Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

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Tarrak
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Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by Tarrak » Wed May 07, 2014 8:18 pm

Now that Panzer Corps is available on Steam already since a while i am quite curious how it sells there. Was the effort of "porting" PC to Steam and the additional maintenance worth it? I know you probably can't reveal any numbers and hard facts but any insight would be nice.

Bonesoul
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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by Bonesoul » Wed May 07, 2014 8:51 pm

I cant say if it was worth it commercially, I doubt there are many people on the forum who could. As a single user, all I can say is if it haddnt been on Steam I probably wouldnt have ever found Pamzer Corps. Things have changed since the day you could go into a games shop and browse for a title that would take your fancy, at least in my case I find them online and that means, wven if i find them through a forum or review, I will most likley end up buying them through Steam or something similar.

I dont see how there is any chpice if you want to maximise exposure, than to be available on steam and similar types of distribution system.

Cheers
Bone

Akkula
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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by Akkula » Thu May 08, 2014 2:56 am

I think its a positive thing to be on Steam, in fact I bought the game through there :)
Eastern Front: Soviet Storm (v1.96): http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=147&t=50342
Modern Conflicts (v1.4): http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=147&t=72062

rezaf
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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by rezaf » Thu May 08, 2014 5:08 am

Well, they said putting Panzer Corps on Steam was a test balloon of sorts, to see whether there was money for them to make there.
With that in mind, I think it's telling that they now also have put Battle Academy and Pandora up - and I doubt it'll end there.

Hoping for some official comment on this as well, though. 8)
_____
rezaf

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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by IainMcNeil » Thu May 08, 2014 3:07 pm

To be honest we need a year or two to draw any real conclusions as we are in it for the long term. We're trialing a number of other games in different ways to get more data. So far it looks like a useful additional revenue stream but is still a small part of our overall revenue.

Bonesoul
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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by Bonesoul » Thu May 08, 2014 4:10 pm

Is it actually that expensive to release a game via steam? When I look at whats available now a lot of content is in development and beta versions, many games are either still in a crowd sourced development stage or are completed but very much niche indy titles. Im sure if you go the wlloe steam achievement route which PzC has done it has associated cost, but do most people buying though steam realy worry about them? I may take a look at what they are but most of the time they require you to do illogical things or just play a lot.

As a question is there any real choice in the long term, Steam and its like are the quivalents of the supermarkets of the groceries world and to have mass visibility to potential buyers the see to becoming a must. It would be like Heinz not selling their beans through Tescose, Walmart, etc.

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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by JimmyC » Fri May 09, 2014 2:48 am

My understanding of how Steam works (for a game developer) is that it simply takes a commission on sales made. So there is no upfront cost per say. Rather, they just take a slice of the income.

And like Bones says, it opens up the game to a mass audience. So whilst your revenue per sale will be less, i would imagine the mass exposure would increase total number of sales.

Personally i prefer to buy games via Steam as its so easy to do and has a nice interface. It also makes installing games on a new pc so much easier (an issue i had with Panzer Corps actually, when i upgraded to a new pc).

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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by prince_blucher » Fri May 09, 2014 7:08 am

I agree with JimmyC re Steam and its ease/access.

I wait for months for PzC to come out on Steam before I purchased the game. I also bought all the expansions and DLC.

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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by IainMcNeil » Mon May 12, 2014 9:00 am

Everyone thinks releasing on Steam means you'll sell loads of units but its simply not true. I've seen data from many developers that suggest when you are on sale you can sell a lot but day to day things are not as rosy. Obviously some games do very well and these are the ones you tend to hear about. You don't hear much about the many many games that sink without trace! Steam is now releasing far more games than it used to and its becoming very crowded and the same issues that effect the app store kick in - visibility. With so many apps how do you get someone to play yours. Unless you have something driving traffic to your game it will just go unnoticed and not sell. I'm glad we do not rely on Steam, Apple or any other source of revenue. The vast majority of our revenue comes direct from our site.

Dragoon.
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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by Dragoon. » Mon May 12, 2014 5:10 pm

You don't sell games, you sell discounts on Steam. Not surprising with the sale spam going on. Spring Sale, Summer Sale, Halloween Sale, Black Friday Sale, Holiday Sale, Weekly Sales, Midweek Sales, Daily Sales, Special Sales Developers Sale, Weeklong Deals, Today Deals.

Well at least for me I can say, I stopped buying games on Steam since the last Summer sale 2013, as of now I got more than 60 titles that I bought but never played. Just rand them once to see if they are working. Of course it gets even worse when I keep replaying Panzer Corps over and over again, like an old tradition. :)

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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by Bonesoul » Tue May 13, 2014 1:07 am

As I said earlier Steam is like Sainsbury's, just because your baked beans (game on steam ofc) doesn't mean you will sell loads, but if your beans aren't stocked by Sainsbury's you miss out on a lot of sales opportunities.

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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by JimmyC » Tue May 13, 2014 5:29 am

I generally agree with what Ian says. Unless you have the game on sale, nobody is going to notice it on Steam (with a few exceptions of course). I can't help but wonder that a good strategy would be to wait until a quiet week and have some nominal discount, such as 10% off and get a lot of exposure that way.

Certainly regarding my buying tendencies, i never buy games on Steam at full price and generally always wait until there is a sale before i pick up something i want.

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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by nikivdd » Tue May 13, 2014 6:28 am

I think that Panzer Corps on Steam is a concession towards players who wish to purchase the game on that platform. But if you really want to support the game, it is better to buy it directly from Slitherine/Matrix.
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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by Tarrak » Tue May 13, 2014 7:05 am

To be honest i personally don't understand the Steam hype anyway. Yes i am using it myself and it got some advantages like the ease of use and reinstallation but as well some disadvantages like for example their totally fucked regional pricing, being unable to sell used games or especially as a German being unable to buy some of the 18+ rated games. So all in all it's an OK game shop but refusing to buy a game just because it'S not on Steam is just plain stupid.

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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by BiteNibbleChomp » Tue May 13, 2014 7:12 am

Only reason I have the damned thing is because you need to have it for Civ 5 and Empire Total War. So I'm not really a fan either

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Bonesoul
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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by Bonesoul » Tue May 13, 2014 4:15 pm

There are two big draws to me of using steam.

The first has been mentioned, I don't have to worry about lost/corrupted discs when I have to upgrade my PC or reinstall the OS when it gets corrupted. A lot of the games if not all that I play, are more modern versions of older ones. This includes PzC, which comes out of PzGeneral and arguably SSI's Battle of Normandy going back to the mid 80's. I would still be playing Civ II sometimes even today if I had bought it on steam because it would still be sitting there in my library (wouldn't help me with the ones that require DosBox or the like OFC, a lot I would still love to play wont work under later versions of windows :( ). Having them all under one umbrella library means I don't have to remember loads of passwords for loads of individual sites either.

The other draw is basically, other than the game makers own site its one of the few options left to me, as an avid player on the PC even 10 years ago it was getting hard to find a good selection of games, EB and game the two big UK chains had maybe one or two shelves for PC the rest various consoles. Now there aren't even the shops, where I live there is I think one still left where there were four 10 years ago. So I have to use Steam or something similar because its basically just a big online shop with a few bells and whistles.

As to getting exposure that's more difficult, most forums, this one is pretty good, don't allow any mention of other games unless they are obsolete and history, so I really don't know where to look for potential games I will like. I know that I found PzC on steam by going through the strategy genre page by page, picking out games I might like then seeing what I could find about them. I would agree that as Steam increases the titles available they may need to find a better way for people to find games they might enjoy, it they don't someone else will and take over.

I do tend to buy games at a discount, I guess most people do, even if I have to wait a bit for the latest version (especially given later versions often aren't as good as the original) and £30 rather than £50 is worth a little wait. That said I bought PzC within the first few weeks of it being on Steam, I guess I got a discount as I bought the whole GC/DLC as a bundle, but I don't remember it being advertised as a massive discount.

Overall I hope Steam works out well for Slitherine, its the kind of game company I like, give me global conquest any day, a good historic battle scenario, a complex game engine that makes me think, the kids can have the pretty graphics and shoot um up's. Im just as happy with a box with a diagonal cross symbol for infantry anyway.

Cheers
Bone

JimmyC
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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by JimmyC » Wed May 14, 2014 4:54 am

Tarrak wrote:To be honest i personally don't understand the Steam hype anyway. Yes i am using it myself and it got some advantages like the ease of use and reinstallation but as well some disadvantages like for example their totally fucked regional pricing, being unable to sell used games or especially as a German being unable to buy some of the 18+ rated games. So all in all it's an OK game shop but refusing to buy a game just because it'S not on Steam is just plain stupid.
Can't see on this thread where anybody said they won't buy a game just because its not on Steam. I strongly agree regarding your comment on the regional pricing policy though. That really, really annoys me - especially when i go to steampowered on the internet and it shows me the US prices, only to log in and find its increased 25% because I live in Japan.

For me the main draws for steam are convenience, the seasonal sales and installing/reinstalling games.

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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by Dragoon. » Wed May 14, 2014 7:24 am

While there are indeed some unfair regional pricing you should know that Steam prices in $ are without taxes (Same is true for Matrix/Slitherine Store). If you live in Washington state there will be a 10% tax that gets added on at the checkout. So if you buy a game priced at $5 you actually end up paying $5.50.

With Steam Euro prices it's different. They are gross prices if can call it that.
First the EU enforce VAT (Value Added Tax) on all member states of at least I think 15%. I think the Nordic countries have some of the highest VAT's of 25%. First Valve will take VAT from the gross price and from that then Valve takes it 20% cut.
So lets assume a game cost $5, after Valves cut there remains $4 bucks. Now if you want the same amount when selling in the EU, and you assume an overage VAT of 20%, you need to charge $6. That would be ~€4.5. Unfortunately Steams automatic default conversion tool goes the $=€ route and will charge €4.99 instead.
If a publisher on Steam want fair regional prices they have to submit regional prices themselves to Valve. I'm not sure why Valve does that, maybe it's laziness, greed or general widespread fear of math. Especially Indie developers are not aware that the Steam currency conversion sets regional unfair prices automatically.

Kirby
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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by Kirby » Wed May 14, 2014 7:59 am

I've noticed a trend that helps you get visibility on steam:

Join the big % sprees on steam (like Black friday) to get initial visibility. Live off DLCs I guess :-/
This will in turn put you, hopefully, onto the Top Sellers charts as well. At least temporarily.
And finally, people will notice your DLCs in the "Most recent" section, if you push these out on a regular basis.


I still Prefer Steam to most other methods of purchasing games. It's simply convenient. And it's working really well. Usually. The only launcher of comparable quality would be Blizzard's.

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Re: Panzer Corps on Steam - Success or not?

Post by crusader007 » Fri May 16, 2014 7:10 pm

Personally i think steam is a success

Easy access and also available for wide public and easy marketing.
No more worries about updates.

Great joB! brilliant move! also the key implemtation to steam worked brilliantly!

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