Itch.io partner system?

Discussion in 'Commercial Games Discussion' started by MechScapeZH, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. MechScapeZH

    MechScapeZH Veteran Veteran

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    Hello,

    I recently released my game on itch.io, and while looking through its "interact" menu I found the following option:

    upload_2019-12-4_16-19-45.png

    This appears to be a program where itch.io's affiliates can download your game for free in exchange for media coverage.

    Has anyone opted into this, and if so, does it work? As in, do affiliates actually download your game, and if so, does their coverage actually result in more sales? I'd hate to give away copies of my game here-and-there for no result.

    Thank you in advance for your help. :)
     
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  2. MechScapeZH

    MechScapeZH Veteran Veteran

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    It doesn't appear that anyone has tried this, considering that this thread's been up for almost a week with no replies, so let me ask 2 follow-up questions: does this sound like a good program, and has anyone participated in anything similar to this before? I can't imagine that itch.io is the only site with such a program.
     
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  3. jkweath

    jkweath Goes Fast Veteran

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    I went ahead and opted in to the program. I don't expect much but we'll see!

    I've been utilizing Keymailer and Woovit for awhile now for getting keys to content creators (who, if they play the game and enjoy it, are generally expected to post a video or stream and possibly a review). This sounds somewhat similar to Itch's partner system.

    From a commercial standpoint, I can't say with 100% certainty but I don't think the coverage for any of my games resulted in any significant sales increase, especially not enough to warrant purchasing the plans offered by Keymailer and Woovit. That's not to say they made no difference at all, but I never noticed a sales uptick after, say, a content creator releasing a new video.

    That said, I don't see any harm in using such services or the Itch partner system. You're giving away free game copies, of course, but they're going to people who probably wouldn't have bought or seen the game otherwise and could potentially help sales along depending on how big their audience is.
     
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  4. MechScapeZH

    MechScapeZH Veteran Veteran

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    Gosh, thank you so much for trying it on my account- I can't thank you enough. I look forward to seeing what comes of it. :)

    Thinking about it more, you're definitely correct in saying that itch.io's partners are people who wouldn't have bought copies anyway- my one worry is if they're "legitimate" i.e. if they review fairly. Some are just YouTube people, looking at their list, and I'm afraid they'll bring some pre-conceived notions about RPG Maker games to their reviews- if there's one thing I've learned, it's that no review is better than a bad review. (Correct? This is the first time I've ever released a game- maybe I'm wrong. Please tell me if I am.)

    Thank you for sharing your data- it's very helpful and I'll keep it in mind.

    I almost opted in myself since I was thinking that if you've opted in after seeing this thread then I should do the same since I was the one who posted the thread (and therefore I should take the risk)... but I didn't. Not yet- I still don't know who'll review my game and how they'll do it. Please forgive me if I don't take this risk just yet despite being the one who asked about this program- I've learned to be more careful after making quite a few mistakes lately. Game development is a business like any other, as I've learned quite well lately.

    Thank you for your help!
     
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  5. jkweath

    jkweath Goes Fast Veteran

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    I assume anyone looking to play and review a game would only download it if they looked over a game and found it interesting enough to try. After that, the quality of the game itself will determine how the review goes. I guess there's always the potential for bad actors, but I haven't encountered many (well, none for that matter).

    On "no review is better than a bad review", that's mostly true. IMO it's healthy for a game to have some less positive reviews trickled in. A game with a large number of only positive reviews, especially a small indie game like one of us would make, would look suspicious and, if anything, could even turn away potential buyers.

    Of course, if your first five-ish reviews all just so happened to be negative, well, I imagine you'd have some serious problems going forward, but that doesn't seem to happen often.

    I feel like I read somewhere awhile back that, when a potential customer checks a game's Steam page, one of the first things they do is look over the reviews, specifically the Not Recommended ones. I can attest to doing this personally. People look for real, honest opinions before making their decision, and there's no better place to look for honesty than a negative review. And who knows - depending on how your negative reviews look (are they complaining about bugs? is the game just that bad, or did they just find out it wasn't their type of game?), the reviews could actually benefit sales more than harm.

    Haha, no problem. I've said it before but my motto on game development is I'm willing to try lots of new things just to see what happens. If I'm being honest, I don't expect anything from it, but if anything does I'll be sure to report it.

    I can't blame you for wanting to be more careful. When I released my first game, I foolishly gave out keys to email scammers who took the keys and re-sold them on G2A. No doubt that some of my games were available on torrent websites before they were even released thanks to Keymailer scammers too. Live and learn!
     
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  6. MechScapeZH

    MechScapeZH Veteran Veteran

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    The bad actors are what I'm worried about, not negative reviews from actual players- my game is far from perfect, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. The potential problem in my eyes is that judging from the list of partners listed on itch.io, a lot of them are YouTube people with only a few subscribers, which tells me that it doesn't take much to be declared a partner- and who says all of those partners are trustworthy? Unfortunately, some people are just against anything made with RPG Maker just on principal and seem to wish to negatively affect the success of anyone who uses it (which is why I've decided to pretty much stick to this site from now on- I've never had a bad experience here, and as soon as I tried to promote myself elsewhere in the internet, I have a bad experience)- and who says such people aren't among the long list of partners? Perhaps I'm being paranoid, but after being tricked (which it seems has happened to you as well- thank you for telling me about these scammers- I'll keep an eye out for them going forward) I don't want to take chances. I want to believe that everyone is trustworthy and on the level because what reason would someone have to take advantage of me, but... People do things for nonsensical reasons, it seems.

    Thank you so, so much for taking this chance- I look forward to seeing what does or doesn't come of it. :)
     
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