Lessons Learned from the Launch of Indoorlands: A Postmortem Analysis

In a world where thousands of games are released each month, even quality titles can struggle to recoup their development costs. Join me, Alexandra Davenport, as I delve into the postmortem analysis of Indoorlands, a popular theme park sim game developed by indie studio Pixelsplit. We'll explore the milestones, challenges, and valuable lessons learned from the launch of this unique amusement park management simulation. Let's uncover the insights that can help future indie game developers navigate the competitive gaming landscape.

Development and Launch of Indoorlands

Lessons Learned from the Launch of Indoorlands: A Postmortem Analysis - 873702372

Indoorlands began its development in 2020 with a funding of €45k from the German government. The total production costs amounted to €200k, excluding 'founder self-exploitation.' The game was initially launched in Early Access, garnering positive reviews and selling 1,000 copies in its first week.

However, the full launch of Indoorlands faced challenges. Despite having 13k wishlists, the game only sold 1,250 units in its first week. The studio also encountered a severe bug that caused freezes, resulting in a 'mostly negative' rating initially.

It wasn't until an unexpected 'Let's Game It Out' YouTube video on New Year's Eve, which garnered 5.4 million views, that sales saw a significant spike. In just one week, Indoorlands sold 1,600 units, surpassing its launch week.

Sales and Revenue Insights

Indoorlands has sold over 9,000 copies in its lifetime, generating a net revenue of approximately €100k. However, this falls short of recouping its production budget. With an average monthly net revenue of €1.5k, it would take approximately 66 more months to achieve a return on investment.

On a positive note, the Supporter DLC for the game proved to be successful, generating $12k in net revenue. This DLC had a good return on investment due to its existing content and easy implementation of in-game features.

Lessons Learned and Insights

Uncover the valuable lessons and insights gained from the launch of Indoorlands, including the importance of influencers, the significance of a unique hook, and the challenges of entering a crowded market.

Indoorlands' launch provided several important lessons for the studio. One key takeaway was the impact of influencers, as demonstrated by the 'Let's Game It Out' YouTube video that significantly boosted sales. Additionally, having a unique hook for the game, such as an indoor theme park, proved to be crucial in capturing players' interest.

However, the game also faced challenges in a crowded market. With thousands of games being released each month, it becomes increasingly difficult for new indie titles to stand out. Established, successful games often dominate the market, making it challenging for new IPs to gain traction.

Despite these challenges, Indoorlands' achievement of selling nearly 10k copies for a new IP is commendable. Only a small percentage of games debuting on Steam have reached this milestone, highlighting the significance of their accomplishment.

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