When I published my game on Steam, here’s what my thought process looked like:
“I can’t have a big launch because no one knows me. So I’m just going to focus on growing the game slowly over time.”
I expected the sales to grow linearly aswell: 1 a week, then 1 a day, then 2 a day etc.
But it doesn’t really work like that.
You don’t get a constant stream of new players trickling in.
When a YouTuber publishes a video about your game…
(or anything else that brings in external traffic)
You get a big spike of traffic before it slowly returns to 0.
The goal is to make the spikes go as high as you can.
This means timing is actually really important.
Say you get 3 videos made about your game.
You’ll get way more out of it if they’re all published at the same time…
…instead of one after the other weeks apart.
Why is that?
The main reason is that big spikes of external traffic attract more attention from Steam.
If it sees that your game is doing well without its help, it’ll send more people your way.
More than 60% of all the people that have seen my store page have come from Steam directly.
(I imagine it can go as high as 80 or 90% for bigger games)
Concretely, what does that mean for us?
It means we should batch our marketing efforts instead of sprinkling them over long periods of time.
Don’t reach out to 5 influencers a day. Add them to a list and contact them all at once.
Prepare your reddit, imgur and other social media posts in advance and publish them all on the same day.
It’s even better if you can couple it with a discount, an event or a big content update.
Treat it like a new mini-launch of your game.
Give your players a reason to come back and a reason for press and influencers to cover it (again).
Until next week,
Developer of Space Gladiators: Escaping Tartarus