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Supergiant Games published some interesting numbers about the sales of its isometric indie games.
Action role-playing game Transistor is not only pretty, but also extremely successful. This beautiful project sold over 600 units across Steam and PSN. The game was more successful (at least in terms of the sale rate) than the previous studio’s title Bastion.
Bastion is an older game and naturally it has a bigger amount of copies sold. The game was released in 2011 and to this day it has moved over 3 million units, which is incredible for a small game. Developers claim, that Bastion sales increased over time and the majority happened long after the initial release.
There are a couple of key factors that helped this RPG to gain traction. It got incredibly positive feedback from the community and the word of mouth helped to push a lot of copies. The game was also released on several platforms (iOS, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita) which helped to keep the sales rising for many months after the release.
Steam ended up as the single biggest platform for Bastion, though every platform on which we’ve released the game has been an important factor in its overall success. Bastion for iOS brought in a lot of players, particularly since that version of the game has been sold for as little as 99 cents on several occasions. We feel very fortunate that there’s still an interest in Bastion close to four years since it was released. Sony certainly helped promote the launch of Transistor, our second game. Transistor was featured prominently at E3 in 2013 – it was featured during Sony’s media briefing there, and the game was quite visible in the PlayStation Store around the time of its launch. We appreciate all the faith and support the team at Sony put in our game and studio.
Greg Kasavin, Supergiant Games
There was very little classical marketing activity around Bastion. The game actually sold itself. Transistor got a lot of help from Sony, which helped to sell a lot of copies of the game at the start. Transistor was also extensively featured on Steam during the traditional winter holiday sale (as well as Bastion).
Transistor was also nominated for The DICE Sprite Award. This prize is given to a game having disproportionate resources for development and exposure (as compared to AAA titles). This means that the products from this category (The Banner Saga, Hohokum, Monument Valley, Threes!) had a higher risk of failure but still managed to prevail.
Supergiant Games is a well-known indie studio from California. The company has only 12 employees. Many of its members have previously worked on Command and Conquer series for Electronic Arts. You can learn more about the studio from the Bastion writer Greg Kasavin, who talked about the game and Supergiant Games during IndieCade 2013. Watch the video here.
UPDATE: developer comments added.
Author: Ulyana Chernyak