I’ve been looking at improving the sales of Oxygen Addict’s games, in particular Invertical.
I’ve always liked the IndieCity project and feel that it has real potential but despite being quite a while since it hit beta it is still in its infancy. There are two major drawbacks to the site. The first is that there just aren’t a great amount of people using it considering it already has a healthy catalog of games. The second is that the process of buying a game to someone new to the site is very awkward as you need to register, download the client, log in then go back and buy the game. On the flip side I love their recommendation scheme, which could also help with recognition, and it gives people a more assured sense of professionalism than just paypal and a download link. Another upside is that I can wait before transfering money, ensuring that I’m not losing a notable amount of money to fees. The final benefit from a developer’s view is quite a good one. If I update the game then people can see that and get the latest patch via the client.
Another site that I’ve used in the past is Indievania. It again doesn’t seem to be hugely popular with players and as fees are per transaction I lose a lot of the money to Paypal. As a result I am going to have to charge more. It just doesn’t make sense to lose half the revenue to Paypal costs! One thing I do like is that I can see who has purchased the games. Whilst I don’t want to ever be spammy, if I find a major bug for the game and patch it then I can let them know. Okay that isn’t as good as Indie City automatically patching but least it provides a point of contact.
As a simple option for people I have decided to provide, via a simple plugin, a means of purchasing and downloading games direct from my site. It goes via PayPal so the same issues as Indievania are there, however I’ve decided to increase the prices. I don’t think they are expensive, especially compared to say the price of a cup of bland tea from Starbucks. There have been a few teething issues and its possible not to get the download links automatically but as I receive an email I can authenticate and resend everything. Given the site isn’t overwhelming in terms of traffic, I’m happy with that. I’ve also made various changes to the website to incorporate the store so that all links for purchasable games go through to the purchase page, which contains all their relevent details.
There have always been a couple of other sites that I had my eye on. Valve’s new Greenlight was very exciting but the new $100 fee has unfortunately ruled me out. As this is a game for charity my budget is limited and given that there’s no assurances that the game will get approved it isn’t a cost I can risk. I’d happily pay a $100 fee to be put on Steam or a smaller fee to take part and hope to gain awareness but whilst I think Invertical is a cool game, its a long shot to go up against full time devs!
Another is Desura. It has a larger coverage than IndieCity & Indievania combined plus a cool store front. Previously I’ve had concerns about submitting my games when there’s some more famous games on there and pricing tends to be a bit higher than where I usually target butyou know what, Invertical is good enough. It deserves to be on there. Now to make it happen…
In the mean time, why not pick up all the currently released Oxygen Addict games? The lot of them combined are just over a fiver, although once X-Orbtek is out I’ll put together a bundle for a fiver.