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Analytics of my first game

steam game, early access, indie game marketing, PR

The first game of my studio is “Dungeon Of Dragon Knight”.  You are right, this is hard for me because English is not my native language and none of my friends had pointed the grammar error out until the game was released, even my US friends.  I’ve asked why they didn’t point it out, they just told me that they don’t really care about this issue, just focused on the gameplay and they felt good at that time.  They are happy that a foreigner speaks their language.

The game is a retro dungeon crawler game, which is the favorite type of games in my childhood.  I’m not going to say the game is a big sale or bad at the beginning but wonderful success and the end, actually it is normal, but I’ve got much experience in this period.  There is no reverse story at the end but there are several stuffs I want to talk about the game because this is a real life:

Before Early Access

We’ve done a lot of marketing activities in China and some advertisement on FB 8 months before early access on STEAM.  We’ve built an alpha test team to collect feedback to optimize the game, done a successful crowdfunding on Modian (www.modian.com) (target is 3500 USD) and attended a game show in Shanghai, which is named as “WEPLAY”, which is the biggest indie game show in Shanghai.  The community is built by QQ group and the number of fans is around 200.  We’ve also contacted a very famous streamer who has millions fans on B station (bilibili.com) and at the releasing day, he broadcasted a living video to support the game for free.  It seems this is a success at the beginning, and we should’ve got tons of selling, but guess what, the number sold on the first day was depressing:

The price was USD 15.99 and the first week discount was 10%.  I was shocked by that time because it was far below my expectation.  How could this happen? I’ve been very sad for next few days.  Finally I understood this was not helpful.  So I tried to figure this out!

  1. The quality of the game was not good enough even it was in early access stage.  Especially the loading speed, which would take more than 30 seconds to load a level.  Even we’ve tested the game by the alpha test team, we haven’t got enough feedback to improve the game, and some of the issues were complained a lot by the community.
  2. The market analysis was done not well.  I should’ve got more attention that the players of dungeon crawler are mostly in western countries, so that we should’ve put more energy to the community such as discord, twitter, reddit, and more.  But we’ve done the marketing activities in China mainly, where has not more than ten thousands players are interested in the game type and even worse, they are not as young as they were that have enough time to play games.  And current young players have not even heard about the type and we’ve done barely to get the attention from them.
  3. Based on the second point, we’ve done little PR in the western countries.  We didn’t contact any PR companies to do it for us.  So when we launched the game, we’ve received a lot of negative comments and reviews.  Though some of the reviews are non-sense, I’ve read all of them and got some positive opinions.
  4. The wishlist length is around 5000 after one week.

 

Is there anything I can do from this?  If you have any thoughts, please leave comments and I’ll tell you what I’ve done in this half of year to save my game in the next blog.

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