Steam Wishlist: Study examines their impact in terms of actual sales


While many carpet sellers 2.0 solicit your likes and other fingers in the air (you choose which one), the industry developers are hoping above all to land in your Wish List on Steam. But does the famous Wishlist that punctuates each trailer really change the game?

This detail will probably not have escaped you: the slightest trailer, presentation of gameplay and other video game events are punctuated most of the time by this famous formula: “Add us to your wishlist”. Behind this plea, which ultimately does not involve much, however, hides major challenges for development studios, all the more so if they are still very small. Today, a study conducted by our colleagues from Games Industry documents the quantified returns of this practice.

Strength in numbers

The documented and fairly quantified study seeks to know whether a significant volume of wishlists recorded for a given game actually makes it possible to determine its future sales. If a quick average places the level of sales during the first week of marketing at 20% of the total wishlists, the variety and the number of releases on Steam requires looking at the springs of this practice in a little more detail.

a more detailed spreadsheet allows you to split the list of games in two: above and below 20,000 mentions in the famous lists. For the latter, the results are much more scattered than for large fish., since sales during the first week of marketing on Steam oscillate between 10% and 50% of the “intentions” displayed by players. And while a few productions can show strong results thanks to a good sense of timing, a streaming success, or a hint of luck, sales often peak at a few hundred copies.

In the big bath

For the top of the basket, on the other hand, the results are refined, and show a smaller gap than below 20,000 wishlists, since actual sales in the first week are around 15%. Despite a sad counter-example (3,000 games sold for 85,000 mentions) whose name is not revealed, the study estimates that the bar of 20,000 wishlists attests to a certain interest in a given game, and then puts the impact into perspective. communication operations.

Thus, the predictive nature of the lists displayed on Steam would increase with their volume., and our colleagues note that the smallest studios have little choice in hoping to cross the 20,000 mark, and thus estimate their future sales as accurately as possible. To do this, you have to go through the publication of demos, and hope to appear in high-profile industry events, which allow a single trailer to reach a large audience. But in either case, you will have to (re) put your hand in the wallet before having recorded any sale …

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