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Valve has written up a short blog post going over how their Steam Next Fest has improved things for developers, and it seems by a huge amount in some cases.

For users who haven't seen one before, Steam Next Fest is a regular event Steam now runs a few times a year, that gives developers some extra time in the spotlight. Developers can offer up limited-time demos, do livestreams and talks - all in the name of pulling in more wishlists and sales.

So how has it all been going? Very well overall, according to the latest data from Valve.


Picture - Valve

Compared with the events in 2020, there's been a huge jump in the amount of wishlists for developers. Wishlists are an essential marketing tool, since it's a way for developers to remind users their game has released or is on sale and hopefully convert them into actual sales. Valve notes that there's a few reasons why 2021 has done so much better, including a change to their rules that mean developers can only enter once per-game, so Valve thinks developers have taken a bit more time to be ready — makes sense.

The big question really though is how has the event increased sales for developers? Valve checked the data for games that have actually released since the festival, noting that the "median released game saw an increase of 500% in 'converting wishlists' made during Next Fest compared to converting wishlist additions made in the two weeks leading to Next Fest".

None of it is surprising. Marketing is hard, even harder each year with more games releasing and advertising space is limited. Player time and money is a limiting factor too, so having a big splash where you let users try out the game first direct from Steam is a great idea when previously a lot of events like this were only done in-person.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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13 comments
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pb 2 Dec, 2021
Impossible, everyone knows that valve is doing nothing but taking the 30% cut for no reason whatsoever.
rea987 2 Dec, 2021
Quoting: pbImpossible, everyone knows that valve is doing nothing but taking the 30% cut for no reason whatsoever.

In Tim Sweeney's imaginary universe.
Philadelphus 2 Dec, 2021
Wow, having demos available increases sales?!? Who'd've thunkit??

I've definitely bought a few games after trying their demos at previous Next Fests (Webbed and Per Aspera, off the top of my head, and I'm waiting for Terraformers to release).
Purple Library Guy 2 Dec, 2021
Quoting: PhiladelphusWow, having demos available increases sales?!? Who'd've thunkit??

I've definitely bought a few games after trying their demos at previous Next Fests (Webbed and Per Aspera, off the top of my head, and I'm waiting for Terraformers to release).
Oh, Terraformers had a Next Fest demo? What's it like?
Anza 2 Dec, 2021
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: PhiladelphusWow, having demos available increases sales?!? Who'd've thunkit??

I've definitely bought a few games after trying their demos at previous Next Fests (Webbed and Per Aspera, off the top of my head, and I'm waiting for Terraformers to release).
Oh, Terraformers had a Next Fest demo? What's it like?

It plays lot like a boardgame (it even has even theme common with Terraforming Mars). You basically build improvements, more cities and balance between different kind of resources.

PS: prologue doesn't seem to be time limited: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1557040/Terraformers_First_Steps_on_Mars/


Last edited by Anza on 2 December 2021 at 7:55 pm UTC
eldaking 2 Dec, 2021
I appreciate these events that go beyond "sales and discounts". It is a nice opportunity to find out and try cool new stuff, especially stuff that isn't necessarily going to get a huge coverage in press and streaming... and without any commitment to buy, just a "if it's cool, maybe later".

Shame they didn't call it Steam Demo-nic Festivals, but oh well.
Anza 2 Dec, 2021
Next Fests are good excuse to try out demos. Way I approach them is that I try to play as many native Linux demos that I can, which means that I might find gems that I might have not otherwise tried. This time around I wishlisted Terraformers, Woodland Empire and Neverlooted Dungeon.

Woodland Empire has interesting premise, though based on demo it still has long way to go. I'm just interested in nature simulations. Demo is still available.

Neverlooted Dungeon is immersive simulation starting more from the interaction with objects perspective. Somehow it has managed to make the interactions somewhat natural, so opening chests needs bit more effort than just pressing the interaction button. Demo is still available in case you're interested.

There are few others that might be interesting, but didn't cause enough reaction for me actually to wishlist. Maybe if I would have found time to try them bit more when the demos were actually available.
riidom 3 Dec, 2021
Does Valve know what a median is? Because this white line in that graph does not look like one to me. Which leads me to wanting to see their calculations on the 30% cut. Maybe there is a mistake too and it should have been 50% all the time!
eldaking 3 Dec, 2021
Quoting: riidomDoes Valve know what a median is? Because this white line in that graph does not look like one to me. Which leads me to wanting to see their calculations on the 30% cut. Maybe there is a mistake too and it should have been 50% all the time!

I think the bars are the median increase for each event, and the white line is not the median of the bars but the median for all events combined.
Purple Library Guy 3 Dec, 2021
Quoting: eldaking
Quoting: riidomDoes Valve know what a median is? Because this white line in that graph does not look like one to me. Which leads me to wanting to see their calculations on the 30% cut. Maybe there is a mistake too and it should have been 50% all the time!

I think the bars are the median increase for each event, and the white line is not the median of the bars but the median for all events combined.
Maybe but it really feels like it's actually the mean or something.
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