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Hi, I'm Sean Hogan, programmer/composer/designer of Anodyne, an adventure game my friend Jon and I released on February 4th. During post-release, one of the things we did was get the chance to promote Anodyne on the front page of The Pirate Bay.
So, without further ado...
Time to answer the question: "Was that Pirate Bay Promo useful at all?"
The promo was a big picture of Anodyne on thepiratebay.se 's front page linking to www.anodynegame.com/tpb.html .
So was it useful? Or did no one pay for it, and now we have devalued our game completely?
First, it cost $7 to do the promo, all $7 of which were for paying our hosting provider for bandwidth, Nearlyfreespeech.net. There were no other immediate financial costs.
As intuition might say, yes, doing the promo was worth it. The promo far exceeded sales from the past 10 days of reviews/videos, and traffic was at an all-time high.
This post is concerning only the 72 hour period between 5 AM CST 2/15 and 5AM CST2/18 , the time of the pirate bay promotion (and our almost-PWYW sale). Note that the soundtrack bundle did not go live until 11 AM 2/16, CST.
We are much better off on Greenlight (of course, we'd still love if you voted for us :) ). It would be cool if Valve accepts Anodyne due to the rising vote count (a-la-McPixel), but if not we will be waiting around for a bit till we get into the top 10 - if ever (oh my!).
- 28k -> 41k unique views
- 90% to top 100 -> 59th place on greenlight
- More favorites/comments (in correlation with views)
During the sale, we still sold through Fastspring, Desura, and Gamersgate. We also accepted donations through Dwolla and via bitcoin. The majority of sales were through the Humble Store which was the most prominently advertised.
Desura and Gamersgate remained at $10 for the weekend, while Fastspring remained at $1 min. for the game, Humble Store was $1 min for game, $1.50 min for game + Official Soundtrack (OST). I also sold my soundtrack at a minimum of $0.50 (or free) throughout the weekend through my bandcamp.
- HUMBLE STORE: 4511 "only game" sold (av. price $1.74), 1750 "bundle" sold (av. price $2.76). Total (after transactionfees, before cut taken out for Humble Store) - $7064.42 + $4439.56 = ~11,500.00.
- FASTSPRING: ~450 copies sold. Average $1.25, total $576.90
- DESURA/GAMERSGATE: ~30 copies. Probably almost $200 from those.
- BITCOIN DONATIONS: 3 bitcoins, or ~$100.
- DWOLLA: A whopping $0.00 .
- BANDCAMP: I sold 100 copies of the soundtrack only (not including the ones sold through the bundle). There were about 430 downloads at a price of $0 from bandcamp. This came out to about $175.00 as the minimum price was $0.50 .
Out of the 4511 only-game purchases:
- 3539 (78%) were $1 purchases (minimum)
- 3681 (79%) were <= the average (1.74)
- 967 (21%) were > the average (1.74)
- 123 (3%) were >= the advertised retail price ($10)
- Highest: $20 I believe.
Out of the 1750 bundle purchases:
- 1136 (65%) were $1.50 purchases (minimum)
- 1293 (74%) were <= the average (2.76)
- 467 (23%) were > average
- 45 (2.5%) were >= advertised retail ($12) - 2.5%
- Highest was $30
- 240,000 uniques (roughly) over the sale period. Concurrent visitors ranged from 300-700.
- Unsurprisingly, thepiratebay.se was highest referrer, followed by Reddit.
- Within a few hours of the sale we front-paged Reddit. I was sleeping and woke up after an /r/gaming mod deleted the post. Thanks, /r/gaming mod. (Deleted likely for "enabling" piracy)
- Traffic cost me about $7 in all. This is in part due to our webpage being really lightweight, and also due to Nearlyfreespeech being fuckin' awesome. I highly recommend them if you want cheap hosting.
- THE REST OF THE PROMO COST NOTHING! ...only paid for bandwidth. Yep!
- SOCIAL MEDIA - I think our facebook page gained 200-300 "likes", Twitter follow counts increased by hundreds (550/220/400 for me/anodyne/jon)
- Release trailer has > 100k views now
- Seeder count varied between 2k-3k according to The Pirate Bay.
- Many many nice messages from fans enjoying the game!
- Many many bug reports :) often of a few of the same bug
WHAT ABOUT LIFE BEFORE THE PROMO BAY?
Over the 10 days after release before the promo bay, I think we accumulated 40k uniques. This resulted in around 800-900 sales between all of our channels, at an average price of I think $8.
Over that time, we got a number of reviews and videos to drive traffic!
So, the promo bay far exceeded what our sales cycle would have been if we just went on as normal - sales were dying down around the start of the promo. We made twice as much revenue as we did in the past 10 days (plus the pre-orders), many more visitors, votes, etc - as mentioned earlier!
Our take was about $12k for the promo, split between Jon and I evenly. A nice amount for the work we've put into Anodyne. We also have a lot more publicity and fans now (go look around Youtube! Many many Let's Plays). So things are looking up!
Without further ado, some graphs. Kind of what you might expect - sales highest during daytime for US/europe, sales die down over the promo. Gross refers to before we cut out 5% for the humble store creators, but after we take out transaction fees.
Does the promo work? Yes! I think everything is much better off now - revenue, people playing, fans, etc, than we were before the promo. I definitely encourage trying something similar with The Promo Bay if you're able to.
That's it! Any other questions? Post here or ask me on Twitter.