Dozens of indie games had a chance to debut their trailers at the annual event. Some developers have already seen positive results from the publicity.
By Caitlin Grieve
Published 5 days ago
Although this year’s E3 was a bit quiet for major studios, there was no shortage of indie games on hand ready to promote themselves with trailers and demos. Many indie developers report they are seeing positive results from their exposure at the event.
The pandemic wreaked havoc with the production schedules of many AAA games, resulting in fewer big announcements from mainstream studios. Some companies like Sony chose to skip the event altogether, while others like EA chose to tease announcements that would come later in the summer at their own event. With fewer AAA games eating up the spotlight, indie games had more of a chance to stand out through such events as the Wholesome Direct, Summer Game Fest and the PC Gaming Show. The Wholesome Direct alone had 75 games in its showcase, demonstrating how many indie titles were hoping to gain some much needed publicity from the annual event.
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Related: Biggest Games Missing From E3 2021
According to PC Gamer, several studios saw immediate results from E3 in the form of Steam wishlists. For instance, medieval simulator?Lakeburg Legacies received 8,000 wishlists in 24 hours and 15,000 wishlists within a week. Other studios saw sizeable increases to their number of Twitter or YouTube followers. For some, there were also more tangible benefits to advertising at E3. Life sim?Paralives showed off both a trailer and an 11-minute gameplay video and saw 700 new subscribers sign up for their Patreon, resulting in a $5000-a-month increase to their studio’s income.
Most indie developers, however, didn’t see any immediate profit from E3. Instead, they’re counting on word-of-mouth to help them in the long run. Steam wishlists don’t necessarily translate to potential customers; Valve is quoted in PC Gamer as saying that only about 19% of a game’s wishlists turn into eventual sales. But a game with more wishlists on Steam is more likely to be promoted by the store’s algorithm. In short, E3 has the potential to create a snowball effect for many indie games: trailers could get a game wishlists that cause the game to be promoted on Steam which results in more wishlists.
It will be months or even years before many of the indie games shown at E3 will be available for the general public to play, and it’s possible for the surge of interest generated at the expo to die off in the meantime. But small developers can continue to capitalize on the momentum they’ve gained through events like Steam Next Fest, and other streams like Xbox Indie Showcase. One 30-second trailer at the E3 Expo can result in thousands of new potential customers for the day when a developer is finally ready to release their game into the world.
Next: One-Third of Games Revealed at E3 Were Non-Violent
Source: PC Gamer
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About The Author
(170 Articles Published)
Caitlin has been writing about video games and sci-fi/fantasy books since 2018. Her video game adventures began a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away as an Imperial pilot in Star Wars: TIE Fighter. When she’s not gaming, she’s reading, and when she’s not reading, she’s writing. But she is ALWAYS plotting her next D&D escapades.
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