Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Brit

Sales and Marketing

Recommended Posts

Hey Guys.

Over the past few months, sales haven't been that high. So, I'm hoping to do a bigger push to get the word out about the game. My original hope was that, by working on constantly improving the game and fix bugs, that it would make the game more attractive to new players, and increase the word of mouth. The end result being, not only improved gameplay for existing players, but also increased sales. While I'm sure that helped things, sales for last month were down 10-15% compared to the previous two months. I was disappointed to see things going in the wrong direction, especially since the game is better than it's every been. I still believe in the game, and think there's a lot more untapped potential that I'd like to develop.

Right now, I'm kicking around a bunch of ideas of things I can do to get more attention. This means ideas ranging from posting on blogs, forums, more YouTube videos, a YouTube vlog, getting the game translated into other languages, getting the game onto other devices (one friend with an iPad suggested an iPad version), and figuring out ways to integrate with Facebook or setting up a twitter account. Any ideas you'd like to contribute would be appreciated. And, if you like the game, I'd be grateful if you mention it to a friend, on your blog or twitter. I know some people have already linked back to the game's website - thanks for that!

Thanks, Brit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Brit. I think the problem with sales has more to do with EoS being a unique genre than anything else. It's really a cross between two things, Empire Deluxe which is a simple 4X game and Master of Orion which is a complex 4X game. Each type has a built-in following. For example, at Matrix they just came out with Distant Worlds, a complex MOO type game that, for MOO fans, looks better. So they're all coming out of the woodwork and buying the game. They would look at EoS and scoff because it's not nearly complex enough. On the other hand Empire fans (like me) would look and think it's too complex. But since I modded EDEE extensively I was able to see the potential here with just a few changes. Most players don't have that background. If it only had the 1900-2020 program with resources, tech, diplomacy then I wouldn't be interested. I don't know of another game that's in the middle like EoS. That's my 2 cents for what it's worth and I don't have a clue how to market it better. Just being in the Battlefront stable gives you a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Brit,

Developers in general are becoming more pro-active, but the support you have given this game is unprecedented. I just typed in a relatively long reply, but was not allowed to post. This forum still isn't the same as before the attack.

I will get back to it. Just wanted to show my support for your efforts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Brit,

Developers in general are becoming more pro-active, but the support you have given this game is unprecedented. I just typed in a relatively long reply, but was not allowed to post. This forum still isn't the same as before the attack.

You mean that this forum wouldn't let you post because you were automatically logged out while you were typing the message? That's too bad. I know it's too late now, but I've gotten in the habit of copying my entire comment (and usually pasting into notepad) before I hit the submit button on any websites.

I will get back to it. Just wanted to show my support for your efforts.

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These thoughts will probably insult your intelligence, but all I can think of right now:

BF is a good place to be. But those half-price Steam sales move thousands of units. Probably not an option for you, though.

Every EoS owner will hate me for this, but:

You took the high road and patched first. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Put together a "quick" expansion with some cool features and a bunch of very different scenarios showing off flexibility of the system. Maybe get a little help from your friends on the scenario design side to ease the time burden. I think most of the buyers of this game would lay down $25 for an expansion based on loyalty alone. At least the ones that aren't hurting financially. If 60% of current owners bought the expansion, what would that do for you. I don't know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a big problem is the multiplayer, the lack of people online.

Well I know that is the dog that bites its tail, but it is negative go online and not finding anyone (especially with the demo).

The PBEM can be a very positive change, but how many games PBEM are currently active!

Is possible play PBEM with the demo (admitted to finding players)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Multiplayer is great. I just prefer to play with my friends, and not whoever is online. :)

A nice feature to have would be the posibility to easier add your own pictures to create new units. Perhaps with an option to use counter-style graphics instead of 3D animated pictures (just simply because it's easier to create :)).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You took the high road and patched first. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Put together a "quick" expansion with some cool features and a bunch of very different scenarios showing off flexibility of the system. Maybe get a little help from your friends on the scenario design side to ease the time burden. I think most of the buyers of this game would lay down $25 for an expansion based on loyalty alone. At least the ones that aren't hurting financially. If 60% of current owners bought the expansion, what would that do for you. I don't know.

Thanks for the input. I'm not sure about the expansion. My feeling at this point is that I should focus more about getting new players than getting a paid expansion for existing players. As far as the number of people who are actively playing the game, I checked my server stats and 132 people have updated to patch 1.01.7060 or later, which was released about a week and a half ago. (No doubt there are other active players who haven't updated in the last week and a half, so it's a low estimate.) But, if I did release an expansion, for say, $25 and 100 people bought it, that would work out to $2500. It's not nothing, but it's not that great, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am all for an expansion kit, with a change in the time line. A Roman, Medevil or early 1800's would be a nice addition.

Yeah, it would be nice to get some new units and other time-periods into the mix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think a big problem is the multiplayer, the lack of people online.

Well I know that is the dog that bites its tail, but it is negative go online and not finding anyone (especially with the demo).

Yeah, I know what you mean. I was trying to add some features to help people find other players - like the chatroom note system (which allows you to leave a note for everyone visiting the chatroom within the next 7 days - so that you can meetup at a specific time). I haven't been tracking whether or not people have used it or even know about it, though.

The PBEM can be a very positive change, but how many games PBEM are currently active!

Is possible play PBEM with the demo (admitted to finding players)?

Yes, I've been meaning to bring PBEM to the demo. For the past few weeks, I've been telling myself that the next update will be the update when the PBEM system will be very solid. But then I get caught up doing other things. One other thing I'd like to add to the EOS Messenger is the ability to notify other users that you're interested in a multiplayer or PBEM game, to help people find each other.

But, yeah, I need to add the EOS Messenger to the demo. I also need to update the demo that people are downloading off the Battlefront servers. Some people download the demo, and don't realize that they can update to the latest version. So, they end up playing some old version with fewer features.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Multiplayer is great. I just prefer to play with my friends, and not whoever is online. :)

A nice feature to have would be the posibility to easier add your own pictures to create new units. Perhaps with an option to use counter-style graphics instead of 3D animated pictures (just simply because it's easier to create :)).

Yeah, I've been meaning to add that "add your own units and animations" feature. I've been talking about it for a long time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did Armchair General ever do a review of EoS?

Still seems to be plenty of board gamers keeping Slitherine alive. Any thought to marketing to that audience?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, this is exactly what I've been thinking about. Reviews. How about the wargamer? And there must be a whole bunch of others. I'm going to write about it on the Empire Deluxe Yahoo site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Did Armchair General ever do a review of EoS?

Yes, they did. Gave it a 75%. He also dinged the game based on price (back when it was $45), and it wasn't as complex as he would've liked. Ah, well. I don't know if he'll eventually do another review, since the game is always being improved.

Still seems to be plenty of board gamers keeping Slitherine alive. Any thought to marketing to that audience?

Hm, I've never heard of it. Looking it up on google now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I've come up with a good idea for a YouTube video tours as well. One of the problems I've had when putting together preview videos in the past is the fact that I wanted to talk about all the features, but thought that different people would be interested in different features. The problem was: "How do I show off the features and keep viewers interested in watching the video, even though they might not care about a particular game feature that I'm talking about at that moment?" Well, the other day, I saw a YouTube video where they used links to trigger one of five different videos, depending on what you were interested in learning about. Seemed like a really good way to use hyperlinks. So, if someone is just interested in single-player, or they want to know about play-by-email, there's a hyperlink to jump to whichever topic they want. Hope to have some new videos up before long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually the only reason I can't "sell" EoS to my frieds is that PBEM still isn't full-featured - so I'm just waiting for that to happen :)

Once PBEM is ready for prime time EoS will go from being yet-another-turnbased-wargame into offering a very rare multiplayer experience!

I really think PBEM (or simultaneous turnbased multiplayer?) is the feature which should be touted the most - it's something that 99,9% of the other games do not have.

The trick is to make players understand why they need it, that this is a feature which actually makes multiplayer turnbased games playable, and that that's what sets EoS apart from other games. Most players simply do not understand the concept (being as rare as it is)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is what I posted on the Empire Deluxe Yahoo forum:

New Empire game

Just thought I'd pass this along in case anyone is interested. Empires of Steel

is available at Battlefront.com. Very nice graphics, easily moddable, lots of

options and a very good AI opponent. After following development for more than

a year I think this is the next great Empire game. A demo is available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is what I posted on the Empire Deluxe Yahoo forum:

New Empire game

Just thought I'd pass this along in case anyone is interested. Empires of Steel

is available at Battlefront.com. Very nice graphics, easily moddable, lots of

options and a very good AI opponent. After following development for more than

a year I think this is the next great Empire game. A demo is available.

Hey, thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually the only reason I can't "sell" EoS to my frieds is that PBEM still isn't full-featured - so I'm just waiting for that to happen :)

Once PBEM is ready for prime time EoS will go from being yet-another-turnbased-wargame into offering a very rare multiplayer experience!

I really think PBEM (or simultaneous turnbased multiplayer?) is the feature which should be touted the most - it's something that 99,9% of the other games do not have.

The trick is to make players understand why they need it, that this is a feature which actually makes multiplayer turnbased games playable, and that that's what sets EoS apart from other games. Most players simply do not understand the concept (being as rare as it is)

Thanks for the feedback. I'll be working on getting the PBEM system working smoothly - this week especially. I also started setting up a system for players to find other players who want to play. You'll be able to toggle a "looking to play a PBEM game" or "looking to play online" checkboxes, and other players will be able to send messages to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had the Empires of Steel Facebook page setup for quite a while, but haven't mentioned it. I also setup a twitter account, and tied the Facebook feed to the twitter account. This means when I update on the Facebook page, the twitter account gets the same information. I'm hoping to keep the pages updated with what I'm working on. Here's the links:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Empires-of-Steel/6745172658

http://twitter.com/EmpiresOfSteel

If you have RSS feeds setup, but not twitter, you can use this: http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/134552327.rss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey Guys.

Over the past few months, sales haven't been that high. So, I'm hoping to do a bigger push to get the word out about the game. My original hope was that, by working on constantly improving the game and fix bugs, that it would make the game more attractive to new players, and increase the word of mouth. The end result being, not only improved gameplay for existing players, but also increased sales. While I'm sure that helped things, sales for last month were down 10-15% compared to the previous two months. I was disappointed to see things going in the wrong direction, especially since the game is better than it's every been. I still believe in the game, and think there's a lot more untapped potential that I'd like to develop.

Right now, I'm kicking around a bunch of ideas of things I can do to get more attention. This means ideas ranging from posting on blogs, forums, more YouTube videos, a YouTube vlog, getting the game translated into other languages, getting the game onto other devices (one friend with an iPad suggested an iPad version), and figuring out ways to integrate with Facebook or setting up a twitter account. Any ideas you'd like to contribute would be appreciated. And, if you like the game, I'd be grateful if you mention it to a friend, on your blog or twitter. I know some people have already linked back to the game's website - thanks for that!

Thanks, Brit

If you could get this game on steam in the indie section, impulse, gamersgate, or direct2drive then I bet your sales would go sky high!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you could get this game on steam in the indie section, impulse, gamersgate, or direct2drive then I bet your sales would go sky high!
I agree - I've bought several games on impulse on Impulse :).

Question is of course how large a percentage they charge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still haven't purchased this game even after the price has come down but it has nothing at all to do with the game's quality and everything to do with the fact that I have no time to play games during the week and on the weekend, I play Advanced Squad Leader face-to-face with friends.

I probably should buy Empires of Steel anyway just to show my support for such a wonderful and excellent game that just keeps getting more wonderful and excellent with each significant update.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really intended to buy EoS but still haven't for some reason. I did flog the beta demo pretty hard and ended up a little tired of playing.

I think the problem might be the "quick game's a good game" issue. Playing a game just takes too damn long, really long! I have a one year old child and a long commute, though EoS is beer & pretzels on one hand, it is slow and complex on the other.

Building ships takes too long, moving ships takes too long. I find my games end in stalemates of ships slowly dribbling out of the factories. No way I will ever sit there and finish an online multiplayer game at 4 hours + in game play time. PBEM is definately a must have for me, and the implementation seems to be a good one.

An alternative quick-play ruleset might be a good idea? Can you turn off FoW?

As far as marketing goes, has the game been reviewed anywhere? Shouldn't battlefront be fighting that good fight for you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...