It’d be great to be a daily deal! Front page, on sale, and, and, and!
Steam Marines was on sale for 50% off on Steam during the Holiday sale. On December 27th it was picked as the Community’s Choice and went on sale for eight hours at 75% off for $2.49 USD.
The impact was enormous:
The graph is for unique visitors to the Steam Marines Steam Store page. When Steam Marines first launched on Steam I did not have Google Analytics set up properly, so the first portion of the graph is missing data. But that doesn’t really matter. What matters is the spike on the right side, because you can barely tell where the launch and Autumn Sale dates are if I didn’t mark them.
Community’s Choice > Passing Go.
I don’t think you can plan on being selected for Community’s Choice. I don’t know how they picked the games I was put up against. I don’t know by how much I won the vote or how many people voted. But of course I voted for myself like the scumbag dev that I am:
Aside: The developers of Kinetic Void (one of the other games in the Community’s Choice pool) were kind enough to post congratulations on the Steam Marines discussion forums. Very groovy of them (i.e. not scumbag devs.)
Getting on the front page in this manner also drove traffic to the official Steam Marines website:
As you can imagine this also drove sales on non-Steam platforms, although the numbers were nowhere near as large as on Steam itself despite the fact that all purchases on non-Steam platforms also grant Steam keys. I probably could have made that fact more obvious, although I suspect it would not have made an enormous difference. I am certain that many of the sales were impulse buys.
When Steam Marines launched on Steam it did so at a price of $7.99 with a launch discount of 10% off. During the Autumn Sale it was listed at $7.99 and on sale for 50% off. During the Holiday sale it was listed at $9.99 and on sale for 50% off; also 75% off during the Community’s Choice eight hour period.
It may have helped that Steam Marines was the lowest cost game for that voting pool at $2.49 versus $5.00 and $6.80. Anecdotal observation of other Community’s Choice picks suggests that people go for low cost versus cost saved compared to base sale price, presumably in part due to Steam not readily providing that information on the voting panel. Of course even if I had the actual voting data it’d be difficult to draw that conclusion. Lots of other variables to consider!
Being on Steam’s front page with a steep discount, if only for eight hours, was amazing. Lots of sales, lots of discussion, and an avalanche of bug reports I’m still wading through.
I apologize for not being able to hand out solid sales numbers. However the site traffic should give you a general idea of the relative power of sales and the Steam front page on the data point that is my game.
If you’d like a few more words on this general subject matter, I hope you take a look at my older blog post, Commercial Indie Games & Risk.
“I didn’t get to craft my Snowglobe thingy because the Steam servers were all wobbly whacked.” – Unknown Scumbag Dev
Thanks for reading,