2014-05-24 : Games that Take Off, Games that Don't
(Transplanted from this G+ post.)
Games that "take off"
When I publish a game, I publish it, I make myself available to anyone who has questions or comments, and I try to put any support infrastructure in place that I think it might need. From that point forward, though, the game's on its own. I follow it along, I don't rush ahead of it preparing a way. Make sense? Almost all of the work I do for my games, I do in designing them pre-publication, not in marketing them post-publication.
After publication, my games' sales charts have two distinct shapes.
Some of my games, their first quarter is good, their second quarter is better, then a dip, then a years-long gradual growth and a decade-long gradual decline. This is how Dogs in the Vineyard and Apocalypse World sell. DitV is in its decade-long decline, and AW is in its years-long growth.
Some of my games, their first quarter is their best, their second quarter is half as good, and then they bottom out in a friendly, bubbly little stream from now until whenever. This is how In a Wicked Age, Poison'd, Murderous Ghosts, and the Sundered Land sell.
This chart is a full 5 quarters behind, but you can see the two shapes clearly. The most striking example is Apocalypse World vs Murderous Ghosts. From almost equal first quarters, Apocalypse World took off and Murderous Ghosts bottomed out.
If you're interested in this topic, do take a second to examine this chart and pick out which of the lines follow the "taking off" shape and which follow the "bottoming out" shape.
The lesson I take from this is that a game takes off when it sells itself, through pure word of mouth. Its audience at its initial release spreads it, and it reaches new people, and they spread it, and so on, right? But a game that can't sell itself doesn't take off, even when its initial release is just as strong.
I also look at it this way: some of my games reach my audience, and some of my games expand it.
1. On 2014-05-24, Vincent said:
2. On 2014-05-24, David Berg said:
3. On 2014-05-24, Vincent said:
4. On 2014-05-25, David Berg said:
5. On 2014-05-25, Chris said:
6. On 2014-05-26, Matthijs said:
7. On 2014-05-26, Vincent said:
8. On 2014-05-26, Vincent said:
9. On 2014-05-26, Tim Ralphs said:
10. On 2014-05-26, Vincent said:
TR go "Ahh Tahamaat!"*
VB go "Oh cool!"
TR go "The oddest lessons"*
*click in for more
11. On 2014-05-27, David Berg said:
12. On 2014-05-29, alan said:
13. On 2014-05-31, Josh W said:
14. On 2014-06-02, PaulCzege said:
15. On 2014-06-03, Vincent said:
16. On 2014-06-04, Chris said:
17. On 2014-06-12, Matt Wilson said: