How we increased the review score from mid 60’s to 80, and was it worth it?
by Bendik Stang
Entrepreneur, Founder/CTO @SnowCastleGames, Indie Game Dev. Also passionate about Interactive Stories, App Dev. Tech Geek. Father of 4 evolving neural networks.
Cut your losses and move on!
We have all heard it:
So you did not make a perfect game.
Make a new one! Get over it!
The following is the story of another way.
On Sep. 1st, 2016 we launched Earthlock: Festival of Magic after five years of struggle with the classic indie startup challenges: Too little funding, no revenue and big ambitions.
Just before running out of cash, we managed to secure a wonderful deal with Microsoft for an exclusive launch with Games with Gold and launched the game on Xbox One 12 months of continuous crunching later.
Along the way we had to make painful cuts to the project. The cuts were the least we could manage when juggling the opposites of getting the game out before funding ran out while making a game we still could be proud of. And equally important — a game that would sell enough to support production of our next game.
Something didn’t feel right
Six months after initial launch, we had published the game on all major platforms. It was early 2017 and we had eagerly moved on to pre-production of our next title in the Earthlock universe. But the uncomfortable feeling of leaving behind a game that wasn’t quite there in terms of quality, was growing. Editorial reviews and user scores seemed to mirror our own assessment. The game had promises of something great, but didn’t quite deliver. Sales, although respectable, were not quite where we had hoped either.