Valve says Steam Next Fest continues to have a positive impact on wishlisting and sales.
Next Fest began in Summer 2020 as a way for developers to get their projects into the hands of prospective players in the absence of physical events.
Based on an analysis of all five events, including all three 2021 editions of Next Fest, Valve found that most participating games received a significant median increase in wishlists.
More specifically, Valve said the median game saw daily wishlist additions jump by 1,364 percent during Next Fest, compared to the two weeks leading up to the event.
Notably, wishlisting rate increases were higher than 1,346 percent for half of participating games, while 46 percent of titles saw a smaller increase and 4 percent experienced a decrease in their rate of wishlist additions.
The median game also netted a 26 percent increase in daily wishlist additions during the three weeks following Next Fest compared with the two weeks leading up to the event.
Valve says that increase in wishlist additions resulted in more sales, with the median released game witnessing an increase of 500 percent in "converting wishlists" made during Next Fest compared to converting wishlist additions made in those two weeks prior to the event.
As shown in the below graph analyzing all five editions of Next Fest, games with demos in the 2021 series received an even bigger increase in the amount of wishlists added. Valve claims there could be a number of factors behind that shift, but suggests the biggest was a change to its rules.
"Starting with Feb '21 edition, we changed the participation rules to limit developers to only one fest per year," said Valve. "This might mean that developers wait longer to participate and only do so when they have a more polished game to present that converts better."