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Dev says game started selling 400% better on Steam after releasing torrent (Polygon)

Lashley

Member
Oct 25, 2017
32,868

When top-down shooter Danger Gazers released on Steam earlier this year, it didn’t make much of a splash. A week later, the developer, Shota Bobokhidze, uploaded a torrent of the title on The Pirate Bay, noting that “there’s no catch here, no Steam only features, just the fully functional game.” In return, they asked players who liked the game to consider buying it at full price. Bobokhidze told Polygon that they estimate the gambit resulted in a 400% sales increase.

You can see it in the Steam reviews for the game, where players note that it became an “instant purchase” the second they say that the developer released a torrent for players who couldn’t afford it.

“The game itself is not my cup of tea, but I’m happy to support the dev,” one review says.
Bring back demos!
 

Andri

Member
Mar 20, 2018
4,025
Switzerland
Without actual numbers this means nothing.
Its a game with 13 reviews.
400% increased sales could mean 40 sales vs 10.

In the lands of steam for small indies, anything can result in 400% increased sales, since the baseline is so low.
 

texhnolyze

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,254
Indonesia
I imagine that this will only work for very small and unknown indie games.

AAA devs (or in this case, publishers) don't need to release their games to torrent by themselves, the scenes will do that for them instead.
 

snowhite

Member
Aug 7, 2018
527
While this one incident doesn't really prove anything, I do believe the larger argument here should be that providing people with a free demo of your game can really help with sales. Many studios reported that their sales climbed AFTER they launched their game on gamepass. So I hope for a future where most games comes with a free demo.

EDIT: I know this is tangential to the thread. Just thought it would be a better discussion topic than "dev sells 30 more copies after launching own torrent".
 

Kalor

Resettlement Advisor
Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,298
This means nothing without numbers, especially when barely anyone bought it in the first place. That bump in sales could have just happened randomly rather than due to the torrent. Smart play for the developer though since it gets press attention by attributing it to the torrent at least.
 

Randam

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,019
Germany
I doubt they would publish this if it would only be an increase from 10 to 40 or so.

But yeah, not that this would work every time for all kind of games.
 

Pryme

Member
Aug 23, 2018
2,844
Main takeaway from this story is how awful the market is for many indies. Games come out and disappear under the radar.


This guy may well be hard pressed to break even.
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,243
I'll echo the comments that without some numbers this doesn't seem like something we can extrapolate anything from. Good way to get some marketing for your game though!
 

domthybomb

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,712
While this one incident doesn't really prove anything, I do believe the larger argument here should be that providing people with a free demo of your game can really help with sales. Many studios reported that their sales climbed AFTER they launched their game on gamepass. So I hope for a future where most games comes with a free demo.

EDIT: I know this is tangential to the thread. Just thought it would be a better discussion topic than "dev sells 30 more copies after launching own torrent".
I doubt a free demo would have done anything for this game. It's a marketing tactic and now that it has an article written about it from a large site, it will see an even bigger boost.
 

panda-zebra

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,804
And in 2020 a dev pretended to rediscover shareware in a clever marketing tactic designed to coax people into talking about his or her game. Bravo.
 

bushmonkey

Member
Oct 29, 2017
487
I used to love the fact that on the Xbox 360, live arcade games were required to have a demo. I found so many gems that way. Games I would never have purchased otherwise.