What happens when PewDiePie plays your game?
Video games have gained a lot of public attention during the last years and with all these amazing free tools like Unity, Gamemaker and UE4, making games has become much more accessible. As a consequence, the video game industry has changed and the indie developer scene has grown a lot. Small teams or even a single person with innovative ideas can now create a global hit game. With the rise of Minecraft, Youtube has transformed into the go-to entertainment platform for gamers and people who enjoy watching gaming videos. The most popular gaming videos on Youtube are so called Let’s Plays, where a Youtuber records his gaming session and comments on it.
Some Let’s Players have gathered incredibly large amounts of subscribers over the years. The biggest Let’s Player on Youtube is PewDiePie with over 36,000,000 subscribers. As indie game developers with zero marketing budget on our hands, we always hoped to get exposure through such Let’s Players. We assumed that based on the large amount of viewers of these Youtubers, the impact on the sales and downloads of our game would be massive. During the last two months we had several videos by smaller Let’s Players with around 500-3000 subscribers and a couple of bigger ones, which we really enjoyed watching. We were very grateful that people actually played and liked our game…and three days ago the craziest thing happened.
PewDiePie played our game!
He played Of Carrots And Blood, made a video, said that it’s “a great game” and now we have a Let’s Play with over 2.4 million views and almost 150.000 upvotes on Youtube.
So how does a Let’s Play by PewDiePie influence our downloads, sales and plays? We have included a couple of statistics below.
Since our game is free to download on itch.io (with optional payment) and Desura, we did not expect a lot of income from the start. However, we were surprised to see that the huge amount of viewers on PewDiePie’s video did not exactly translate to searches and downloads. The number of downloads was actually significantly smaller than expected. Even more so, the percentage of people who financially supported our game was only around 0.5% (which might be a problem of the “Name Your Own Price” model).
But we are not disappointed in any way! We are still super happy and kind of overwhelmed that this happened to us. We look forward to observing what will happen in the following weeks.
Have fun and play more games!