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Gamasutra: Simon Carless’s Blog-Steam Becomes “Experimental” with Discovery

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[The GameDiscoverCo game discovery newsletter is written by ‘how people find your game’ expert & GameDiscoverCo founder Simon Carless, and is a regular look at how people discover and buy video games in the 2020s.]

So … I’m back! Hopefully you missed a lot of the free newsletter crew while creating the latest exclusive Steam Hype analysis (Did Project Wingman not work?). And Apple Arcade digs deeper for the lucky and lucky people. GameDiscoverCoPlus subscriber..

Anyway, this week we’ll be working on multiple newsletters to put together a bunch of news in the space. And where to start rather than the latest Steam Labs experiments?

Steam Lab-A new way to browse Steam!

The news that is definitely of interest to GameDiscoverCo is that Valve has unveiled the latest SteamLabs experimental features. And the outline is as follows.

“We aim to increase the surface area of ​​our store by introducing a wide range of ways to browse Steam’s game catalog from the beginning. No login or complex search required. Our new view Allows you to expand the range of games available on Steam through new and useful entry points such as sub-genres, themes, and player modes. “

To see this, go to the Steam Labs section of Steam and[ストアナビゲーション実験を試す]You need to click. A new set of drop-down menus is displayed. Lars Doucet, who was the main co-creator of this feature when signing with Valve, Some additional comments on Twitter..

He notes: “What this feature does is give almost every significant niche of steam a dedicated” house “. These pages include everything from carousels, recommended new releases, individual graphs (New & Trending, Top Sellers, What’s Popular, Top Rated, Upcoming) and more. “

Some of this was already present on the individual Steam tags-in fact, it could be too detailed. But these are now much more intelligent hybrids. Landing pages can also be subdivided by tags, which is better than micro (tags) and macros (large genres). Here is an example:

The Steam Labs blog post (with lots of details) overall “48 genre categories, 8 theme categories, 7 player mode categories, a total of 63 new categories. Clicking on any of these will take you to a dedicated content hub, a landing page dedicated to that kind of game. “

Anyway, I think this is great. Because … of course we do. This is a type of encyclopedia subcategory that most other stores can only aim for. However, there is always the question of whether most Steam users (or the average user) actually navigate the detailed subcategories, go directly to a particular page, or just search.

But more ways to surface the game are always good. And I hope the experiments in this lab will graduate to full site. It looks really convenient …

How many indie game players are on PlayStation and Xbox?

We were waiting to talk about this because we wanted to see if the people at GamStat.com would keep updating their site. But sadly, they look like they’re done. Before it’s too late, I’d like to talk about those metrics (the site frozen statistics and bowed in mid-November! So it’s rapidly getting out of date …)

Basically, GamStat uses achievement sampling and other APIs (description!) To sample and estimate the total number of players for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 games. And in our view, it is “not inaccurate” -that is, not accurate, but somewhat suggestive. And don’t forget-player count isn’t sales (one-time prizes, game passes, or any other kind).

But in the meantime, let’s highlight some random and interesting examples out there.

  • Great Puzzle Adventure “Just Launch” on PlayStation 4 (1,000 players from October 27th to November 19th) and Launch on Xbox Game Pass (84,000 across Xbox and PC Game Passes) as Carto did Look at the difference between human players). Of course, funding and long-term outlook differ considerably between these release methods …

  • I’ve never seen many “normal indie folk” talking about Mortal Shells like the well-made Dark Souls that debuted at the Epic Games Store (modest stats are wise!), But with 75,000 Xbox players. 200,000 PlayStations From the August release date to November 19th, four players have shown that they are doing pretty well with games that can’t get the love of Twitter.

  • If you believe in the overall stats for the new release, you’ll find that about 65 of the 140 new PlayStation 4 games have over 1,000 players in the first month of monitoring * (* Remember, it may not be a full month of sale), And about 85 of 120 new Xbox One / Windows Games Store games * (* Previous warning, some games will launch directly on the Game Pass!) Anyway, interesting theoretical numbers.

  • Overall, it’s interesting to see some of the player outliers in both directions. For example, Sakuna: Of Rice & Ruin, which was a big hit in Japan and is doing pretty well in other countries, has 43,000 players on PS4 in just one week (as of November 19). Ray’s The Dead, on the other hand, has hundreds of players on PS4 and will be available for a few more days. Do you think there was an article about it? Ah.

Anyway, if you take it with a grain of salt, there’s more fun data to tinker with. And I hope another site will come and continue the good work of GamStat. (I hope I can fund someone as part of GameDiscoverCo. Ping if you’re interested!)

Summary of Game Discovery News ..

As always, many other things are happening. So this is just an attempt to encapsulate it in 7 or 8 bullets, hmm. Not so many, right? (Don’t worry, you can skip at least 50% if you want.)

  • Last free newsletter update on PC / console platform sharing: Friendly from a couple of developers / funders who said Switch is the best-selling platform for Nintendo fans (for good reason!) Nana (2D? Family-centric?) Title. My impression is that this is generally a situation where “Steam isn’t selling well and Switch is OK / good” rather than “Steam is selling well and Switch is great”. But YMMV!

  • Cloud Gaming News: Microsoft, if you have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Whether it’s an Xbox Series X | S, PC, Xbox One, Android device, or a Windows PC and iOS device since Spring 2021, it employs multiple devices to provide a consistent Xbox experience wherever you log in. I will. ” Not surprisingly, it’s interesting to see it officially “on record”.

  • The 2021 Independent Games Festival is now available for entry (Disclaimer: I was helping run the IGF!), Judge Moomanibe There is a twitter thread From his point of view, talk about how and why you should enter: “My feelings here are always there. It’s a way you can put your game in front of developers and the press and become a supporter … The pool of judges and juries boosts the signal. And there are indie veterans, news outlets, etc. who have the power to do business. ” And you may surprise yourself and gain fame! There are also practical tips on the best way to present your submission.

  • Cyberpunk 2077 launches on Steam is big news Created two notable new milestones: “Steam broke the record of users logged in at the same time again, reaching 24.8 million this time. The previous record was 24.5 million in April when the COVID blockade and telecommuting began … and For the first time, Steam has two games, each with one million simultaneous players at the same time. “ (It’s Cyberpunk and Counter-Strike GO!)

  • Force Of Habit’s Ashley Gwinnell has posted a video on YouTube explaining the long-standing sales of indie games on many Toast Time platforms (iOS, Android, Steam, Switch) from 2013 to 2018. To check transparency, it’s very slow to see the Nintendo Switch launch, especially in November 2018, with lifetime revenue of around $ 2,700. (This is a particularly lo-fi pixel-by-pixel task, and perhaps that’s why, but iOS and Android are better and have reduced lifetime costs!)

  • Josh Burns has compiled a survey of Apple game players and Apple Arcade subscribers, along with some interesting data, as interesting to the lucky people who read the detailed Apple Arcade subscriber-only article. What to emphasize: “Screen time / parental controls seem to be an underrated feature of arcades, because more than twice as many subscribers consider them to be the main driver of subscriptions. .. ” (There is credibility that Apple Arcade is now a family-friendly service more than anything else.)

  • Microlink: It’s great to see Humble’s Black Game Developer Fund making the first five investments. The Xbox & Friends Game Pass exploded more than 10 more games, including Among Us (PC), for the rest of December, after 10 in the first half. For Nintendo Switch Turned on notifications for individual game news channels, Make the update a little more noticeable!

  • Bonus Microlink: NPD November US Gaming Hardware / Software Results Everything has increased significantly (Um!); PlayStation 5 download release month in the US / Canada Topping by Miles Morales, Call Of Duty, and Demon’s Souls (also available for your pleasure: European PS5 And US / Europe PS4 Chart!! )

Finally, this newsletter is not content with the analysis of current Millennium platforms and discovery issues, but rather a great interest in the history of the game. (I’m a board member of the Video Game History Foundation and I’m helping to do it Their Twitter feed!! )

So I was happy to combine my interests to unearth this behind-the-scenes data point from the 90’s … $ Breakeven stats for arcade games, $ 20,000 per San Francisco Rush Arcade Machine:

[This newsletter is handcrafted by GameDiscoverCo, a new agency based around one simple issue: how do players find, buy and enjoy your premium PC or console game. You can now subscribe to GameDiscoverCo Plus to get access to exclusive newsletters, interactive daily rankings of every unreleased Steam game, and lots more besides!]

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