Indie Lovecraft-alike Eldritch landed big last fall, earning itself a positive review and some kudos after only a few months of development. Now its designer, David Pittman, formerly of 2K Marin and BioShock 2 fame, has written up an extensive post-mortem on the dark, unknowable secrets inside the black heart of indie game creation. In addition to talking frankly about the game's budget and income, Pittman also revealed the absolute power of a Steam Sale to spike a game's numbers.
“Eldritch has received a good amount of press coverage... but nothing has made as big an impact on traffic and sales as being featured on high profile Twitch and YouTube channels,” Pittman writes. “As YouTube and some major publishers continue to make it harder for these creators to monetize their videos, I encourage independent developers to make it easier. Get in contact with YouTubers, and make it easy for them to get in contact with you. Make preview builds readily available. Publish a written statement authorizing monetization of footage of your game. Game developers and YouTubers can have a very healthy symbiotic relationship, and if that's something that the industry heavyweights aren't interested in, indies will eat their lunch.”
For launching after a mere two months of publicity, Eldritch saw slow but steady sales throughout October and November, with big spikes hitting any time the game was featured on Steam. Then, the game was discounted to 80% off as an overnight flash deal during the Steam Winter Sale. Here's what that looked like:
Image: David Pittman
“I thought I was looking at the wrong numbers at first; Eldritch had literally doubled its units sold overnight! Even at such a low price, the revenue from the flash sale exceeded the total revenue of the Autumn Sale and the rest of the Holiday Sale combined,” he writes.
Pittman's look back at his first indie title is a must-read for anyone making a game and trying to keep themselves fed at the same time. For more on Eldritch, check out the full analysis on Pittman's blog , read Chris's review of Eldritch, and check out the game on Steam .