Gamasutra: Simon Carless’s Blog-Switch cracks down on extreme discounts

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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.]

Let’s start with this piece by looking at how Nintendo treats e-shop chart looters a bit more aggressively.

Nintendo (apparently?) Closes loopholes in “100% off” game rankings

So someone told us that Nintendo might have even suppressed the loophole-a small trick that tends to make Switch eShop a particularly heavily discounted game.

Recall that the Switch eShop charts are ranked by 14-day sales, regardless of the cost of the game. As a result, even games of average or questionable quality are pervasive with significant discounts.

However, Nintendo has made some efforts to fix this. For those who don’t know, some of the historical changes are:

  • Games that cost 1c were explicitly excluded from the eShop North American chart at some point. (After the discount was made, the game returned to the chart at the regular price. Often I raised it, but it was a bit strange.)

  • Recently, the discount rules for North America have changed. Details are not disclosed. However, when I check out the US e-shops today, it seems that no more games are selling for less than $ 1.99. So I think that’s it!

  • This change also resolves the first “1c sales issue”. (By the way, Switch has different rules / timings for Nintendo’s sale in Europe, so there are still a bit cheaper games out there.)

In addition to this, especially exotic loopholes are closed- “100% Owner Discount” loopholes. Basically, the fact that you can assign a discount to a game if you own another game, as QubicGames did last Christmas, is to store many of the publisher’s games on the chart. It was used “constructively”.

Yesterday’s holiday was as follows. “From now until December 24th, all Nintendo Switch owners will have 10 games available and will be available as part of what Qubic Games calls a” chain reaction “system. ” Basically, if you “buy” the previous game, each game gets a 100% discount, which is also a 100% discount … awesome.

And of course: “Each prize game is” significantly discounted “for about three weeks after it becomes free, so you have a chance to get a game you missed. ” So, after all these games topped the charts with free giveaways, they stayed there for the 99c sale, where Qubic earned real revenue.

Again this year, we’ve seen other developers use this loophole on more isolated occasions. But there is nothing more. It seems that you can no longer chart your game using “100% Discount”.Or at least, Qubic promotions for this holiday are pretty normal “Many games are discounted, but the cheapest is $ 1.99.” Type case.

So what does this really mean? Well, Switch can still be a fairly discount-centric platform-especially for games that cost $ 20 to $ 25 at launch. With these new rules, you can still get 80% and 90% off sales and sell your game for $ 2 or more.

You may remember the example of my companion in No More Robots in a recent newsletter. It uses the total revenue of Not Tonight (90% off sale) and Yes, Your Grace (40% off sale). NotTonight’s sales curve is helped by hitting the chart, as shown below:

NotTonight was still $ 2.49, so even after the shift, these two games will not be affected by these changes. However, the more exotic “Some of these games are free if you buy other games” or “Games are only 9c!” Promotions are no longer included in the e-shop top charts. Which one is better?

(In the long run, it makes more sense to rank e-shops by revenue in real time, like Steam. This allows you to “buy a small game with gold points and create a chart.” The problem no longer occurs .. I still want it!)

The revamped Steam News section debuts!

We have a second notable Steam rollout of the week. And that’s the new Steam News section! All Steam developers should have received an email from Valve about this pointing to this Steamworks post. There are also public posts for all regular Steam players.

But an excerpt from the developer’s post: “Your events and announcements are already visible to players in the Steam library, the Steam community, and the store page itself. However, these posts are automatically displayed in the news hub, and the game owner, Wish Lister. , Shows to followers. The Steam News Hub also includes posts from recommended games to help new players find the game. “

Therefore, this is a very solid addition that will help you find and integrate useful game updates in one place. Players can also add a number of officially approved press sites to their Steam news page if they want to follow the game news that way.

News pages are also a good way to promote upcoming events in the game, both in-game and non-game. Here is an example of Destiny 2. Can I use it to promote a big update / patch release?

There is still something to explore here. For example, most of the news you see in your news feed comes from games that are already in your Steam library, so you don’t really know how the “Post from Recommended Games” feature works. .. But if anyone knows, maybe send us a note here at GameDiscoverCo?

Another explanation from Steam that I 100% agree with: “When I see Steam downloading game updates to the Steam library and seeing no recent news about the game posted, I often hear reports of confusion from players. Putting it in, the Steamworks tools include a specific category of “small updates / patch notes”.

You can use this category to post information about the smallest updates you have made to your game. This allows it to appear in the right place without getting in the way of major updates or news. “

This is a bandage suitable for situations where the developer doesn’t want to bomb the news page with a small bug fix, but is actually pushing a new build. Therefore, I hope more people will use it.

Summary of Game Discovery News ..

To conclude here, there’s a lot of other platform news, including the latest move to make $ 7 billion worth of Discord an effective source of revenue (don’t start valuing tech companies, haha). A bunch of other neat news you might have missed:

  • So, is it a discord as a game platform?An almost ubiquitous (originally game-centric) group messaging platform I’m working on a multiplayer game that runs within Discord.. The linked beta screenshots are poker including video chat. But I’m sure there are many other possibilities. (Today’s Technology Mantra: Acquire users and build business models.)

  • Since I talked about it last time, there has been a new Nintendo Indie World Showcase (YouTube archive). And here’s a summary from The Verge-Among Us and Grindstone’s Instagram launches, Spelunky 1 and 2, Alba: A Wildlife Adventure in 2021. , This is still a “raw steak” style. It’s always interesting to see what the Big N highlights indie!

  • Former Steam contractor (and who designed the GameDiscoverCo Plus data backend!) Lars Doucet has published a Gamasutra blog post about experimenting with the new “Steam Browser” lab to further elaborate on the philosophy behind the concept. I am. “So far, the approach to discovery has been primarily focused on displaying the appropriate individual titles to the player … [but is now] Highlight the category itself appropriately. The average Steam player may not even know that “City Builders” or “Automated Factory sims” are Steam “things.”

  • Three major console platform makers (Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft) jointly announced in a blog post “A common commitment to safer games.” Their pledge: “We continue to inform parents and players through our Code of Conduct, Terms of Service and Enforcement Practices. Technology to prevent inappropriate behavior and content before players do harm. Investing in. ” I think this is a reaction to an attack on Section 230 in the United States, but I’m clearly grateful for adding resources to support this sort of thing.

  • Ubisoft Plus ($ 15 / month for many Ubi games!) Is now available on Google Stadia. This is the part that is really interesting to me: “”[Ubisoft Plus] Subscribers also do not need to purchase a Google Stadia Pro subscription. Stadia has a free tier, so that’s all you need to stream Ubisoft games. However, Stadia Pro offers 4K streaming, but the free tier is limited to 1080p. ” Is Ubisoft paying Google for this (as streaming apps have to pay Roku)?

  • Microlink: There are lots of interesting alternative (and traditional!) Picks that really enjoyed Polygon’s Top 50 games of the year.Shinsei #MissedThisIndie hashtag The attempt on Twitter is an attempt to introduce a great title that is controversial. EA Play and Game Pass Ultimate as part of the Xbox Game Pass on the PC were delayed in 2021, but I think it’s due to technical integration issues.

Thank you for reading until next time. As a video game creator, or someone next to you, we hope you find something new or useful to speed up your day.

[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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