Congrats on picking a final final date! I still haven't played more than five minutes of the thing and I have been really looking forward to the 1.0 release.
Wouldn't you make more money by having it only on your site for the first month so no one takes a cut of your sales?
You'd think so, but our data from past games indicates otherwise. There are a wide variety of things to consider, including:
- Press coverage, and how that coincides with availability on major distributors.
- Players who only buy from X distributor if they can at all help it, and just wait until release on that distributor to buy the game (you'd be surprised how many people match this).
- The fact that a lot of gamers only hear about most indie games through seeing them on sale at certain distributors in the first place (you'd really
be surprised how many people match this).
In essence, the only people that we make more money off of by selling direct are the existing core fans, and we're already selling the game direct for them. And they've already bought it. Of course, since we're selling it at a big discount during beta, they got a deal out of it anyhow, so we're still not really maximizing revenue if you look at it only that far. But with all the beta and alpha testing we've gotten out of our fanbase, they've more than collectively "earned" the discount -- they get a better product, and so do we, so hopefully everybody wins that way.
At any rate, if you look at our goals as being to earn the most money that means two prerequisites:
1. Having the best game possible that we can make.
2. Players hearing about it (through press or distributors).
And sitting alone on our own site as the sole place to buy it only works if you've already got a fanbase that is much larger than ours. A few thousands preorders is great, it's more than a lot of indies get, but it's not a $3m kickstarter campaign or anything.