Op Ed

  • Ars Technica - Ars analysis: -80% of Steam games earn under $5K in first two weeks. Thanks JDreyer.
    "But even as the number of successes on Steam has increased, the number of failures has increased even more, both on an absolute and relative basis. For developers, that means just getting a game on Steam isn't anything close to a guarantee of being able to find a significant audience these days. For players, that means sifting through Steam storefront listings full of a lot of crap that apparently very few people want to buy."

  • PayneReactor - I want to be sedated.
    "What struck me upon revisiting the game in 2020 was the fact that Max, when injured by non-player villain characters, is damaged all the time. He never really has a chance to recover from his injuries but sustains more and more, and the player is encouraged to hoard painkillers and frantically smash a button when Max comes dangerously close to losing his life. It’s this constant yo-yo between frenetic, bullet-dodging gameplay and constant monitoring of Max’s wellbeing that leaves the player in an almost out-of-breath race to solve the narrative puzzle surrounding the character to ensure his agency and success. To beat the game, you have to use."
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Re: Op Ed
Apr 8, 2020, 13:45
5.
Re: Op Ed Apr 8, 2020, 13:45
Apr 8, 2020, 13:45
 
So many indie devs don't seem to realize that:

a) The vast majority of all video games released lose money (same with music, books and movies.)

b) You can't just put a game out with no marketing and expect it to sell. "Good games sell themselves" isn't true and has never been true.

c) Indie games are still a niche market. Most people with Steam accounts rarely if ever look at indie games at all and fewer still are digging to find the hidden gems.

I say this as someone whose YouTube and live streaming channels are growing far slower than they could be because I love indie games and try to showcase the ones that no one's talking about. But the amount of devs who naively spend years making a game having no concept of the industry realities and then who and blame platforms and the audience for their lack of success (ironically often calling the audience the ones who are entitled) is mind-blowing to me.

Ironically, between easy to use engines that have minimal costs and asset stores, it's arguably become too easy to make games now. This is good because it's democratized the process but it's also bad because the market is getting flooded and unfortunately, a lot of it is junk from people who think they have a lot more talent than that actually do. That does unfortuantely drown out some good stuff but that's not Steam's fault, that's just the reality of an industry that's made it a lot easier for anyone to be a part of it.

I love how articles like this act as if Steam alone is the reason these devs aren't succeeding and not the fact that they're entering into a hyper-competitive market, usually not promoting their titles to a significant degree and that oh yeah, a lot of them are just derivative variations on a theme and not nearly as unique as they think. Try selling an indie game on Switch or PS4 right now. It's not any easier and in fact, is notably more expensive to get on those platforms than Steam.

If you go into making an indie game counting on its success to drive your future, you are making a big mistake. You have about as good odds of winning the lottery as you do hitting it big as an indie developer. That's not Steam's fault, that's the way making any kind of art for a living works.

Then again, this is a Kyle Orland article so I shouldn't be surprised this is the position he's taking. Bashing Steam is the latest trend in the games press.

This comment was edited on Apr 8, 2020, 14:26.
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