5 Years on Steam — Sales Analysis

By September 24, 2019Games

Hello my friends!
In this post I would like to talk about sales and marketing analysis on Steam during a period starting from 2014 to 2019.

I think a lot of game developers could benefit from this analysis to understand how the market has changed and if it’s really more difficult today to be able to sell your game to the mass.

Sales Chart Analysis

I’ll start by sharing this sales chart of all our games starting from June 2014 to September 2019 (5 years)

Orange is the number of copies sold, blue is the effective revenue in $

Woodle Tree Adventures has been our first game released in 2014. As you can see, even if there were few games on Steam (less than 4.000), the game didn’t sell a lot of copies during the first release days. (today there are 30.000 total games on Steam).

At that time the game has been approved with Greenlight, while today there is a faster way usingSteam Directto publish your game.

During 2015 we released a lot of other experimental games (The Deer, Heaven Island VR MMO, Heaven Forest VR MMO and more).
These games did perform nicely with thousands of copies sold during the first days, but it wasn’t constant through time, so in the long term didn’t continue to sell well as you can see from the sales chart.

In 2016 we released the sequel (Woodle Tree 2: Worlds) that did perform well, but not like the first game, probably due to many games released on the store too.

In 2017 the number of games on Steam tripled, so we feared that our new game would not perform well, but we were wrong.
In July 2017Suicide Guy has been released and during the first week the revenues surpassed the ones from all our past games combined.
As you can see from the chart, sales did not stop and continued thanks to the fact that we continued to update the game with new levels and improvements (for example Christmas and Halloween themes levels)

In 2018 we released a new chapter of the game called Suicide Guy: Sleepin’ Deeply that performed pretty well even though the games on Steam doubled once again (with almost 30.000 games total).
During these years we continued to expand and update our most successfull games: this helped to maintain sales constant through the time without releasing new games.

In 2019 we’re still updating our past games (Suicide Guy and its expansions) while working on new bigger projects. I’ll update the post when the new games will launch!

Has the Steam Market changed?

Yes of course, but I think is still possibile to sell well on this platform.
A key factor is to create an original game and continue to update it even after the release date.

You really need to keep the game up to date and keep asking players for feedbacks: this is an approach that we’re using right now even for our console games (Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One).

This not only keeps the sales stable through time, but helps you create a more profound bound with your fans. (after all it thanks to them if we can keep making games!)

Considerations

As a final consideration I would like to say to all the developers to not be afraid by the numbers of games released every year on Steam.
I have read a lot of articles on various gaming websites alarming all the developers, but If you really have an original idea and have enough game development experience to create a full game from start to finish, then you just need to focus on your game only.

Of course is still possibile (as it was before) that a game does not sell well: afterall there are a ton of different variables that could make a game sell poorly, but you need to keep that as an experience for your next game.

Thanks for reading!
I’ll continue to udpate this post too, if you have feedbacks let me know at fabio@chubbypixel.com