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Fantasy RTS city-builder Songs of Syx has sold over 11 thousand copies

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After a Kickstarter success back in May 2020, then an Early Access release on Steam in September 2020 - the fantasy grand-strategy city-builder Songs of Syx has continued to be a big indie success. Here's a look over it.

"Songs of Syx is a fantasy city-builder where you start off as an insignificant colony and build, scheme, and fight your way towards a metropolis and empire. The mechanics are complex and true to life, where small events can spiral into the collapse of kingdoms."

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When it entered Early Access it was clear they had something special, selling over one thousand copies in less than twelve hours. Now though, a few months later, they've sold well over eleven thousand. Speaking to the developer, Gamatron AB, they shared with us plenty of info on this including that the vast majority is from Steam, with itch seeing less than one thousand and GOG "seems completely dead".

From what they showed us they had 12,228 total units on Steam (11,327 being Steam direct purchases and 901 key activations). Against the total units 262 were from macOS and 213 from Linux so we can put those sales stats down to:

  • 96.12 - Windows
  • 2.14% - macOS
  • 1.74% - Linux

So macOS and Linux are pretty close together overall in sales, with Windows as expected being the biggest seller. Nothing unexpected there but good to see a fresh indie developer doing really well in a very crowded market and wonderful to see them support Linux during Early Access. Considering how well it's doing, they made it clear this "ensures years of further development".

They actually offer an unlimited time demo both on itch and Steam, so you can even try before you buy. Only recently they expanded the game quite a lot to with a major update including new ore types to mine, a bakery industry, proper fisheries, a new and improved save system, better ultra-wide screen support, more music and the list goes on - they've clearly been busy.

Coming up next they have more big plans which will include a room for soldiers, the ability to have them patrolling the streets, a crime system with prisons, laws that affect happiness and crime plus more. Sounds like it's getting to be an exciting game quite quickly.

You can buy it on GOGitch.io and Steam

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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10 comments

cdnr1 29 Dec, 2020
Great game very addictive
GeoGalvanic 29 Dec, 2020
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Huh, I'm actually kind of surprised that the Linux sales are so small. I always thought small indie games like this tended to have a bigger skew towards linux.

I haven't bought this game yet myself, but the demo seemed pretty promising, I'm just waiting for it to get some more features.
TheBard 29 Dec, 2020
Quoting: GeoGalvanicHuh, I'm actually kind of surprised that the Linux sales are so small. I always thought small indie games like this tended to have a bigger skew towards linux.

I haven't bought this game yet myself, but the demo seemed pretty promising, I'm just waiting for it to get some more features.

Considering the Linux market share on Steam is 0.9%, doing 1.72% of sales on Linux is actually pretty good to me.
Valck 29 Dec, 2020
I think although they say sales outside Steam are minuscule, focussing on the Steam numbers only leaves a good proportion of the Linux sales by the wayside; I have a feeling itch.io and GOG are more attractive to more Linux users than Steam is, percentage wise, even if overall numbers aren't anywhere close of course.
I'm not that much into city builders, but if I were to buy it, I'd certainly prefer itch over GOG over Steam, in that order.
Would be interesting to see the picture with the OS shares for either of those two market places too, as well as all the numbers combined.
slaapliedje 29 Dec, 2020
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Quoting: ValckI think although they say sales outside Steam are minuscule, focussing on the Steam numbers only leaves a good proportion of the Linux sales by the wayside; I have a feeling itch.io and GOG are more attractive to more Linux users than Steam is, percentage wise, even if overall numbers aren't anywhere close of course.
I'm not that much into city builders, but if I were to buy it, I'd certainly prefer itch over GOG over Steam, in that order.
Would be interesting to see the picture with the OS shares for either of those two market places too, as well as all the numbers combined.
Ha, pardon the excitement for the Atari VCS, but from my understanding of my backer number, there should be ~11k machines soon, and I bet everyone that owns one would buy this game if it hit the Atari store. Though this is probably very much a mouse / keyboard game. Fortunately those work fine there. So at least that would double their sales, as that system is currently game starved.
iskaputt 29 Dec, 2020
This is one of these games that I find fascinating but cannot play for more than an hour. Will probably get it on a sale just for the sake of it.

On the whole GOG matter, that doesn't surprise me. I was for a long time a big proponent of DRM-free games, my library on GOG is 150+ games (mostly from 5+ years ago when Windows was still my gaming driver). But the work that Valve puts into the ecosystem made me buy more games on Steam over the years (nowhere close to GOG, only around 15 at the moment, lots of proton-enabled ones). Combine that with the uninspiring attitude of GOG towards Linux and the overall worse support from developers (updates on GOG come later or never, some features aren't enabled, games not hitting GOG at all), making GOG a tough choice in my opinion.

Another point I could see is DRM-free on Linux being a small niche, which might coincide with the "don't buy early access" crowd.
Philadelphus 30 Dec, 2020
Interesting to hear about the update. I've actually put 11.7 hours into the demo already, finding it rather engaging, at least up until the point where I had all the industries running and had built pretty much everything the demo had to offer. Might have to give it another look now.
jake-the-dondorian 30 Dec, 2020
I can chip in here, if anyone's interested, that itch numbers are 538 windows against 116 Linux. Generally I love itch.io with the bottom of my heart, especially their interface for me as a dev, and it's a shame it's not picking up more traffic.

Also the demo has been updated to V53, which is the game as it was released in September on Steam.
scaine 30 Dec, 2020
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So roughly 200 units sold for Linux on Steam (assuming everyone that bought on steam played it within 2 weeks, of course...) and from Jake's comment, over half again sold on Itch. That's 2.76% of all sales we know about. Given the market share, that's not terrible.

It's just a shame that in the grand scheme of things, there's no way to avoid that this only a touch over 300 units for supporting a whole new O/S. And you have to wonder how many of those 300 would have bought the game anyway (either because they have access to Windows, they dual-boot, or they use Proton).

No wonder Valve is pushing so much into Proton. They must see these figures, this story, all the goddam time.
slaapliedje 30 Dec, 2020
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Quoting: jake-the-dondorianI can chip in here, if anyone's interested, that itch numbers are 538 windows against 116 Linux. Generally I love itch.io with the bottom of my heart, especially their interface for me as a dev, and it's a shame it's not picking up more traffic.

Also the demo has been updated to V53, which is the game as it was released in September on Steam.
I'll be honest and say I'm lazy, if I could 'apt install itch.io' I'd use it more.
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