Our first week on Steam


The big question of course is: What size boat can we afford now?

A week ago on Monday, May 26, 2014, we released ibb & obb for Windows on Steam. So how did we do this first week?

Some things to consider. We released ibb & obb on PlayStation3 in August last year. The PC version is very similar, with notable improvements in the online multiplayer and some small changes to the levels.

We chose to release on a Monday, because Valve suggested that might be a good day. Mondays tend to be less busy with updates and new releases and this turned out to be true. We were the only game releasing that day.

Visibility

There are different ways of being visible in the Steam store. The best spot being the main banner at the top. Not all new releases get in there.
Valve put us in there for the first two days. Which seems pretty good and probably has to do with few games releasing those days.
ibb and obb on the front page of Steam

The third day ibb & obb moved to the Featured PC Games and stayed there for one day. After that we were off the front page.

Numbers

Prior to launch people would typically ask me how many copies I thought we’d sell. And I honestly didn’t feel I could properly predict this. It made me wonder if others could and we put up a small poll asking people to predict our week one sales.
We had 92 responses. With estimates ranging from 6 to 321654 it’s safe to say that some entries were less informed than others. However most did seem serious and the median of all was 7890.

It turned out people were a bit too optimistic, but not dramatically wrong. In the end we sold 4901 units in the first week.
Amount of ibb and obb units sold in week one

The main banner is definitely the place to be. The first two days we sold around 3500 copies. Sales slowed down after that and when after day three we were no longer on the front page, it went down to around 250 copies a day.
ibb and obb first week sales graph

Packages

We released four different packages. Next to the regular pack we offered a double pack. Additionally, both packages had a deluxe alternative that includes the soundtrack.
As ibb & obb is fully designed around co-op play, it seemed to make sense to promote the double pack. We priced it so that you get the extra copy for around 2 Euro.
The double pack became by far the most popular offer. Accounting for 68% of the units sold.

ibb & obb packages sales numbers

Regions

So where do these 4901 ibb & obb buyers live?

In general the two main regions are Western Europe (44%) and North America (38%). After those two it’s Oceania with 5% and Russia with 4%.
ibb and obb region sales

Looking at individual countries it’s Germany that surprised us, especially compared to the UK. For every copy bought in the UK, two are sold in Germany.
I’ll make a list later that maps the sales to population numbers. Which would make sales in Canada and Australia quite impressive.
ibb and obb sales per country

Conclusion

There’s a lot of talk about it becoming harder to sell decent numbers on Steam. Steam is opening up and more and more games get released every day. For us 4901 is a good first week, but then again, sales have now gone down to around 70 a day and we don’t know how that will look in a month from now.

It’s scary to see the huge influence of the main banner. We had two great days because of that, but if we had released a few days later, we might not have been in there at all.

What went well?
- Timing. We think we (based on Valve’s suggestion) picked the right day to release. It’s not common any more to have a day with only one game release and we feel that helped us stay longer in the main banner.

- Double Pack. The double pack sold by far the most copies. The 4901 units sold actually means that around 7000 players now own the game. It also means a lot of people sent a gift to a friend, which is perfectly in line with what ibb & obb is about.

- Streamers. We managed to get quite some attention from Youtubers and Twitch streamers. Let’s Play videos fit the game well. It’s very easy to pick up and the co-op focus makes the interaction between players fun to watch.

- Germany : )

What could have gone better?
- Press. We only got a handful of reviews so far and hardly any attention from bigger sites. From some of them we know they didn’t cover the PC release, because they already reviewed the PlayStation3 version. With so many games longing for attention, that makes a lot of sense. Which means that for a smaller game like ibb & obb, a multi-platform launch might be necessary to get enough attention.
Then again, this might just mean our press release wasn’t all that good and our press list too short.

Boat

Back to the main question. What size boat can we afford now?
Our imaginary boat
Note that the boat is second hand and would have to be shared between Sparpweed, Codeglue, Kettel, Tomasz Kaye and an investor. We might go with a fleet of small rubber boats instead.

  1. #1 by Rasterman - June 6th, 2014 at 04:21

    Thank you for your article. Does a 2 pack count as one unit sold or 2? Quite a big difference between the two.

  2. #2 by admin - June 6th, 2014 at 05:06

    A double pack counts as one unit. So the 4901 units resulted in roughly 7000 game owners.

  3. #3 by Darkness - June 6th, 2014 at 05:29

    Amazing information out there, guys. I wish it did better, but I hope it’s enough for now.

    I also liked the huge discount on the double pack, it’s a fantastic business model, that I do hope to be practiced more frequently.

  4. #4 by admin - June 6th, 2014 at 05:46

    Cheers, it’s not really enough, but it’s also just week one. Also we did ok with the PS3 version.
    In general we’re doing ok, to keep going on, but are far from funding our own next project.

  5. #5 by Makasu - June 6th, 2014 at 06:13

    Great article, very interesting! Maybe consider kickstarter for your next project?

  6. #6 by Larry - June 6th, 2014 at 07:12

    Thanks for the feedback. I’m clearly part of the over optimist group with a prediction of 8,5k units sold. Still, I appreciated the transparency of this initiative, similar to the one from Dustforce. In the end, I’m kind of saddened since I believe this game is one of the greatest coop experience I had in recent (and long) past. For what it’s worth, you have a fan that’s going to insta-buy any future project from you ;)

    Cheers

  7. #7 by Monique - June 6th, 2014 at 08:31

    Thank you for the inside information, this is an helpful input for many.

    As for us, we did review the PS3 version last year and not this one, we did however repost the review and tried our best to reach people with the give-away.

    In our case, we just have too little pc-gamers at the moment that wanted to join in (enough for the give-away though).

    I did however did some pr for the game on Raptr and this is a good platform for the game I noticed, Many US gamers give awesome feedback. So hopefully that will continue.

    We wish you guys all the luck with the rest of the sales and we hope to see the game expanding to Xbox and Vita as well ;)

  8. #8 by admin - June 6th, 2014 at 08:35

    Monique, you definitely helped! : )

  9. #9 by Patrick - June 6th, 2014 at 09:03

    Love the insight on this.

    Am curious, did you see a bump at all Thursday June 5th to today June 6th?

  10. #10 by Trevor Baird - June 6th, 2014 at 13:30

    I like to look on Steam daily for great deals and lately have really been on the look out mainly for two player local-co-op games that I can play with my wife. Saw your game on the banner and a great price and wanted to download immediately…waited a day and suggested it to my wife. She looked into it and gave me the green light. We love this game and it is incredibly challenging and the fact we have to think things out together and then work our strategy out together makes this game by far my favorite steam purchase this year. Thank you! Fantastic game! Yours truly from Wisconsin…

  11. #11 by Jesse - June 6th, 2014 at 14:57

    That’s great Sparpweed! Hats off to everyone who worked on ibb and obb! I completley agree with Makasu, try a kickstarter. I would create an account and donate, just to see another fantastic game from yall!

  12. #12 by UltimateWalrus - June 6th, 2014 at 22:16

    Thanks for posting this, really helpful to me as I have a greenlit game (Beat Bros) I need to release eventually. I just hope I can manage to time the release to be at a time when few other games release, as you guys did.

    The most affordable way I have found to own a nice boat is to simply live on the boat (just be careful because some marinas don’t like this). That way you pay slip rent instead of apartment rent, which is actually cheaper. I live on an Ericson 29 sailboat which is really nice because I can actually take it out on the water. Powerboat owners in my marina always lament they can’t take their boat out because it would cost hundreds of dollars just for the gas.

  13. #13 by admin - June 10th, 2014 at 06:03

    Sounds like great advice. I live in The Netherlands, definitely possible to live on a boat here. Maybe our studio should be on the water and we’d be able to relocate depending on where team members live.
    Any way, first step, rubber boats.

    And good luck with your game!

  14. #14 by admin - June 10th, 2014 at 06:04

    Thank you! That’s great to hear.

  15. #15 by admin - June 10th, 2014 at 06:11

    Hi, I think crowdfunding can be great. Especially if people know us a bit better. For a first project it might have been too difficult.
    The drawback of Kickstarter is that if you don’t really know how long development is going to take, you might wrongly estimate your budget and get stuck halfway into a project. But the same applies to publishers or investors.
    I also like the idea of Early Access games, but not all projects are suitable for that. It depends on the kind of game you’re making.

    Right now we have at least a small buffer and can continue working on things for a little while and in the meantime we do still get some sales from PS3 and will get more from Steam too.
    Just don’t expect the next Destiny from us : )

  16. #16 by admin - June 10th, 2014 at 06:14

    8500 is not a weird prediction though. Some estimated 10 times that : )
    Thanks for the kind words and hope you like our future projects.

  17. #17 by admin - June 10th, 2014 at 06:15

    Cheers, that’s kind.

  18. #18 by Henry - June 12th, 2014 at 16:03

    Great game.
    Cooperative interaction.
    You have think for play.
    Wait for IBB&OBB 2
    I play on Steam.

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