B-Grade Bundles

In an effort to gain traction on Greenlight, I submitted Poker Kingdoms for an off-market bundle, one pitched largely at pre-greenlit titles. As is my wont, this meant a little patching of the current playable version, update the Unity backend, switch on some new features, add a link on the title screen back to the Greenlight page because I really have no idea how to generate traffic any other way. Unity has opened up a free analytics engine, so this was a great opportunity to push that out, and hopefully see some feedback.

Great - various documents signed, new build uploaded to itch.io and the provider (because apparently some people consider itch.io to not be a great place to download stuff from), time to sit an wait for the bundle to launch.

Sales were… less than expected, not that I was interested in actually selling the game, rather, driving people to Greenlight, and getting closer to that top 100 slot. This is where the interesting information started exposing itself - previously, I had only been able to see patterns of existing users, not pending customers. However, I could see how many bundles were sold with PK included, and then further, how many keys were redeemed, how many downloads, and how many people actually booted the game up.

Some of this may be a symptom of the bundle provider in question, as it allows you to trade games before you redeem them - and there are plenty of copies sitting in trade limbo - it also uses a “pre-order” period where you get a discount on the bundle. You can also select which of the available games you want packaged in your bundle, so in theory, anyone who bought a bundle with PK explicitly requested it.

The bundle ran for 15 days, and around 2/3 of the sales came on the initial day. It took around a week before anyone redeemed a key however, and another couple of days before someone took the time to boot the game up.

The numbers I feel are an insight to how people treat games now, from around 1200 copies sold, about 350 have redeemed the key, of that number, there have been 50 downloads (across 4 platforms), and 15 people actually starting the game (satisfyingly, and as a recurring theme, once people start the game, I get some basic retention).

On the Steam front, I’ve received a boost of around 200 ‘yes’ votes, and shifted from 25% to 30% ‘yes’ score, not a disaster, but sadly, not pushing me over the goal by a fair amount still. There seems to be a long-tail of votes, I suspect generated by the tradeable games being picked up.

There has been zero feedback about the game itself, outside of comments based on the screenshots.

An interesting experiment - but in this instance at least, it did not help me out in any significant way, the cash rewards were slim, as is to be expected with a bundle, but the lack of traffic generation was beyond disappointing, especially (as mentioned above) people selected the game explicitly.