business

The Stegosaurus Tail: when "The Long Tail" grows spikes.

You may have heard of "The Long Tail." For games, it means your sales start off strong and quickly taper off.  This force drives the retail marketing cycle -- launch a game to extreme hype, sell it like crazy, then immediately abandon it and move on to the next…

Defender's Quest II's "UnKickstarter" approach to crowdfunding

Kickstarter is the go-to solution for crowdfunding these days, but I'm a control freak so I designed a custom solution for our upcoming game, Defender's Quest II: Mists of Ruin.No solution is one-size-fits all; we're in the unique situation of developing the sequel to a critically acclaimed title, namely…

Steam Linux Sale : Results

Shortly after we published our giant sales report, Defender's Quest: By the Number, part 2, the Steam Linux client officially went public and was accompanied by a site-wide sale.The Linux sale featured every single Linux-compatible game on the service, including Defender's Quest.  In preparation for this article, I…

Free 2 Play and the Four Currencies

One of my most popular articles was "Piracy and the Four Currencies", which explains the economics of piracy in terms of four "psychological currencies": money-dollars ($M), time-dollars ($T), pain-in-the-butt dollars ($P) and integrity-dollars ($I). Purchases don't just cost money; they also cost different amounts of time, pain-in-the butt, and (sometimes)…

Freeloadable content - an alternative to paid DLC

Cross-posted on gamasutra.comA lot of developers/publishers sell expansion packs and other discrete add-ons to their games as "downloadable content," or "paid DLC."  This model has problems, for both players and developers.  The problems for players have been covered exhaustively, so let's leave that aside for the…

The Holy Grail of Digital Distribution

Cross-posted on Gamasutra. Twitter handle: @larsiusprimeThe challenge of being an independent developer is that so much of your game's success is out of your control. There's no Department of Internet Money where you can present your neatly wrapped Cool New Thing and be justly rewarded with crisp thousand-dollar bills.…