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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessQuestion for Steam devs about wishlister/sales conversion!
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FauxOperativeGames
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« on: June 26, 2017, 12:31:48 AM »

Does anyone here have good numbers for Steam Wishlist/sales numbers?
The main thing I am interested in is developing a 'sales schedule' that makes sense.

Our game  is 'base price $15.00 on Steam, currently discounted to $9.89, and we have a pretty decent number of wishlisters.
I am trying to estimate how many of our wishlisters will convert for later sales at different prices.

So for instance, at a hypothetical future sale of $7.50, or $5.00, how much of our wishlist could we expect to convert? I understand this probably varies a lot case by case but I was hoping someone might have some general ballpark figures.

I assume that most of the time, the majority of wishlisters never buy even at super bargian prices like $1.00, is that assumption correct?

Would really like to talk to an experienced Steam dev about this if anyone can spare a moment.

The advice I keep getting is "don't panic, don't sell to low too early" at the same time, we have a large number of wishlisters that ostensibly will buy if we go deep enough, but apparently our $9.89 sale was not deep enough (at least during the Summer sale) to capture them.  If anyone with some experience can spare a minute to discuss this stuff please DM me when you get the chance.

I worry if we wait 'too long' to cut deep enough we will lose our momentum and be unable to convert those wishlisters at all.
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Schrompf
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2017, 05:37:18 AM »

Wish Lists, as of today, are used as a notebook. It's not like people are eagerly watching your title to catch it when they can finally afford it. It's more like a "remind me of that one in case I ever run out of games to play". Which, you know, is never.

I can't provide actual numbers, though. Back when I had a title on Steam, I could convert roughly 30% of wishlisters by reducing to 50% aka $4,99. But those were different times. I assume that with the flood of shitty games via Greenlight or now Direct most people simply stopped caring.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2017, 08:36:03 AM »

for me, i have about an equal number of people who bought my game and people who added it to their wishlist.

during sales, whether seasonal or not, about 80% of my sales come from people who added the game to their wishlist.

but it's always only a small percent of the people who have it on their wishlist (say, less than 10%).

this is true regardless of how deep the sale is -- whether it's 25% off or 80% off.

i haven't actually tracked, long term, what percent of people who wishlist my game will eventually buy it, but i suspect that's an impossible thing to figure out, due to the constantly fluctuating nature of the wish list. what i mean is: let's say a game is on 6000 wishlists. a month passes, and it gets put on 200 more, so it now is on 6200 wishlists. a sale happens, and 300 sales are from the wishlist, so it's now on 5900 wishlists. you have no way to tell if those 300 sales came mostly from the 200 *new* wishlisters, or from the base of 6000 originally. it could be either one, and which it is matters a lot, but there's no way to know which it was.

i can also mention my own behavior as someone who buys a lot of games on steam and has a big wishlist. on steam, i own about 1200 games. i have about 1000 more games on my wishlist. i can't possibly afford to buy more than, say, 50 of those games from that wishlist during any given sale. but during most sales, i'll go through my huge wishlist, and pick and choose which among them i'll buy during that sale. that depends on what type of games i'm feeling like trying out at the moment, and how deep the discounts are, but it's mostly just arbitrary.

i expect a lot of people are similar, though most don't have wishlists as big as i do, most have a wishlist of at least 100-200 games, i'd guess. and during a sale, they can't afford to buy every single one of those games. most games on a wishlist will be there for years. i have games i added to my wishlist on steam in 2011 that i still have not bought, but which i intend to buy one day when i can afford it.

another factor is 'dead accounts' -- people who wishlisted the game, but then have not used steam in years, and may never use steam again. those count as wishlists, but the people who added them to their wishlist will never buy those games. over time, the percent of the number of accounts that have wishlisted your game being "dead accounts" rises, and for some games it may even be that the majority of people who wishlisted that game no longer use steam, or may not even play videogames anymore, or they may have different accounts now. so not everyone who wishlisted a game will buy it, due to the dead account thing. some of those people may actually *be* dead, if the game has been on steam for a while (people do die, and after they do, they'll never buy a game again -- a small but significant portion of people who use steam *are* in their 50s, 60s, or 70s after all; i even know someone in their 80s who bought my game and emailed me about it. so it's definitely true that not all people who wishlist your game will eventually buy it.).
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 08:41:07 AM by ஒழுக்கின்மை » Logged

Tunermaxx
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2019, 03:31:17 AM »

Hey Guys, I'm jumping on this (old) wagon as I had a similar question and I find the previous two replies are probably still interesting.

So we released our VR game "Rainbow Reactor" last tuesday and while we - as more or less hobby devs - didn't have the highest expectations, the sales are still underwhelming, even though the game is featured quite nicely in Steam's VR section, we got more than 10 Youtubers make a video, 10 curator reviews and so on…

Still we only sell about 15 games a day, which would be totally fine, if not for the widely accepted prediction that the first week makes up about 25% of lifetime sales and the first month will be about 50% of lifetime sales Who, Me?

So I kind of hoped that our (relatively) high wishlist adds of about 40 per day could still mean some "offset success". To answer OPs question, our conversion rate is currently 7.2 percent.
My own question would have been what Steam users make wishlist adds for and what it all means, but this question has mainly been answered by the previous two posters: It's more of a note pad that people hardly ever get back to, even though some do in case of a sale. The latter is good to know, only thing is, we started with a launch discount of 40% so I don't expect the game to be cheaper than that for quite some time  Roll Eyes

Anyhow, I guess we'll just have to make do with what it is and try to finish our Early Access phase without losing too much motivation… maybe we can talk ourselves into thinking that people only wishlist the game so they are reminded when it leaves Early Access  Wink

Still if anyone has some more insight or tips, that would be highly appreciated!

Here's the link to our Steam store page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/789090/Rainbow_Reactor/
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Schrompf
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2019, 03:54:32 AM »

Thanks for providing some numbers! Valve now allows to share your bussiness stats freely, so please: everyone feel encouraged to share your numbers.
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2019, 04:25:34 PM »

It's so hard because Steam changes so much (not as a platform, but the business landscape) that I don't really know what you can trust for forecasting at this point. I've been assuming 50% "conversion", meaning not an actual conversion but rather a wishlist of 1,000 seems to lead to sales of 500 copies.

Tunermaxx, I think VR is still too new and niche to rely on past numbers or advice. I mean, what do lifetime sales of a VR game really mean when new users are entering the marketplace at a (relatively) faster rate than, say, new PC users? Definitely don't lose hope!
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