of the week and 57.04% of buyers were wishlisters.

It's possible this sales low numbers directly correlate to the fact that Christmas sales were fast approaching and people know that this is the largest sale of the year.

CHRISTMAS SALE: I bumped the sale to 40% off. I was skeptical about doing this but 40% provided two things: it dropped the game to $4.79 from $7.99 (which means I was now listed in the "Under $5" bin on Steam which gets a lot of traffic and 40% is a solid discount and people expect to see the deepest discounts for Christmas.

The Christmas sale lasted two weeks and sold a little over 500 copies during that time. Kind of coincidentally, the percentage of wishlisters to purchase was 57.65% which was almost identical to the %'s I had seen in the Fall sale. It definitely affirmed that if you're not getting featured in Steam Sales that a lot of your sales will be coming from people who've already flagged your game as one of interest.

POST CHRISTMAS BUMP: I wanted to include this observation in here as I found this very interesting. Some developers suggest putting your game on sale means that once you go back to regular price, gamers will not be interested in your game at full price anymore... While that does make logical sense, I actually discovered that my average sales over the month of January 2016 were actually up 38% over my daily average sales in November and December at full price.

Notice the higher peakers after the large Christmas spikes.

This could be related to full price interest being lower in November and December (with large sales pending) but I found the fact that my daily full price sales was trending up in January to be an interesting statistic. Curious if this will continue after the Lunar Sale or if I will see the numbers slowly begin to fade out...

THE LUNAR NEW YEAR SALE: This is a new sale that was introduced by Valve this year as a "Secret" sale that people would not be expecting. It was a 7 day sale. I was a bit skeptical about participating considering that we were only a little over a month removed from the Christmas sale but I decided to participate at the same 40% off that I used at Christmas. It's still too soon to be considering 50%+ discounts. I'd like to save those for when the game's been on the market for closer to a year or more...

I'm so glad I participated...

While the sale event itself was pretty straight-forward (No special meta-games, no trading cards, no real updates during the course of the sale), I was very, very lucky to get featured with around 20 other horror games on the "Lunar Horror" landing page. It was very surreal to see my little horror game on the same page with some of the biggest horror games of the last year. Games like SOMA, Five Nights at Freddys, Albino Lullaby and more.


This placement remained over the course of the sale and led to a LOT of impressions. Dramatically more than previous sales. And what I learned was, views are truly the king of sales. The more eyes you get, the more purchases you end up with.

The game had over 3,000,000 impressions over the week which translated to over 25,000 page views, which is around a 0.83% click-through rate which is pretty solid. The game sold just a little under 1,200 copies over the Lunar Sale with Wishlisters making up 35.97% of that. While the percentages of Wishlisters were down (due to the feature) I was surprised to see more overall wishlisters opting to buy now verses when it was at the same % off at Christmas. Perhaps the feature placement helped remind them?

Another interesting fact is that despite over 400 people buying the game from off their wishlist during this sale, the total number of wishlisters grew by over 3,300 people. Which means that even more people are interested in buying the game but are willing to wait for an even deeper discount % in the future. The game is now on over 10,000 wishlists.

***

I hope some of you will find this data interesting for planning purposes or just generally with comparing your percentages and results. I hope more developers will be more transparent on their sales data as this helps all of us see what kind of %'s or numbers may be expected and gives us base-lines that we can compare and adapt to. Thanks for reading!
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Zorg
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« Reply #481 on: February 13, 2016, 10:28:52 AM »

Thank you for the detailed data. It's great you are willing to share it. For comparison i'd like to know how many copies you sell over a normal month respectively how many percent of the total sales have been generated during Steam sales?
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oldblood
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« Reply #482 on: February 13, 2016, 11:23:59 AM »

Thank you for the detailed data. It's great you are willing to share it. For comparison i'd like to know how many copies you sell over a normal month respectively how many percent of the total sales have been generated during Steam sales?

Thanks zorg!

Those numbers are hard to nail down at this point because outside of January, been sales every month so I have to get weird with date ranges to find averages. Additionally, its only been 4 months so hard to know what "normal" is or will be long term.

I'd say my overall average has been around 3.5 copies per day at regular price (not including initial launch sales, Steam sales etc). It was around 4.7 copies a day in January at full price, so those numbers were trending up prior to the Lunar Sale. So if I had to guess normal, I say maybe 125-150 copies a month at full price?

In total, its sold about 2,800- 2,900 copies since launch. Obviously this last Lunar Sale having the biggest impact on that... Which in the grand scheme of things, is really low. But as an experimental game, I'm not unhappy with the numbers and if the sales keep slowly trending upwards, maybe it will slowly evolve into a cult classic? Haha.
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Pehesse
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« Reply #483 on: February 13, 2016, 12:14:52 PM »

But as an experimental game, I'm not unhappy with the numbers and if the sales keep slowly trending upwards, maybe it will slowly evolve into a cult classic? Haha.

Hopefully so :-D
Either way, thanks a lot for all this information!
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Zorg
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« Reply #484 on: February 13, 2016, 03:42:57 PM »

Thanks for the additional numbers. Smiley

It's great that the game performed this well in the Lunar Sale. I thought Christmas Sale would be the biggest spike. It seems you managed the Steam sales pretty well and your strategy, no devaluation of own work, sounds reasonable. 10K times on wishlists is great. Hopefully a good percentage of those potentional players will look at their wishlists from time to time (or while upcoming Steam sales). Maybe a 50% discount is a magic number for those who are waiting? Do you have a time schedule for the first 50% discount? (Not a particular date, i'd just like to know if you have something in mind.)
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oldblood
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« Reply #485 on: February 13, 2016, 05:18:37 PM »

Do you have a time schedule for the first 50% discount? (Not a particular date, i'd just like to know if you have something in mind.)

Not hard dates, no. I saw around Christmas a lot of games doing the really deep 60-75%+ which makes more sense when the games been out awhile and you're pretty sure most everyone who was gonna buy your game has bought it... So I guess it really comes down to how well the daily sales hold up.

If things bottom out sooner than expected (and it will eventually bottom out) then we'll see. In a best case scenario, I'd like to wait till at least the Summer Sale which is usually pretty large and at that point the game would have been out for 8 or 9 months. Ideally save anything over 50% for when the games been out for 1+ years.
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nnyei
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« Reply #486 on: February 14, 2016, 07:51:44 AM »

Thanks for sharing that data! It's nice to see that the game didn't just poof out existence after its first Steam sale.

Another thing, I saw on your twitter that you posted some gifs of a game you're working on. Can we expect a devlog soon? Or is that just a little side project that you don't expect to become a full-fledged game?
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Zorg
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« Reply #487 on: February 14, 2016, 08:05:51 AM »

It's already happening: https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=52390
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nnyei
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« Reply #488 on: February 15, 2016, 04:49:05 AM »

Ah thanks, zorg!

...and now I realize that Jon had even linked to it in his signature. Facepalm Sorry for being dumb.
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b∀ kkusa
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« Reply #489 on: February 16, 2016, 10:52:37 PM »

Thanks for sharing those data.
i respect your strategy of not devaluating your work price. Getting high hopes for your next project since it's going to be less niche.

good luck!
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saluk
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« Reply #490 on: February 25, 2016, 04:58:26 PM »

Thanks for the info! Congrats on continuing to get life out of this project.
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JavierRayon89
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« Reply #491 on: June 10, 2019, 08:18:26 PM »

If you knew that you would grow up to be a killer, what would you do?
Based on a true story.


This is the premise of this game. “Game”. I’m using the term loosely of course, less “game”, more “linear experience”. “Games as art” blah-blah-blah-bullshit.

The entire premise is built around the foundation that you’re clearly insane. Really, you're the Bad Guy. Well, not really. You're you. But no one really understands you, do they?


Fascinating style for a devlog. Definitely makes it more intriguing to follow along the story. Will learn from this.
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Working hard on Dream of Darkness, Lovecraft+Aztecs game!
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