Best time to release a game... or the worst?

Releasing a game now is...

  • ... the best time, go for it!

  • ... the worst time, wait a bit.


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cabfe

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Hello,

With the quarantine in effect in a lot of countries, people are having a lot of free time and video games can help pass the time.

One could think that it's the perfect moment to release your game.

But...

You can find dozens of games given away for free by all sorts of publishers, just to help people pass the time.
And now, the best time could be considered the worst to release a game, as people are drown in games now.

What do you think?
 

Soulrender

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Everyone (or at least the most) sits on their buts in home, so I think it's good moment.
 

rue669

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I don’t know if now is the best time to release a game.
I’m not buying any new games until this crisis is under control. My wife and I decided no non-essential purchasers. We’ve got a mortgage and don’t want to dip into our savings. My brother who is also a gamer is also not buying anything.

I think people are worried that this quarantine could take months. And that’s concerning.
 

Parallax Panda

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Hard to say.

Sure people have time, but do they have the money? Many are probably home without pay and they don't know for how long. I'd argue that releasing a game in early January might have been a good time but right now... I dunno.

If there was news of many who's sitting it out would get government paychecks or something and the situation would let up a bit, then maybe it would be a good time.

Personally I'd probably not release a commercial game *right now*, not sure about 1-3 months ahead. If I had a free one though, I'd say it's very much the perfect time to release. Throw it out on the web and market it as a "here you guys, you can play this for free to pass time while we wait out the Corona pandemic". I'm sure anyone doing that would get a ton of appreciation and support.

But I assume you mean a commercial release in which case I'd have to say... it could go either way for you.
 

MushroomCake28

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Depends. Commercial or not? If it's commercial, then it's a bad time because of the recession. If it's non commercial, it's probably a good time with many people staying home.
 

Golden Unicorn Gaming

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Depends on your price point. All above comments are valid. Anything under $2 I think you can do whatever you want. Probably lose a few sales between 2-5 bucks, and above that definitely wait until the skies have cleared.
 

Former_Sky

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I personally wouldn't worry about the pandemic, butI'd look to other game releases at this time. There's the FF7 Remake, RE3 Remake, and Animal Crossing that people have been waiting for and are playing now. I don't know whether there is overlap between customers of indie rpg maker games and big budget titles, but I think it's a bad time to release when there's so much out there you're competing against.
 

cabfe

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I personally wouldn't worry about the pandemic, butI'd look to other game releases at this time. There's the FF7 Remake, RE3 Remake, and Animal Crossing that people have been waiting for and are playing now. I don't know whether there is overlap between customers of indie rpg maker games and big budget titles, but I think it's a bad time to release when there's so much out there you're competing against.
That is true, but there is, hopefully, an opening for small indie games between all those AAA releases.
They never stop coming, so we have to get out even if it's raining AAA games all year long!
 

EthanFox

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I think it's a bit of both; but then, generally, there's never a good time to release something, because you're always competing with everything else no matter when you're releasing.

The only exception to this is if you have a game themed around a particular time of year, i.e. no-one will release a Christmas game in January.

Back when I launched my second book, I picked a day in Spring to launch it, many months beforehand... When it got closer, it turned out I'd picked the same day as Avengers: Endgame. I graciously decided to move my book launch (I wouldn't want to ruin their movie launch) (... ;)) but I think that was a special case; I was going up against the biggest media moment of (potentially) the decade.
 

cabfe

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@EthanFox It's interesting that you delayed your book's release when a movie was released at the same time.
They are two different media, and sometimes audience as well. Do you think it'd have a real impact on your book success?
I wouldn't think so, but I have never published a book.
 

pasunna

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@EthanFox It's interesting that you delayed your book's release when a movie was released at the same time.
They are two different media, and sometimes audience as well. Do you think it'd have a real impact on your book success?
I wouldn't think so, but I have never published a book.
it may not same media
but people got only one pocket and 24 hr
so… avoid the mainstream media is not the bad idea
 

EthanFox

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@EthanFox It's interesting that you delayed your book's release when a movie was released at the same time.
They are two different media, and sometimes audience as well. Do you think it'd have a real impact on your book success?
I wouldn't think so, but I have never published a book.
You're right, they are different media - however, as a content creator, you're competing for time, so really you're competing with everything; books, Netflix, games...

As there's always stuff coming out, every single day, you shouldn't really let this stop you. I just did that in this case because Endgame was such a big event that I thought it would be a problem. Most things aren't an issue unless you're releasing something particularly similar.

Take NALE. I wouldn't stop a release of it for most things, but maybe I would if there was an Ace Attorney game coming out on the same weekend.
 

CuddleFox

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You can find dozens of games given away for free by all sorts of publishers, just to help people pass the time.
And now, the best time could be considered the worst to release a game, as people are drown in games now.
We're flooded with games all the time, the quarantine, even if it helps, doesn't change the fact that your game will be drowned by others, so this is the best time.
 

KoalaFrenzy

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There's no time without an extreme saturation of titles on the market, and it gets worse and worse all the time. If you look at charts on how many games have been released on steam year per year, you see that bar going up and up and up and 90% of it doesn't ever make more than $10k.

So with more and more games coming out, and people having more time to make games, I would say earlier is better if it's PC only. The coronavirus thing might be concerning, but unless you're willing to sit on it for a year before releasing it, what can you do?
 

Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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In terms of purely games, I think its a bit of both really... It is a good time since you have more possible players, but also a bad time considering more devs might be thinking to release their games right now too, so you also get more competition...

Then there's the thing of money, right now some people have time, but are saving their money for food and more essential stuff. So people might not be necessarily looking for more games right now. The pricing of your game will probably have more impact right now...

Then there's also the changes in the lives of gamers (especially those working and/or with families) than could actually affect their playtime, and consequently their hunt for new games.

Personally, as a player, Im not looking for new games to buy right now because my Steam library has like 100 games I havent even downloaded yet... Plus I need to be frugal with money right now so that I can buy food during this pandemic.

TBH, I think if your game is ready, release it. If not, dont try to rush it just to make it released by this time.
 

hero_buddy

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it all depends on your price point. if you're not selling your game for a huge amount of dollars, then i'd say there's no better time than right now to get your baby onto the market. if you're looking to really cash in though and sell it at a higher price, then you should probably wait a little and see if the dust settles on the global sitch.

a lot of countries are giving their citizens financial support at the moment due to the loss of jobs, so there's also that to take into account. they may be able to spare a couple bucks to pick up your game. not everyone is losing their job either. hell, my boyfriend still has to go into the office every day despite everything.

despite all this though, everyone's situations vary. some may be able to pick it up, and some may not. again, i'd say your price point is the deciding factor right now.
 

Dezue

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We've released three short games this month (for free) and it went great (even better than some of our earlier releases), so my recommendation would be:

DO IT NOW!
Or don't touch the cow, it's up to you :D
Anyway, new games help to make this crisis more tolerable, so kudos to everybody who releases theirs right now as well!

Stay funky,
Dez
 

Tanarex

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Free games are good. Good games are better. Great game are the best. So maybe spilt the difference? Make demos of the best games and if they like it they can buy it. Just make it cheaper than a Starbuck coffee.
 

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