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Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Plz put DW on steam

 
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Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Plz pu... - 7/26/2012 12:46:19 AM   
WilliamWantsDW

 

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stardock.com/about/newsitem.asp?id=2738

Here's some quotes from the announcement
quote:

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Sets Sales Record
[...]
Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion has crushed the existing records at Stardock to become the fastest-selling title in the company's history. Since the release of Sins: Rebellion in mid June 2012, Stardock has sold over 100,000 units. The game is the first major Stardock game not released at retail, and instead, it was released initially via Steam, GameStop, and direct from Stardock. Additionally, Steam sell-through of Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion in the first 30 days beat the combined sell-through of all physical retailers during the same period for the original Sins of a Solar Empire.
[...]
"Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion on Steam didn't cannibalize its GameStop or direct sales."
[...]
As a result of Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion's success, The Political Machine 2012 and Elemental: Fallen Enchantress will be released digitally through Steam, GameStop and other digital distributors, skipping retail

I would love to see an option to buy a GotY edition of Distant Worlds on steam. As it is now, I think ~$100 is a bit high priced for getting the complete DW package, and I think matrix games is missing out on a lot of sales by not offering an option to buy it on steam.

< Message edited by WilliamWantsDW -- 7/26/2012 3:59:34 AM >
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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 7/26/2012 11:26:38 PM   
ilovestrategy


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I wish these games were on Steam just for the ease of installing. It's so hassle free.

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(in reply to WilliamWantsDW)
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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 7/29/2012 7:13:45 AM   
Fallschirmjager


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ilovestrategy

I wish these games were on Steam just for the ease of installing. It's so hassle free.



As do I

Dealing with Plimus has so far not worked. I have tried for three weeks to get my DW download re-activated and finally gave up.

It is partially my fault for not backing up the download but it is still primitive that the download link is only active for so long.

It has me seriously thinking about any future purchases.
And the song and dance about Matrix being too small to be on Steam is IMO not truthful. There are companies FAR smaller that sell their software through Steam. I think it is a case of Matrix not looking into it closely enough.

And if you hate Steam then Matrix could look into introducing games through Gamers Gate and GOG as well. Maybe launching on all three platforms at the same time.

(in reply to ilovestrategy)
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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 7/29/2012 10:00:51 AM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Fallschirmjager
It is partially my fault for not backing up the download but it is still primitive that the download link is only active for so long.


'Partially' !? I feel your pain in that trying to sort such things aggravating in the extreme. But not so long ago, and I suspect now, there was overwhelming approval here for the about the only software download ethic that still allows you to make copies on disk so you can keep what you buy where you know its safe and always accessable.

quote:

It has me seriously thinking about any future purchases.

So you would miss out on the next WiTP or WitE or whatever because you might forget to burn it onto disk again? C'mon. There are obviously issues with Plimus to get sorted, as there always were with DR, but they hardly seem universal.


quote:

And the song and dance about Matrix being too small to be on Steam is IMO not truthful. There are companies FAR smaller that sell their software through Steam. I think it is a case of Matrix not looking into it closely enough.

I don't think it's truthful either, but then I've never seen that particular song-and-dance suggested before, least of all by Matrix. I'm quite sure they have examined 'it' very closely (it's their mortgage payments that depend on the right decisions, not yours), but seem to have come to a definite conclusion to keep distribution of their 'own' games in-house. Several of games they sell, but not exclusively, are on Steam.

What Matrix' reasoning was only they can tell us, but I can guess. One is the 'shelf-life' of the products. Matrix have said, and I think most of us accept if not necessarily like, that the games they sell (particularly the premium wargames) are not appropriate to the usual games software pricing model. They don't sell for 'full price' for a couple of months, then two-thirds after that, then b*gg*r all at the next summer/Xmas sale. There aren't a dozen competitors throwing out clones of these games every year. All Steam games are more or less forced to confirm to that model, not by Steam but by market forces. In addition to which, Steam has their cut and margins are small enough as is. With Plimus the dog wags the tail. Unless you are a BIG player with Steam it's the other way around, EA being the best example. You can now buy most EA releases on Steam because as it turned out Steam needed EA much more than vice-versa and caved, which is not a situation Matrix would have any chance of replicating. Matrix actually have some pretty impressive company in avoiding Steam for all or some of their releases. You won't find 'Battlefield' or Diablo 3 there and the reasons are, oddly enough, pretty much the same in the latter case, particularly.

The big counter-argument would be the huge additional exposure on Steam, albeit it at a price. I doubt that would generate anywhere near as many additional sales as Sins: Rebellion, but there would certainly be some. Nobody is suggesting such decisions were easy. If they were we'd all be running our own games publishing companies and making a mint.



quote:

And if you hate Steam then Matrix could look into introducing games through Gamers Gate and GOG as well. Maybe launching on all three platforms at the same time.


Gamersgate equals Steam in this context, although perhaps rather more manageable. A vague possible, perhaps, and many of the non-exclusive games can be found there already. Not so sure about GOG just because of the lack of DRM. Matrix have been very good to us in ignoring all the online registration/deregistration cr*p but no DRM at all of new titles might be a step too far. Maybe for some older ones?

P.S. I'd love to see some of the comments on the Steam forums if WitE or BotB hit it at full price!

< Message edited by Hertston -- 7/29/2012 10:10:18 AM >

(in reply to Fallschirmjager)
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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 7/30/2012 4:33:51 AM   
WilliamWantsDW

 

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Pricing on steam is entirely up to the company that put the game on there. A somewhat comparable title to your view of the niche products of matrix games would be the Train Simulation game. They use steam almost solely for a distribution platform, not really as much for increased exposure. They rarely put the DLC of the train game on sale, and at the lowest I've seen its still $1500+ for all the DLC at its best sale price. And they've been very satisfied with using steam, and continue to use it for each iteration.

I think that a game like DW would get far more sales on steam because of the exposure, its not nearly as niche as might appear. And remember the rebellion experience from stardock (I even quoted and linked it above) that just happened, it did NOT cannibalize direct full priced sales. Thats one of the most important facts from the stardock experience of trying steam (remember they used to have their own digital distribution platform. And its obvious now they should have joined steam long ago).

(in reply to Hertston)
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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 7/30/2012 2:15:20 PM   
wodin


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I've seen a few comments, infact there was quite alot over at RPS in one article where many said they'd love to buy it but not at the price it's being sold at some even said they had mates who'd buy aswell.

All I see is higher prices don't bring you more money, but do lose you future customers. The market place is to competitive these days and with a game like DW which is part of a massive genre so not really a niche game you have to price it competitively aswell.

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(in reply to WilliamWantsDW)
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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 7/30/2012 3:05:00 PM   
WilliamWantsDW

 

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Yep, and I would have never even know about DW except I stumbled across a site that reviewed space games and it had a review. I thought, sweet this sounds like a good game, then went to buy it and was like "What? $100?!?"

I have 600+ games on steam, and I'd have known about it years ago if it was there. I'm a fan of space games.

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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 7/30/2012 4:26:50 PM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: WilliamWantsDW
Pricing on steam is entirely up to the company that put the game on there. A somewhat comparable title to your view of the niche products of matrix games would be the Train Simulation game.


Just to avoid confusion, I don't think DW is a particularly 'niche' game and wasn't really what I was talking about. To most of us here Matrix is a wargames publisher first and foremost, with anything else being something of a sideline. And titles like War in the Pacific or Battles from the Bulge make DW look like Call of Duty or Starcraft when it comes to 'niche-ness'!

I wouldn't disagree with you regarding DW (although your comments on the Train Sim DLC pricing seem to relate to a parallel universe somewhere - keep your eyes open next Christmas!). Endless Space seems to have done pretty well on Steam also.

(in reply to WilliamWantsDW)
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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 7/31/2012 12:49:31 AM   
ilovestrategy


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I have nothing to go on but my own personal experience. Ive been with Steam for six years and have yet to have a problem. Between Digital River and Plimus it's been one huge headache getting a redownload on Distant Worlds and Storm over the Pacific.

I want to just click on "install" and come back later with no hassles. If a game is downloaded I expect to be able to download it again. If it cannot be I'll have to choose between paying extra for a disc so I don't get a hassle or taking my money elsewhere. I don't want to have to copy my files to a blank disc because the service promises that you can redownload.


I'm with the OP on this one. I pay for ease and convenience. I have not had that from Plimus and Digital River.

_____________________________

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Now CIV IV has me in it's evil clutches!

(in reply to Hertston)
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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 7/31/2012 4:51:20 AM   
WilliamWantsDW

 

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Even at 50% off sale they've run for train simulator DLC, that still puts the price of owning all of them at over $1000

And yeah, a number of space games have done well on steam, not just rebellion. The significance is that stardock announced that it did outstanding on steam, selling much better than previous stardock SoaSE releases, and did NOT cannibalize direct website sales.

(in reply to ilovestrategy)
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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 7/31/2012 6:37:21 AM   
flanyboy

 

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100,000 sales in this day in age is phenomenal for a non AAA title... it's not AAA is it?

I got the original DW on sale for like $29.99 last Christmas I think... so it was a pretty good deal then but I think the price would need to be significantly lower on Steam to sell well. The problem is Steam gets a gun, how much we don't know, if you sell a game on steam for say $10 and it costs $50 on Matrix you might get more customers but will get you get 5x more customers? More importantly it might take 6 or 7 times more customers to cover the cost of steam hosting it so it may not even be worth it unless it sells 100,000ish copies, given I have no clue how much they sell here. Really I just don't think any of us have a good idea if it makes sense because none of us know how much matrix would lose in shifting to steam and how much estimated profits they would gain in new customers vs what they make now.

It's like cell phones. Pre-Paid companies get a ton of customers really fast when they start up, but they make something like 1/3 or less as much per customer so a company like US Cellular with 5 Million customers still makes far more money than MetroPCS which has 15 Million ish customers becasue US Cellular is primarily post pay and Metro is prepay.

(in reply to WilliamWantsDW)
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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 7/31/2012 9:20:14 PM   
WilliamWantsDW

 

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Let me put it this way. I've never seen a company complain about listing stuff on steam and how it killed them or a product. And I've seen a TON of stories (especially indies) where steam vastly increased their total sales and income. Some indies have even talked about how they released on XBLA and PC, and were surprised at how they got far more sales on PC/steam than they got on xbox. I've seen multiple small studios and indies talk about how it literally saved them from closing down by putting products on steam.

Here's an example of what happens when you put a game on steam and discount it:
geekwire.com/2011/experiments-video-game-economics-valves-gabe-newell/
quote:

We do a 75 percent price reduction, our Counter-Strike experience tells us that our gross revenue would remain constant. Instead what we saw was our gross revenue increased by a factor of 40. Not 40 percent, but a factor of 40.
When you do a 75% off sale, that means you need 4 times as many sales to stay at same revenue as leaving it at full price. Instead, valve see's titles pick up 40 TIMES the sales.

If they put a GotY edition of DW on steam and list it at $50, and say put a 10% pre-order discount (so its at $45) I can almost guarantee you they would get far more than twice the sales they get now at the $100 price.

BTW, steam takes roughly 30%, that wouldn't require 6 or 7 times the sales. And steam covers the bandwidth and the transaction processing costs, and updating costs, and costs of making sure people who paid for it can play it, etc. So while on the surface it might appear they'd need 1/3rd more sales to make that up, its actually much less.

Here's another example, this time from an indie, the devs of Torchlight:
indiegames.com/2012/07/steam_sales_how_deep_discounts.html
quote:

Runic Games CEO Max Schaefer, for instance, tells us that while it's been almost three years since his studio launched Torchlight, Valve's Steam promotions have helped the game maintain healthy sales to this very day.
"We find that we get several thousand percent increases in units and revenue on the days of the Steam sales, and unit sales are usually about double the normal for a few weeks after the sales are over," he says.
THOUSANDS of percent increased sales during a discount. And many more normal full priced sales even after discounts end.

More quotes from that same article
quote:

Super Meat Boy co-creator Edmund McMillen, these promotions can increase sales to an almost staggering extent. His 2D dungeon crawler The Binding of Isaac, for example, saw sales multiply by five when it was marked down by 50 percent, and once it hit the front page as a temporary "Flash Deal" (for 75 percent off), sales multiplied by sixty.
Believe it or not, those figures aren't all that unusual. Valve's director of business development, Jason Holtman, says plenty of developers have seen their sales increase exponentially, giving them a very healthy boost in revenue.
"It's not uncommon for our partners to see [a] 10-20 times revenue increase on games they run as a 'Daily Deal.' Some titles really take off and see as much [as a] 70-80 times increase in revenue," Holtman said.
6000% increased sales on a 75% discount (remember you only need 4 times increased sales to maintain revenue) for some nearly unknown indie game called binding of isaac.

And about the sales devaluing games:
quote:

the developers we spoke to don't think these promotions are devaluing games at all. Based on the data they've seen, Steam sales have only been a good thing for their business.
Sure, players will jump on the chance to buy a game for $2.50, but the developers have found that Steam consumers are still perfectly willing to pay full price for a game once the sales are over. The "race to the bottom" we've seen on the mobile markets just doesn't seem to be there on Valve's platform.


And one final quote. A few years back valve released what sales did on average during a holiday sale period during 2008 (numbers have vastly improved since then, in part because of steam's enormous growth):
shacknews.com/article/57308/valve-left-4-dead-half
quote:

10% sale = 35% increase in sales (real dollars, not units shipped)
25% sale = 245% increase in sales
50% sale = 320% increase in sales
75% sale = 1470% increase in sales


< Message edited by WilliamWantsDW -- 7/31/2012 9:47:08 PM >

(in reply to flanyboy)
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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 7/31/2012 11:57:55 PM   
wodin


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^what he says. it's pretty much now industry fact that smaller the price the more games they sell the which eventually mean they actaully make more money.

I truly believe small indy game developers would be wary of going with Matrix due their pricing policy. I'm sure many games here hardly sell any units at all now as they are getting on, yet if the price was reduced they'd shift aload more units.

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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 8/1/2012 5:30:37 PM   
Iain McNeil


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If anyone has any problems with Plimus please just go to the help desk and we'll sort it out for you.

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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 8/1/2012 10:38:50 PM   
flanyboy

 

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I actually prefer Gamers Gate to Steam. They have a few Matrix titles on there at least.

(in reply to WilliamWantsDW)
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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 8/1/2012 11:10:46 PM   
Joe 98


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The pricing issue and the "Do we sell on Steam" issue are totally separate issues. Discussing them in one thread causes confusion.

It is a shame this thread ignores wargaming.
.
.





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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 8/2/2012 12:26:25 AM   
WilliamWantsDW

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe 98

The pricing issue and the "Do we sell on Steam" issue are totally separate issues. Discussing them in one thread causes confusion.

It is a shame this thread ignores wargaming.
.
.

I personally only care about the one game, DW since I'm a sci fi fan. If I like it enough, I might look at others from this company. And since the stardock news is about a similar genre game, in my OP it mentions DW.

The pricing and selling on steam are related, not separate. I've mentioned some reasons why. For instance, if the devs knew they'd stand to make 5 times more money putting it on steam, they'd probably put it on steam.

(in reply to Joe 98)
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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 8/2/2012 12:27:36 AM   
WilliamWantsDW

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: flanyboy

I actually prefer Gamers Gate to Steam. They have a few Matrix titles on there at least.

Thanks for the headsup on that, I didn't know that. I'll have to set a price alert there.

(in reply to flanyboy)
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RE: Stardock: Rebellion on steam sets sales records. Pl... - 8/4/2012 12:30:36 AM   
WilliamWantsDW

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: WilliamWantsDW

quote:

ORIGINAL: flanyboy

I actually prefer Gamers Gate to Steam. They have a few Matrix titles on there at least.

Thanks for the headsup on that, I didn't know that. I'll have to set a price alert there.

GG just started their month long summer sale. I'll have to keep an eye out to see if DW goes on sale.

(in reply to WilliamWantsDW)
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