Core Defense
Launch Week Numbers

by Mario Kaiser
updated August 07, 2020
tagged
Core Defense

Exactly a week ago I launched my new game Core Defense on Steam and I'm humbled and completely blown away by the numbers, which I will now share with you.

Of course there are many other things that are worth mentioning, many lessons to be learned – but I will do a proper post mortem here very soon where I will properly analyze why this game launched as successfully as it did and compile all the knowledge I dumped into my surprisingly popular AMA on r/gamedev last week. In this post, I'll just focus on the numbers though.

So without further ado: Core Defense sold 2,546 units and grossed $20,186 in the first week on Steam. During the entire Early Access phase on itch.io, it sold 106 units and grossed $1,144. Before the launch, it had 3632 wishlists on Steam. During the launch week, Core Defense converted 18% of those wishlists – so only 26% of the first week sales were wishlist conversions. A little over 8% of the copies sold were returned, netting $17,029 before Steam's cut. After the launch week, the game now has 5776 wishlists. Core Defense had 585 average daily users and a median play time of 2 hours and 28 minutes during the first week on Steam. Mac and Linux versions accounted for 4.2% and 2.7% of sales, respectively.

Apart from the AMA mentioned above, which definitely resulted in some extra visibility, I was very lucky to have Wanderbots pick up the game and make a series out of it with multiple videos and thousands of views. Czech streamer Sterakdary also made a video about the game during the launch week with over 20k views, which catapulted the Czech Republic to the third place of top-grossing countries with 7% of the total revenue. I'm sure the numbers wouldn't look as good without these effects and I'm incredibly happy and thankful about that.

Steam Traffic Graph

Above you see the traffic on the store page – most of which was organic Steam traffic through the Discovery Queue and the Home Page. The teal line represents external traffic and nicely shows bumps for the AMA on Aug 1 and then again on Aug 4 for the streamers.

But I'm still surprised at the game's overall launch success, these very lucky effects notwithstanding. There's a variety of factors at work here and I can't wait to properly analyze it all and get back to you with an easily digestable write-up of my lessons learned – so stay tuned, bookmark this blog or follow me on Twitter to make sure you don't miss it!