How to Increase Steam Exposure? 如何增加遊戲在 Steam 平台上的曝光

Over the last three months, I realized that a lot of Hong Kong game development teams don’t actually now Steam very well, and don’t actually know what would help increase their game’s exposure on the platform. 

This post will go over 5 main ways in which you can use Steam’s mechanisms to increase exposure. What I won’t go over is the normal things like SEO, manipulating your own data, or using certain keywords in your description etc. I’m sure you can find plenty of information on these methods on the internet.

1. Publisher

Spending a bit of money to get a famous publisher is the best way to increase exposure. Why do I say that? There are more than 10 games being released on Steam everyday (yes, every single day), it is extremely easy for players to end up being some sort of crappy game if they just look through the newly released games. So, what do players do in order to avoid such cash grabs? They would look at the publishers. If a well-known publisher is willing to risk their own reputation to publish a game, it means that the game’s quality would definitely be of a certain standard. No renown publisher is willing to risk their reputation for a worthless game.

Let me use myself as an example. In the past, I would only buy games from certain publishers, and my favorite publisher was T-time Technology. I don’t believe I found a single T-time Technology game to be boring. I actually bought a lot of games I never heard of just because T-time Technology was willing to publish them.

This is why game developers should make good use of the close ties between players and publishers to advertise their games. There are actually game development teams in Hong Kong that have done this. An example would be Hell Warders’s devs, who asked PQube Games to publish their game.

The well-known Rabi-Rabi was also published and localized by Sekai Project, a very reputed publisher.

2. Curators

I believe most games know about Steam Curators. They work hand in hand with game developers. Well=known curators would review games, and all the Steam users who follow the curator would see the reommendation on Steam’s front page, just like how Facebook’s news feed is filled with things that the algorithm believes would interest you.

On a more practical level: Game developers can choose to give 5 or so game codes to around 100 curators. For the curators, they are generally happy to receive free games, since this is their ‘payment’. Meanwhile, they would also write reviews and recommend the game if they found it to be enjoyable.

In a way, this method of exposure is rather similar to finding publishers. It’s also getting someone else to help you advertise the game. What differentiates it from finding publishers is that curators can choose to recommend people not to buy the game. That’s why, if any curators are willing to recommend your game to other people, it will generally mean that the game is at least decent.

You can read more about Steam Curators on the official website. 

3. Early Access and Official Release – The Two Most Important Exposure Periods

If it’s possible, avoid official releasing your game outright. It’ll cause you to miss out on the exposure that is the start of Early Access.

Instead of explaining with words, let me show you the data from my own game

The two peaks correspond directly to the start of Early Access, and when I officially released the game (please disregard the period with no data bars, that’s because of a technical issue and not because there were 0 players).

Steam does actually have something called the “Update Visibility Rounds”, but it’s not very helpful.

4. Don’t underestimate the number of reviews and positive reviews

So, how valuable are reviews on Steam? According to statistics from SteamSpy, the number of reviews are, on average, 2% of your sales. This means that you only get 1 review for every 50 copies of the game sold. You can only imagine how hard it is to rack up the number of reviews for your game.

If that’s the case, then why is the number of reviews so important? That’s because the number of reviews directly influences the ratings of your game, which ranges from Overwhelmingly Negative to Overwhelmingly Positive. Steam tends to recommend Overwhelmingly Positive games to players, and the reason for that is simple – it will only fully back games which most players find good.

Here are the details to receive the Extremely Positive and Overwhelmingly Positive ratings:

Overwhelmingly Positive: Over 500 reviews, with over 95% of them being positive

Extremely Positive: Over 50 reviews, with over 80% of them being positive

5. Make Announcements whenever you have time, no matter how small the news is

]’m sure everyone knows that game developers can make announcements on their games’ store pages. But will too many announcements annoy the players? Absolutely not! The ones that find it annoying don’t actually like your game at all.

Putting out more announcements helps to show the players that the team is still actively trying to improve the game. Players tend to respect the developers more, and it will make it easier for them to remember your game (that’s because there are popup notifications whenever you post an announcements to remind the players who have Steam installed).

And what’s the point of making the players remember your game? Advertisement. They’ll only mention it to their friends if they actually remember it. Only then is there the possibility of them telling others about your game.

What’s more, Steam will actually separate your Regular Update announcements and major announcements. You don’t have to worry about too many players skipping out the important stuff at all

The players won’t get annoyed with one post a day.

Conclusion

Apart from the first point I mentioned, other methods of getting more exposure is essentially free. This is what separates Steam from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Steam offers a lot of opportunities to determined developers without a lot of resources, that’s also why I generally prefer developing Steam games.

Now, although I mentioned a lot of ways to gain more exposure, I do hope that game developers will focus on quality above all else. After all, no matter how much money you earn, if you are unable to make a good game, then it’s hard for you to gain the respect of plkayers, or even yourself.

________________________________________

最近三個月發現,原來不少香港遊戲團隊對於 Steam 相當陌生,不知道 Steam 內部有些甚麼操作可以增加自己遊戲的曝光。

本文會針對「如何利用 Steam 獨有的機制去增加曝光」提出五大點,至於一些通用機制例如 SEO、刷數據、寫描述時塞關鍵字等等本文不會提及,請大家自行上網查。

1、發行商

花點錢,找一些有名氣的發行商,是最有效的曝光途徑。為甚麼呢?Steam一天有十多款遊戲出爐(沒聽錯,是一天),在這麼多產的情況下,很容易會中雷(買到糞作)。玩家有甚麼途徑去避開陷阱呢?看發行商。既然發行商願意用自己的名義來出版別人的遊戲,代表該遊戲有質量保證,不然她膽敢用自己的招牌來背書?

以我自己為例,我以前都是跟發行商(或代理)去買遊戲,最喜歡的是「光譜資訊」,從來未從她手中拿過一片光碟是無聊的。有很多我本來不知道的遊戲,卻都因為後來光譜資訊代理的關係,入手了。

因此,開發團隊可以善用發行商跟玩家的親密關係,去幫助自己推廣遊戲。香港也有團隊是這樣做的,例如《Hell Warders》找來了 PQube Games 幫忙發

知名遊戲《Rabi-Ribi》找來著名的黃油在地化大戶 Sekai Project 發行

2、鑑賞家

相信大部分資深玩家,應該都知道 Steam 鑑賞家這檔事,他們跟遊戲團隊可說是互助互利的。知名的鑑賞家為遊戲寫評論,有追蹤該鑑賞家的玩家,就會像 Facebook news feed 一樣,在 Steam 首頁見到該遊戲的推薦。

實際運作為:遊戲團隊可以免費送最多各5片遊戲給最多100名鑑賞家,因此鑑賞家可以免費得到遊戲,這就是他們的報酬。然後,鑑賞家認為好玩的話,就會寫評論推薦。

這種增加曝光的方法其實跟「發行商」差不多,也是由鑑賞家去背書遊戲,不同的是鑑賞家可以選擇「推薦不要買」,所以如果有鑑賞家願意推薦玩家去買你的遊戲,代表該作品質量不錯。

關於 Steam 鑑賞家更多資料,可直接去官網查看

3、Early Access 和 正式發行 是最重要的兩次曝光

如果可以的話,不要直接就正式發行遊戲,因為會錯過了 Early Access 初期的重要曝光。

這裡不多解釋,直接曬自己遊戲的數據

兩個峰值各自是 Early Access 和 正式發行的時間 (中間斷開了是技術問題導致的,不是沒有玩家

其實 Steam 還有一個叫曝光回合的概念,但沒甚麼用

4、千萬別少看好評率和評論數

評論數在 Steam 上有多真貴呢?根據 SteamSpy 的統計,平均來說,評論數和銷量的比例約為 2%。即團隊賣出50分遊戲,才會得到1個評論。可想而知,獲取評論是極為困難的一件事。

那麼評論數為何如此重要呢?因為評論數會影響遊戲的分級。遊戲由壓倒性好評到劣評如潮,總共有六個分級。Steam 傾向把壓倒性好評的遊戲推薦給玩家,原因也是一樣:Steam 只敢為玩家普遍認為好的遊戲背書。

至於具體的好評條件如下:
壓倒性好評:評論數超過500且好評率在95%以上
極度好評:評論數超過50且好評率在80%以上

5、有時間就發佈消息,不管是多雞毛蒜皮的事

我想大家都知道開發團隊可以在自己的遊戲頁面發佈消息,但發得多會令玩家煩厭嗎?絕對不會!覺得煩厭的玩家壓根就不喜歡你的遊戲了。

多發消息,是為了表達團隊還在活躍的改善遊戲,玩家會因此更尊重團隊,也會讓玩家記住你的遊戲(因為假如玩家有安裝 Steam,新消息會在電腦桌面的右下角彈出來提醒玩家)。

至於讓玩家記得你的遊戲有甚麼好處?當然是傳播了。玩家記得,才會跟朋友提起,這樣才有機會產生二次傳播。

而且 Steam 會巧妙的將 定期更新 和 大型更新 的新聞分類開,因此不會說新聞太多了玩家不知哪些重要哪些不重要

新聞,一天一宗玩家也不會覺得麻煩

總結

除了第一點外,曝光基本上都是免費的,這跟 Google Play 和 App Store 很不同。

Steam 提供很多的機會給有心有力卻沒資源的開發者,這也是我傾向開發 Steam 遊戲的原因。

雖然說了很多增加曝光的方法,但還是希望遊戲團隊能質量先行,畢竟即使賺再多的錢,無法做出好遊戲的話,也是難以獲得玩家們的尊重,甚至是自己的尊重。

發佈留言

發佈留言必須填寫的電子郵件地址不會公開。 必填欄位標示為 *