Author Topic: A general question about steam  (Read 1921 times)

Offline xfireme2

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A general question about steam
« on: June 17, 2014, 03:42:11 PM »
Hey Arcen games how do you feel about steam and their way of curating or handling games

i have heard that many indie games have a hard time on steam
as a big fan of the last federation i was curious if you guys were succesfull
its a fantastic game but then i watched the co-optional podcast (a podcast by some big youtubers in gaming) and they talked about how indie's have the hardest time on steam because steam can't
be bothered fixing their new releases and things.

so I'm just curious if you guys have had problems with it

PS: since i don't go to forums that often it would be smart to email me your answer just saying

Offline Draco18s

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Re: A general question about steam
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2014, 05:42:55 PM »
i have heard that many indie games have a hard time on steam



The sales chart is pretty similar.  The top 20% of highest-selling games accounts for 82% of all sales.
(50% of all sales is somewhere around the top 8%)

Offline x4000

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Re: A general question about steam
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2014, 08:42:56 PM »
I don't really think the sales chart there is accurate at all in terms of comparisons to the playtime hours.  The top 20 sellers on steam certainly are a huge chunk of the revenue that are being generated on steam at any given time, but what games are in the top 20 changes pretty rapidly.

In the case of The Last Federation, we've grossed somewhere above $375k in two months, and about $340k of that was on steam.  Overall we have now passed $2.2m gross on steam for all our games since AI War came out there in 2009.  Our all-time gross outside of steam is probably somewhere in the $400k range at best.

So, do we like steam?  Absolutely, of course -- our business couldn't really exist without it.  I also particularly like how they solve engineering problems in general with their platform.  Very clean work, elegantly thought out.

In terms of their curation process, do they have that nailed down yet?  No, even they are saying they do not.  Does that affect Arcen?  No, because we don't have to go through their curation process, and have not since 2009.  So I'm not in a good position to comment on it.  The front page of steam is something that is getting harder and harder to command for any real length of time, and that's a big bummer for longtime steam devs like us.  But that hasn't stopped TLF from being our fastest-selling title ever, even in the new flood of greenlit games and older back catalog stuff from various publishers.  So while that new flood does make me nervous, I have yet to see the bite from it personally.

Do I want them to fix how their new releases work?  Basically, everything that Total Biscuit and the others were talking about?  Yes, absolutely, holy cow yes.  I agree with everything he said.  That said, I think it's something that Valve is approaching with their usual measured approach and careful thought.  I've heard some interesting things through the grapevine that I think will greatly benefit indies and devs in general.  Valve aren't oblivious to the issue, they just aren't rushing to immediately slap bandaids on.

Whether or not they should be is kind of a tricky question.  Obviously indies and so forth wish they would, but navigating relationships with lots of developers and being fair to everyone is a tricky thing from Valve's position.  My view is that right now Steam is going through a bit of a growing pains process, and nobody likes that, but it's not a platform that is just stagnating or which is run by people who don't know what they are doing.  I know a few dozen people at Valve at this point, and they are all just the nicest people you could ever meet, and extremely smart, and also always running flat-out busy with something new.

Anyway, I think that by this time next year the situation will be very different.  Hopefully in a way that benefits myself and other indies and really everyone, knock on wood.  But right now it's kind of a bad time to be a new indie releasing into the wild, for sure.  For us as a more established name that's not as much a problem, but even there you never know.
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Offline topper

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Re: A general question about steam
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2014, 10:17:44 AM »
Thanks for the insight Chris, I was also wondering about sales numbers and the impact that Steam has.

I've heard some interesting things through the gcuddly hugvine that I think will greatly benefit indies and devs in general.
haha, apparently the word replacement also affects the middle of words? Or the Valve messaging system is just very friendly.  ;)

like this: purple fizzy drink = grape soda

Offline Draco18s

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Re: A general question about steam
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2014, 12:38:56 PM »
gcuddly hugvine
haha, apparently the word replacement also affects the middle of words? Or the Valve messaging system is just very friendly.  ;)[/quote]

HAHA.

Vines!  Of grapes!

Offline x4000

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Re: A general question about steam
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2014, 01:12:27 PM »
The grapes of wrath is a terrible book, but a pretty cool name. :)
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Offline ptarth

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Re: A general question about steam
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2014, 02:05:26 PM »
Along these lines, is Arcen having a GOG or Steam bundle during their summer sales? I saw Bionic Dudes as a Flash Sale on GOG last week, but didn't see a bundle on the big sale day, like there were for many other games. I have also noticed some other sites offer bundle prices on individual Arcen titles (possibly only Skyward collapse). It wouldn't help me (I've already got them all) or most of the active board members, but it would get some more exposure for the titles.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline x4000

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Re: A general question about steam
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2014, 02:08:12 PM »
Developers actually can't talk about upcoming promotions with any partner due to NDAs.  It's one of those things that really would hurt any vendor involved with one (and us).  In the case of some vendors, we also don't find out if we're being asked to be in a particular promotion until pretty late in (or sometimes it's a month plus in advance; it really varies).  Suffice it so say, that's completely a non-answer and I'm not hinting at anything either way.  Sorry!
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Offline ptarth

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Re: A general question about steam
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2014, 02:26:44 PM »
No worries. I was mainly giving a heads up about the possibility if you were (for some random reason) unaware of them. I know that you've got plenty of Steam experience, but only recently started out on GOG.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline x4000

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Re: A general question about steam
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2014, 03:06:11 PM »
Gotcha, much appreciated. :)  The GOG guys are awesome, they've really extended every courtesy to us in terms of helping us get familiar with their system, etc.
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