PR Review Day

Hey Folks! Slower day today. Mostly a review of all the PR stuff I'll have to tackle when the time comes to release the teaser.

Joshua sent me the latest draft this morning, though, so that was cool. It's looking really good. Better than I expected, which might seem strange. I guess knowing all of the game's faults and missing features made me worried. But the short teaser does a good job of getting the point across without showing the seams.

That's going to sit over the weekend until James can take a look and start on audio treatment, so we're in a holding pattern for now.

I did decide, however, I should really figure out the call to action at the teaser's end. What is the thing I'm hoping most people will do when it ends? Get excited, obviously. But should they take an action? Some examples might include:

  • Visit to learn more.
  • Subscribe to the BBG newsletter
  • Wishlist the game on Steam
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Visit the Discord
  • Spread the word
  • Etc.

All of these would be nice, of course. But jamming that final screen with them all will make none of them happen. It's probably best to just choose one.

So far, I'm leaning towards the Steam wishlist one. Out of all of the above, that one has the biggest potential to change this project's chances at success. A high wishlist count means preferential treatment in Steam's algorithms, plus larger audience reach when posting announcements/releasing. Both of these things generally translate to more sales, and that feeds back into the algorithm again to amplify things more. A lot of the runaway hits on Steam go roughly like this.

Not doing this isn't necessarily bad. I can generate sales elsewhere by evenly focusing on my site,, Humble, etc. But there's a disproportionate loss on Steam for every sale I divert. Removing 50% of Steam's potential sales doesn't mean they just show up on or Humble. Cutting that 50% on Steam might mean the game never gets a boost on steam, resulting in a net loss in overall sales across all platforms.

Of course, the down side here is that my eggs are in the Steam basket. Direct sales from my site and all other sites take a hit. And with new stores vying for market share, it could hamper interesting negotiations with them.

Still, a good chunk of successful games just do it this way, and it might make more sense to do the usual this time, instead of trying to forge new paths.

Whatever the case, it warrants some thought. Maybe a weekend will help?

Tags: Ostranauts


Rovlad's picture

I always wanted to ask, how did NEO Scavenger actually do on Steam, financially speaking I mean?
You don't have to give exact figures or anything, just wondering if it was worth it or not.
And that might actually answer the question. I don't see the space game doing any worse, in any case.

dcfedor's picture

NEO Scavenger did well enough on Steam to keep me afloat these past several years. Compared to other games on the market, it appears to be a moderate success.

If I could repeat NS's sales with the new game, I would be pleased. And I'd be safe for another 5ish years while I flesh-out the game some more, and then switch back to NS2.

That said, Steam was a different service back in 2014. Merely appearing on the store was massive exposure. These days, more folks get lost than found. On the other hand, I have an existing fanbase I can tap, which NS didn't have.

It seems likely to be a toss-up that could go either way. But I'll be pulling whatever levers I can to maximize effectiveness.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games