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Another "Fix Greenlight" proposal: engagement metrics.
by Aaron San Filippo on 05/15/13 10:21:00 pm   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
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We have a niche game, and it's struggling to gain traction on Greenlight.

Race The Sun is like a mashup of Temple Run and Star Fox. One could call it an "endless racer" - but it doesn't necessarily appeal to the "racing" crowd. One could also categorize it as "Action" - but it doesn't have any combat. 

It's hard to describe - and it's hard to sell with words and pictures. Consequently, we've struggled to get much media attention, and we've struggled to get a ton of attention from voters on our Greenlight page.

Nevertheless - we're confident we have a great game on our hands. People love the game when they play it. It has an unparallelled sense of speed, a unique asthetic - and we've got some plans for social features that will set it apart: a cooperative relay race mode and server-hosted mods that we believe will give it a lot of longevity.

We've also run a successful Kickstarter, and the (very outdated) demo version on Kongregate has nearly half a million plays and is highly rated. The latest internal beta boasts an average session length of 2.5 hours. 

So - here's my suggestion for Valve: Give niche games like this a chance, by letting us share the game's engagement metrics with them directly.

In other words - let us host a demo version of the game through the Steam service, and measure user engagement - session length, player retention, etc. Give us enough API to toss a "Rate this Game" pop-up in front of the user - and then consider these engagement metrics along with the raw votes. They're probably a much better predictor of future sales than raw "yes" and "no thanks" vote counts.

Aside from these ideas - perhaps people have more ideas for Greenlight success for niche games like this? I'm all ears! 

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