Are game bundles a good idea for commercial VNs?

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Sierra Lee
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Are game bundles a good idea for commercial VNs?

#1 Post by Sierra Lee » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:38 am

The internet has many articles discussing the effects that being part of a bundle sale can have on a game: increased exposure, devaluing the game, Steam key problems, etc. However, I didn't see anything specifically about VNs and I wanted to ask the community here. Commercial game makers: have you participated in a bundle? Do you have thoughts about whether or not it was a good idea, or ideas about how you would respond to future bundle offers? Anyone with experience with different bundle sites and how they compare?

I recently launched a VN on Steam (you can see it here) and I've received an offer, so I'm trying to decide. It's a hard decision, because I feel like more exposure is necessary in an oversaturated market, but my game is fairly new and there will barely be time to try a normal sale before the bundle starts...
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Re: Are game bundles a good idea for commercial VNs?

#2 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:55 pm

I don't see how VNs are different than any other genre of game when it comes to the effects of participating in these bundle deals. The articles you've read sound like they've covered the gammut on the subject, and line up with what I've read myself. I don't have any personal experience in the area, but it seems like a bad idea if you just launched. The only possible benefit is exposure, and that comes with a lot of problems that you've already pointed out. There are other ways to gain exposure without participating in a bundle promotion.

And I don't know about other people, but I usually only buy bundles for 1 or 2 games in them, because of the better price. I almost NEVER play any of the other games in the bundle - and most of the time couldn't tell you their titles. So how much exposure are you really getting?

EDIT: Congratulations, by the way!

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Re: Are game bundles a good idea for commercial VNs?

#3 Post by SundownKid » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:01 pm

I'd say bundling is good, if it's the right website. In all likelihood that offer you got was from a small website that only bundles unknown "games". I'd only bundle with something like the Humble Bundle that has good quality control. Otherwise you are just saying "my game is not worth the money".

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Re: Are game bundles a good idea for commercial VNs?

#4 Post by Imperf3kt » Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:50 pm

I have dozens of internet friends who have regularly bought 'the humble bundle' for one or two games only due to them being cheaper than buying the game separately. As a result, they have a library of several hundred or several thousand games they "own" but never played. How much exposure fo you get? None. These people simply ignored the stuff they weren't interested in, over time forgetting they even had the game.

My advice: politely refuse bundling.
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Re: Are game bundles a good idea for commercial VNs?

#5 Post by Sierra Lee » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:24 pm

Thanks for the responses!
LateWhiteRabbit wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:55 pm
I don't see how VNs are different than any other genre of game when it comes to the effects of participating in these bundle deals. The articles you've read sound like they've covered the gammut on the subject, and line up with what I've read myself. I don't have any personal experience in the area, but it seems like a bad idea if you just launched. The only possible benefit is exposure, and that comes with a lot of problems that you've already pointed out. There are other ways to gain exposure without participating in a bundle promotion.

And I don't know about other people, but I usually only buy bundles for 1 or 2 games in them, because of the better price. I almost NEVER play any of the other games in the bundle - and most of the time couldn't tell you their titles. So how much exposure are you really getting?

EDIT: Congratulations, by the way!
Thanks! I should clarify the bundle wouldn't launch until a month from now.

What other ways would you recommend of getting exposure? I did try to search the forums and the most useful thread I've found was this one:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=41039
SundownKid wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:01 pm
I'd say bundling is good, if it's the right website. In all likelihood that offer you got was from a small website that only bundles unknown "games". I'd only bundle with something like the Humble Bundle that has good quality control. Otherwise you are just saying "my game is not worth the money".
The offer is from IndieGala. I think they're in the top five in size, but I would welcome anyone who has impressions of them. I've been told by industry veterans that VNs have very little shot at Humble Bundles.
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Re: Are game bundles a good idea for commercial VNs?

#6 Post by parttimestorier » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:50 pm

The offer is from IndieGala. I think they're in the top five in size, but I would welcome anyone who has impressions of them. I've been told by industry veterans that VNs have very little shot at Humble Bundles.
I haven't released any commercial projects myself, so I can't really answer your main question, but I do buy bundles and I quite like Indiegala. I've bought several VNs in bundles from them in the past. But I'm probably pretty out of the ordinary in that I keep up with a lot of news about small indie VNs, so I'm not sure if any of them have really helped me discover any I hadn't heard of before.

And while VNs certainly aren't in humble bundles as much as they are in bundles on other sites like indiegala and groupees, it does sometimes happen. Just off the top of my head, I believe Solstice was in at least one bundle, as was Analogue: A Hate Story, and they did a big Sekai Project bundle just a while ago.

I hope that helps a bit!
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