If you're even a moderate PC gamer, I am sure you're aware of the massive Steam Winter Sale currently under way. Steam's huge popularity is in large part due to the insane discounts provided during sales, but I often hear gamers wondering if such practices hurt the industry. After all, if you're selling your game at 75-90% off, how can you possibly be making any money? Q-Games, the developer and publisher of the PixelJunk games, provided a little insight during a recent Twitter conversation.
On December 29, PixelJunk Eden won the Community Choice poll and received a discount of 90%. This brought the game's price down to a measly $0.99 USD, or $1.49 USD with the soundtrack. After the eight-hour sale ended and the sales numbers came in, Dylan Cuthbert, the president and founder of Q-Games, said that PixelJunk Eden sold "phenomenally well." Well that's to be expected, but what about the profit? Here's what he had to say about that:
For those that don't quite understand what that means, it basically means that Q-Games just doubled its earnings on PixelJunk Eden's Steam version in just eight hours time. There's also evidence from other developers over the years that indicate sales see a boost for some time after the major discount ends thanks to word of mouth. It's also quite possible that people try the game, love it, and go out and buy the company's other games. Either way, even before the sales numbers came in, Dylan stated that he looked at is as bonus profit to begin with – the way he sees it "is the people who will only buy it at $1 weren't going to buy it in the first place." Whether that's completely true or not is irrelevant since the end numbers speak for itself.
So congratulations to the guys at Q-Games for the "phenomenal" success and to all the other developers out there that are seeing a surge in sales this holiday season.