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Steam - There's a sale on


choddo
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These 85% bundles are too hard not to buy. Except, I don't have access to my computer to play them yet.. I think I have about 350 now, and I used to only buy the Humble Bundles, now I'm store-buying and I feel even dirtier. Finally bought Grim Fandango though so I will actually get around to playing that, and for less than the retail price plus a load of other games (that I won't play).

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So Assault Android Cactus finally has a release date (September 23) - I had played the demo of this and was kind of following its development but never really tried the early access stuff, instead waiting for more information on a full release. For the uninitiated, it's a 3D twin-stick shooter with loads of enemies coming after you and an interesting time-attack-y twist with your battery meter (which causes you to fail if it reaches zero and can be replenished with battery item drops.) The character design might not be all that great, but the action is all top down anyway so it barely even matters, and the soundtrack is pretty good too (the music is quasi-adaptive, getting more intense as you rack up high combos and fading down into a more understated melody when you're struggling.) Yes, it's another twin-stick shooter but I think it's one of the better recent offerings and the battery does add a nice twist...

EDIT: okay the demo I played didn't have those voiceovers or cutscenes BUT it plays really well despite all of that, honest! :P

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If development budgets continue to spiral out of control then yes, the industry is in trouble, at least for the AAA publishers. Far from being unsustainable, the PC market is showing how small-team, low-budget games can flourish outside of the traditional system, just look at that chart- both Rocket League and Besiege have sold over a million copies. Even if they hadn't, it's possible the developers would be able to sustain themselves with smaller numbers.

You might want to take a look at his Twitter account, he posted an interesting article from somebody who uses the same blogging platform where they put forward an interesting observation about the state of indie games.

Indies having discovered that the mobile promised land isn't all that have for some reason or other decided to move herd-like into PC, he's even given it an amusing #hashtag.

Will either of these scenarios come to life? Is there a more optimistic scenario, when suddenly Steam populace grows tenfold and to be named the “softcore gamer” it wouldn’t be enough to own just 4 games? Or will we witness the games market crash so hard, that we’ll enter a new dark age of gaming? Or maybe the #indiepocalypse will turn out to be a thing after all? To the majority of those question my only response is

God, I hope not… but in a way, wouldn’t it be fun to watch?

https://medium.com/@TonyPlaysGuitar/rat-race-to-the-steam-store-703ac031e41

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Why would a game with a terrible name that looks weird and has a metacritic score of 67 sell a lot of copies?

People are overly focused on the specific example, but D4 got quite a bit of a buzz behind it a while ago and is competitive priced with decent production values, even if it's a bit niche.

How about:

Feist - 4k

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend - 27k

Battle Fantasia - 2k

Evoland 2 - 14k

Metal Slug 1 - 6k

OlliOlli 2 - 4k

Formula Fusion - 2.5k

Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition - 3.4k

Submerged - 5k

Mega Man Legacy Collection - 21k

There's a ton of these sorts of perfectly decent well-made mid-tier games which are neither high-profile AAA titles or breakout indies (like Rocket League, Besiege etc) and they do generally do unsustainably badly. Some of these aren't exactly hugely obscure titles either!

And, yes, I acknowledge long-tail, bundles, aggressive discounting etc. But I don't think this solves the fundamental problem.

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I game a lot on Steam (I'm predominantly a PC gamer so Steam is the logical platform to use, plus I use Linux a lot and Steam is good for Linux support).

I have 202 games on here but not that many are actually installed. I think around 65 of those work in Linux.

So yeah, Steam is pretty cool - been playing a lot of CS:GO recently. The main game I miss on Windows though is Contagion. I do dual boot, but the effort of actually doing it just for one or two games when I really like being on Linux kinda puts me off!

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And, yes, I acknowledge long-tail, bundles, aggressive discounting etc. But I don't think this solves the fundamental problem.

The crux of the problem is the same as mobile, too much content chasing after too few active buyers. The trad gaming PC is beginning to suffer from the same problem as mobile, near zero barriers to entry meaning any chancer can put out content, making it harder for people to get noticed and make a decent living. As Sergey Galyonkin says, there might be 400-600 Million people using a PC for gaming purposes, and there might be 130+ Million active accounts on Valve's service, but for most indies, that is irrelevant, the number they should pay attention to is much smaller, and the competition is multiplying at a massive rate over the last few years.

It seems headed to the same situation as any other game market, the winners keep on winning, everybody else gets to fight for the scraps. On iOS, you need to be in the top 100 sellers to stand a chance of making a profit these days according to a recent study.

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People are overly focused on the specific example, but D4 got quite a bit of a buzz behind it a while ago and is competitive priced with decent production values, even if it's a bit niche.

How about:

Feist - 4k

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend - 27k

Battle Fantasia - 2k

Evoland 2 - 14k

Metal Slug 1 - 6k

OlliOlli 2 - 4k

Formula Fusion - 2.5k

Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition - 3.4k

Submerged - 5k

Mega Man Legacy Collection - 21k

There's a ton of these sorts of perfectly decent well-made mid-tier games which are neither high-profile AAA titles or breakout indies (like Rocket League, Besiege etc) and they do generally do unsustainably badly. Some of these aren't exactly hugely obscure titles either!

And, yes, I acknowledge long-tail, bundles, aggressive discounting etc. But I don't think this solves the fundamental problem.

Most of those are either (often slow) ports, re-releases (which will always do badly on a machine with a million emulators) or in the case of Formula Fusion had already had a relatively successful Kickstarter that brought in £80k. Really there are only two games on that list that the theory of PC gaming being at threat could apply to - Feist clearly suffered from looking exactly like Limbo, Submerged didn't get great reviews and certainly looked fairly awful.

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or in the case of Formula Fusion had already had a relatively successful Kickstarter that brought in £80k. Really there are only two games on that list that the theory of PC gaming being at threat could apply to

Isn't Formula Fusion precisely the sort of game you'd hope would do better? Serving a supposedly large neglected audience, yet expected to develop a game by people either working entirely for free or being paid a low wage, in the UK. The amount they raised from Kickstarter and the current sales on greenlight (minus the assumed copies owned by backers) will hardly allow them to continue development of it for years (which is the time period most games seem to need to bake in the oven). It'll be interesting to see how the Rollcage game does, as it doesn't even have the meagre Kickstarter cushion to help pay the bills accumulated on the road to release.

This fear about the state of things isn't even a new thing, some devs brought it up last year. The difference is we now have very good data to refer to and some actual userbase stats to look at in reference as to whether it is something to worry about or not.

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Isn't Formula Fusion precisely the sort of game you'd hope would do better? Serving a supposedly large neglected audience, yet expected to develop a game by people either working entirely for free or being paid a low wage, in the UK. The amount they raised from Kickstarter and the current sales on greenlight (minus the assumed copies owned by backers) will hardly allow them to continue development of it for years (which is the time period most games seem to need to bake in the oven). It'll be interesting to see how the Rollcage game does, as it doesn't even have the meagre Kickstarter cushion to help pay the bills accumulated on the road to release.

This fear about the state of things isn't even a new thing, some devs brought it up last year. The difference is we now have very good data to refer to and some actual userbase stats to look at in reference as to whether it is something to worry about or not.

There's no real reason to expect a game to get a massive amount more sales than it got supported on Kickstarter and if it didn't fly there, there's no real reason to expect it to anywhere else. If they've not made enough money from the Kickstarter they should have asked for more and cancelled development if they didn't reach that amount.

That said, it's in early access, they've not actually released it yet. The current version isn't much more than an expensive demo.

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