Why I'm dropping GameJolt support and why you should too

Discussion in 'Commercial Games Discussion' started by Tuomo L, Jul 25, 2017.

?

Are you going to release your commercial game on Game Jolt?

  1. Yes

    6 vote(s)
    18.8%
  2. No

    26 vote(s)
    81.3%
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  1. Tuomo L

    Tuomo L Oldbie Veteran

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    After being on Game Jolt for some time, I'm dropping support of it. Why?

    Game Jolt.png

    After months of being there, I've not gotten anything. There's no visibility/update rounds or any way to show off your game unlike in Steam. With equal marketing ammount, I receive more sales and views in a single day on Steam than months on Game Jolt.


    Now, you may wonder why does this matter, why don't I just keep it on GameJolt in hopes that someone will buy it eventually?


    First of all, it means I have to support Game Jolt and provide updates in different manner. Because I have to remove all the steam achievements and such things from Game Jolt, I esentially have to update two versions of one game, not including any potential language versions I may have in future. I'm not even sure how Game Jolt handles multi language support at the moment. Regardless, this is more work and I'm basically one person team, handling all marketing, updating, uploading and much more for my company. The saying "time is money" applies here as the time I spend supporting Game Jolt, I could be working on updating and supporting the Steam version which is more proffitable. I am not hobby developer; I pay tax, rent, food and bills from my game sales, so I can't support something that only nets in losses.

    Second of all, as mentioned, there's literally no way of getting any views or visibility in there. People say there's tons of games and you can get burried in Steam but Steam at least allows you to have update visibility rounds, you can partake in sales, visibility and much more. There's none of that in Game Jolt, the site doesn't provide any sort of visiblity tools and this translates to far less clicks. You'll be in literal sea of games and only way to get more recognition is to spend a lot of money in marketing, to maybe get a fraction of what you'd get at Steam for 100$ Steam Direct cost.

    Thirdly, even if I were to be making games as total freeware and just wanting to get my games around to be shown to people and not caring about getting money, almost every single forum and rpg maker site has better click to download ratio than Game Jolt. Unless your game's so well known that it's basically part of pop culture (Five nights at Freddys) you'll never achieve the same visibility as in any of these open communities. But at that point, your game's going to be downloaded more at other places too, not just Game Jolt.


    What are your thoughts/experiences on Game Jolt and other such smaller sites?
     
    #1
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  2. Caitlin

    Caitlin \(=^o^=)/ Kitten shall rule the world!!! Veteran

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    I haven't released a game, but I appreciate your posting your experiences, helped me avoid a second mistake in my life in dealing with something I decide to sell. Thank you. -Gamejolt (^_^)
     
    #2
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  3. CleanWater

    CleanWater Independent Developer Veteran

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    The very same experience you had...

    The only way to get any visibility on these places is investing your own time and money to do so. Even then, it doesn't mean you will get anything in return.

    People want to buy games on Steam to increase their Steam library. That's all. If they like your game, they will prefer to get your game on Steam than in other store instead. Even if they don't like your game, they want your game on their Steam library.

    I maintain my page on itch.io just as a possible counter measure (in case Steam bankrupt, a meteor falls on Gabe Newell's head or something similar), but I only sold 1 single copy of my game there until today (it's been years I'm on that store).

    I never was invited to put my itch.io games on any bundle site either.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
    #3
  4. SimProse

    SimProse Veteran Veteran

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    Ditto. Same with itch.io to be honest, you will drown in a sea of "hobby" and half-finished Alpha games with very little way to get real visibility. GOG and Steam, IMHO, are the only ways to go if you actually want to be realistic about making a living selling games.
     
    #4
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  5. Tuomo L

    Tuomo L Oldbie Veteran

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    I think Humble Bundle is good too but it's really hard to get there.
     
    #5
  6. Matseb2611

    Matseb2611 Innovate, don't emulate Veteran

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    I never put any of my games on there, and it seems I was right not to. I notice with most indie game sites, there's simply no exposure. Nothing quite on the same level as Steam. And pretty much any of the respectable non-Steam ones tend to sell Steam keys anyway. Steam really has a monopoly as far as PC games go.
     
    #6
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  7. lianderson

    lianderson Veteran Veteran

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    62 and 1 follow? That sucks. :(

    If it would help anyone, I´ll list my 7 week stats with the place.

    https://gamejolt.com/games/woodenocean/259340
    Views: 649
    Downloads: 8 (free version was put up 3 weeks ago)
    Installs: 1
    Comments: 3
    Ratings: 0
    Follows: 18
    Sales: 1
    Revenue: $9.96
     
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  8. CleanWater

    CleanWater Independent Developer Veteran

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    Before Desura went bankrupt, I got a fair amount of sales and exposure there. After Desura's "death", only Steam remained now. :eek:

    Even on that time, Desura was still far away from being a good competitor to Steam.
     
    #8
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  9. Kyuukon

    Kyuukon 主人公 Veteran

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    I dropped it too :)
     
    #9
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  10. CleanWater

    CleanWater Independent Developer Veteran

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    I just wanted to ask these questions...
    1. The fact that our games don't get exposure on small stores is the small stores fault?
    2. Who here ever decided to bought a game outside of Steam (either on Game Jolt or itch.io?
    3. What could we do to change this reality?
     
    #10
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  11. Sharm

    Sharm Pixel Tile Artist Global Mod

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    I buy things on GOG over Steam whenever I can. I'm more likely to consider an independent game sold on itch.io than Steam but I haven't yet bought a game from there. I have, however bought resources there, and have sold some of my own, enough to make my time investment worth it. I expect that to go up with a new release and as I gain a following there. I've never had any interest in Game Jolt.

    I can think of ways that I would personally handle game advertising if I ever made a game but I don't have any suggestions for this particular situation. I don't know that it needs changing though, do we really want a second Steam? I'm personally happy to have an option that takes less of a cut in exchange for me being more responsible for my own visibility.
     
    #11
  12. sabao

    sabao Veteran Veteran

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    Here's a performance comparison of a demo of the same game we put up on both Gamejolt and itch.io. Both pages were published at the same time with the intent of promoting the finished game's Steam release and eventually, DRM-free builds to be sold at these sites. The pages were maintained for maybe a period of four to five months until the project's demise.
    [​IMG]
    This data is of course, for a free demo. Had this been a paid game, I imagine downloads would be significantly smaller. Gamejolt did basically nothing for us while itch.io managed to land us a few dollars people didn't actually need to give us (Bless these people) and a lot of community engagement. Mind, we got a huge boost in performance on itch.io because the game was featured on the front page.

    I'd like to say more on why devs ought to look at publishing in more platforms than Steam, but I have an appointment to get to. Just thought I'd share this first!​
     
    #12
  13. Matseb2611

    Matseb2611 Innovate, don't emulate Veteran

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    It's not only about your proficiency in advertising, but also the audience. You can have a publisher with a lot of connections to promote your game (as is the case with me), and you'd still get overwhelmingly more sales with places like Steam. Steam has an enormous user base, much of which is active and seeks new games to buy on a consistent basis. Majority of indie games are very niche, and when you have a user base as massive as Steam's (Over 125 million users now), the chances of there being plenty of players who are into the kind of games you make is very high.

    I like the convenience Steam provides, but also the fact that it has very good discount deals on a frequent basis. When other sites have indie bundles or great discounts for the kind of games I might find interesting and I can buy them without much of a hassle, then yeah, I go for it. It's not necessarily anyone's fault. It's just how the system works. Self-perpetuating cycle. Steam has become so big now that every dev wants to go there for maximum exposure, and because everyone does, Steam gets even more popular.
     
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  14. TakeHomeTheCup

    TakeHomeTheCup Veteran Veteran

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    Well, I guess we just have to do the advertising ourselves... Find a way to get our games known, while they're just on GameJolt or Itch.io...
    I heard Twitter is good...
     
    #14
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  15. sabao

    sabao Veteran Veteran

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    This isn't Field of Dreams where you can just build it and they will come. Whether you self-publish, put it on itch.io or on Steam, you do have to advertise regardless. Getting your game on a large marketplace like Steam helps expedite the process some, but not nearly enough to be significant if you do nothing else.

    ... Unless your game is Just That Awesome. Maybe you can somehow manage to push your game high up the ranks from your first week sales alone. Maybe. It's never that easy though, and even if it is, it's always best to err on the side of caution.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  16. Bricabrac

    Bricabrac The Storyteller Veteran

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    I use Gamejolt for my devlogs but I'm getting frustrated - I don't have many followers and post formatting is completely different from the other platforms I use, which means I have to re-format the post for what feels like no gain. I know, however, that sometimes GJ "features" devlogs and that could be useful to gain followers!
    Anyone has any experience about this?
     
    #16
  17. hp4000

    hp4000 Veteran Veteran

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    this is some great insight for me choosing where to put my commercial game! i still believe even if its 100 views, its still worth the effort to post on a marketplace!
     
    #17
  18. IAmJakeSauvage

    IAmJakeSauvage Veteran Veteran

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    I hate GameJolt but I've been getting emails daily about people following/rating so...
     
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  19. hp4000

    hp4000 Veteran Veteran

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    Oh really? Do you mind sharing stats of how your game has been doing?
     
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  20. IAmJakeSauvage

    IAmJakeSauvage Veteran Veteran

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    I have about half the views on Gamejolt vs. Itch.io but the same amount of plays between both basically. I think Gamejolt really seems to preference cutesy style games/covers from what I can see of the popular games.
     
    #20
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