Analysis of Steam activity for BT4

For all Bard's Tale IV discussion that does not fit elsewhere, suggestions, feedback, etc. No spoilers allowed.

Moderator: Bard Hall Bouncers

Post Reply
User avatar
Crosmando
Supreme Jerk
Posts: 5136
Joined: January 3rd, 2013, 8:48 am

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Crosmando » September 25th, 2018, 9:47 pm

Game has pretty much failed, been out a week and only got under 400 reviews and they are Mixed, and we're talking about Steam where reviews are always very skewed towards the positive. To give an example, Pathfinder: Kingmaker was released today and already has 284 reviews.
Matthias did nothing wrong!

User avatar
Gizmo
Grandmaster
Posts: 3739
Joined: March 6th, 2012, 6:25 am

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Gizmo » September 25th, 2018, 11:21 pm

Well...? This was a given, wasn't it? The game is almost totally unlike the series that it was meant to continue. Bethesda did this with FO3, but they had a standing TES audience for whom they made it (and who would eat that stuff up)——as opposed to the Fallout fanbase; of which they have never seemed to give a damn, and who (in my experience) reciprocated this mostly with well deserved enmity and disgust.
_______

This BT game was marketed to Bard's Tale players, and it plays like Hearthstone (I am told). Do Hearthstone clones draw (and keep) a lot of players? (I had never heard of it before reading about it here.) You have to assume that the Bard's Tale players will be miffed, and not bother unless they have already backed it.

For some, it is buyer's remorse, and for others it's neutrality or choice-supportive bias; and then there is a group that are the ones that just have a genuine affinity for a new game; regardless of what it is. For these last ones, it has to be a really good game doesn't it? Is it one?

What makes (or breaks) a turn based game is that magical (skillful) quality of the addictive "just one more turn!". Bard's Tale 1-3 had this, does the new BT game inspire this same addictive need? I once played Disciples 2 for 18 hours non-stop; that one inspires the addictive need for just...one...more...turn!

I get the strong impression these days, that 'turn based' games are avoided by most, and the few great ones that grab hold of the disinclined are begrudgingly liked in spite of it—not because of it. So that limits the market from the outset. :?

I was under the mistaken impression that they were making the game for people who would actually shell out money on spec, for a Bard's Tale game. People who knew what it was, knew what it should mean, and gave them money anyway. :? (Like a guy demanding to buy a Ford Pinto.)
Image

IMO for those people far less money needed to be spent on the project; and to have it stay far closer to home with its treatment of the series—just look at the praise returned from the money spent with Krome Studios. Now imagine a BT4 that was an incremental evolution on Krome's work, the way Krome's was an evolution on BT1-3; and the way WL2 can be interpreted as an evolution on FO:Tactics; and hopefully, the way WL3 might be an evolution (as opposed to a mutation) on WL2... Sadly WL2 was the mutation on WL1, as the new BT is of BT1-3—and 2005. :(
Last edited by Gizmo on September 26th, 2018, 12:16 am, edited 14 times in total.

User avatar
Crosmando
Supreme Jerk
Posts: 5136
Joined: January 3rd, 2013, 8:48 am

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Crosmando » September 25th, 2018, 11:45 pm

From what I understand Hearthstone gets it's money from people buying card packs which are like microtransactions.
Matthias did nothing wrong!

User avatar
Themadcow
Explorer
Posts: 332
Joined: June 9th, 2015, 1:46 am

Analysis of Steam sales and activity for BT4

Post by Themadcow » September 27th, 2018, 10:28 am

Hmmm...
BT4 - 2,200 peak Steam users, $1.5m kickstarter
Pathfinder - 16,000 peak Steam users, $900k kickstarter

For comparison:
BT Trilogy (remasters) - 700 peak
Divinity OS2 - 96,000 peak
TToN - 7,400
WL2 - 18,850
Shadowrun - 24,000
Baldurs Gate EE - 3,750

For inXile's sake I hope they get a late flurry of interest. For my sake I hope they pay Krome to finish the Remasters ;)
~~~ CPC's - Getting in the way of fun gameplay since 1998 ~~~

eisberg
Scholar
Posts: 188
Joined: August 14th, 2018, 2:51 pm

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by eisberg » September 27th, 2018, 2:39 pm

Themadcow wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 10:28 am
Hmmm...
BT4 - 2,200 peak Steam users, $1.5m kickstarter
Pathfinder - 16,000 peak Steam users, $900k kickstarter

For comparison:
BT Trilogy (remasters) - 700 peak
Divinity OS2 - 96,000 peak
TToN - 7,400
WL2 - 18,850
Shadowrun - 24,000
Baldurs Gate EE - 3,750

For inXile's sake I hope they get a late flurry of interest. For my sake I hope they pay Krome to finish the Remasters ;)
For a more proper comparison, with Dungeon Crawlers on Steam as of April 11 (Using steamspy+wayback machine)

Legend of Grimrock peak 2600, it had 936k sales
Vaporum 132 peak, 10k sales
Might and Magic X 7900 peak, 174k sales
Tower of Time 608 peak, 20k-50k (Recent Steamspy estimation)

Point is, peak numbers really do not tell you the full story.

User avatar
Themadcow
Explorer
Posts: 332
Joined: June 9th, 2015, 1:46 am

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Themadcow » September 27th, 2018, 3:21 pm

Yeah, Grimrock had more peak users than that matey and those M&M X figures are pretty good considering it was lower budget, had worse reviews and also had distribution on the Ubisoft store.

Not sure what point you're trying to make, but mine is that similar size studio games in the RPG world had much better figures. They tend to peak in the first month unless word of mouth is very strong.

Tower of Time and Vaporum are terrible comparisons because the development budgets were much smaller.
~~~ CPC's - Getting in the way of fun gameplay since 1998 ~~~

eisberg
Scholar
Posts: 188
Joined: August 14th, 2018, 2:51 pm

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by eisberg » September 27th, 2018, 3:35 pm

Themadcow wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 3:21 pm
Yeah, Grimrock had more peak users than that matey and those M&M X figures are pretty good considering it was lower budget, had worse reviews and also had distribution on the Ubisoft store.

Not sure what point you're trying to make, but mine is that similar size studio games in the RPG world had much better figures. They tend to peak in the first month unless word of mouth is very strong.

Tower of Time and Vaporum are terrible comparisons because the development budgets were much smaller.
Nope, Legend of Grimrock had 2600 peak
https://steamcharts.com/app/207170

All these games are better comparisons because they are all dungeon crawlers. it shows that dungeon crawlers are not all that popular when it comes to peak players, yet the number of sales were extremely high compared to their peak numbers, as in with those peak numbers you would expect much lower sales than what they actually got. it shows that peak numbers don't tell you the whole story at all.

PsychicMonk
Scholar
Posts: 160
Joined: April 16th, 2012, 10:54 am

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by PsychicMonk » September 27th, 2018, 3:47 pm

eisberg wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 3:35 pm
Themadcow wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 3:21 pm
Yeah, Grimrock had more peak users than that matey and those M&M X figures are pretty good considering it was lower budget, had worse reviews and also had distribution on the Ubisoft store.

Not sure what point you're trying to make, but mine is that similar size studio games in the RPG world had much better figures. They tend to peak in the first month unless word of mouth is very strong.

Tower of Time and Vaporum are terrible comparisons because the development budgets were much smaller.
Nope, Legend of Grimrock had 2600 peak
https://steamcharts.com/app/207170

All these games are better comparisons because they are all dungeon crawlers. it shows that dungeon crawlers are not all that popular when it comes to peak players, yet the number of sales were extremely high compared to their peak numbers, as in with those peak numbers you would expect much lower sales than what they actually got. it shows that peak numbers don't tell you the whole story at all.
Peak is an indicator about the general interest in a game. High sales + low peak usually means people got it for next to nothing and it's on their pile of shame.

BTW: I have seen Legend of Grimrock in "pay what you want"-bundles so that high "number of sales" means nothing. I don't think InXile would want to put BT4 in a 1$ "pay what you want"-humble bundle to increase the number of sales even if that would get them 2,000,000 sales.

User avatar
Themadcow
Explorer
Posts: 332
Joined: June 9th, 2015, 1:46 am

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Themadcow » September 27th, 2018, 3:54 pm

Grimrock...

https://steamdb.info/app/207170/

I know which number seems more likely based on the estimated sales. Still, I do agree that it's not the full story and maybe BT4 is doing better than it looks at first glance.

...but your point on comparing numbers based solely on genre is pretty lame. BT4 will need to do much better in order to be a commercial success. It's not a 2-3 person indie studio in Slovakia like Fatrobot (Vaporum). Almost Human (Grimrock) was a 2-4 person studio for the first game and they made damn good money - it didn't go into the bundles until mid/end of life.
~~~ CPC's - Getting in the way of fun gameplay since 1998 ~~~

PsychicMonk
Scholar
Posts: 160
Joined: April 16th, 2012, 10:54 am

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by PsychicMonk » September 27th, 2018, 3:59 pm

Themadcow wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 3:54 pm
Grimrock...

https://steamdb.info/app/207170/

I know which number seems more likely based on the estimated sales. Still, I do agree that it's not the full story and maybe BT4 is doing better than it looks at first glance.

...but your point on comparing numbers based solely on genre is pretty lame. BT4 will need to do much better in order to be a commercial success. It's not a 2-3 person indie studio in Slovakia like Fatrobot. Almost Human (Grimrock) was a 2-4 person studio for the first game and they made damn good money - it didn't go into the bundles until mid/end of life.
See my post about Grimrock. A lot of people most likely got it in a bundle for next to nothing and it's waiting on their pile of shame. I think i got Grimrock II even for free during a limited time humble store promotion and it also counts as a sold copy.

User avatar
Themadcow
Explorer
Posts: 332
Joined: June 9th, 2015, 1:46 am

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Themadcow » September 27th, 2018, 4:14 pm

I don't know what point you think you're making, but I've never argued anything about Grimrocks total sales. Interestingly LoG2 was considered a bit of a commercial failure but still had double the daily players in the first month than BT4 is getting.

Here's the deal - releasing with a ton of issues has probably damaged sales performance, and I'd be shocked if inXile don't see these numbers as very concerning.
~~~ CPC's - Getting in the way of fun gameplay since 1998 ~~~

PsychicMonk
Scholar
Posts: 160
Joined: April 16th, 2012, 10:54 am

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by PsychicMonk » September 27th, 2018, 4:18 pm

Themadcow wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 4:14 pm
I don't know what point you think you're making, but I've never argued anything about Grimrocks total sales. Interestingly LoG2 was considered a bit of a commercial failure but still had double the daily players in the first month than BT4 is getting.

Here's the deal - releasing with a ton of issues has probably damaged sales performance, and I'd be shocked if inXile don't see these numbers as very concerning.
My fault. I thought you were wondering about the extremely high number of sales of Grimrock.

User avatar
Themadcow
Explorer
Posts: 332
Joined: June 9th, 2015, 1:46 am

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by Themadcow » September 27th, 2018, 4:25 pm

No worries, sorry for the arsey response. Yeah, total sales are a bit rubbish ever since humble bundles came along :/ Player peaks in the first couple of months of release are about the best indicator of sales performance, and even that is being twisted by all the early access titles.
~~~ CPC's - Getting in the way of fun gameplay since 1998 ~~~

eisberg
Scholar
Posts: 188
Joined: August 14th, 2018, 2:51 pm

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by eisberg » September 27th, 2018, 5:53 pm

Themadcow wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 4:14 pm
I don't know what point you think you're making, but I've never argued anything about Grimrocks total sales. Interestingly LoG2 was considered a bit of a commercial failure but still had double the daily players in the first month than BT4 is getting.

Here's the deal - releasing with a ton of issues has probably damaged sales performance, and I'd be shocked if inXile don't see these numbers as very concerning.
And it is way to early to start saying all doom and gloom for this game, not when PC gaming sales period are now way longer than what they used to be, and the point I was making is that peak numbers really don't give you a proper look on if it is a success or not. There are so many variables to have to consider, for example Louisiana Entertainment was used for this game, which is a Government organization to give all kinds of massive tax credits (yes credits, not deductions). While they spent 7.5 Million on this game, chances are a massive amount of that might have been paid for by Louisiana. Then I wonder what kind of incentives the US Government has for them as well.

_noblesse_oblige_
Master
Posts: 1193
Joined: July 13th, 2015, 7:18 pm

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » September 27th, 2018, 6:03 pm

Themadcow wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 10:28 am
Hmmm...
BT4 - 2,200 peak Steam users, $1.5m kickstarter
Pathfinder - 16,000 peak Steam users, $900k kickstarter
Interesting. And, I believe inXile said that they invested a bunch of their own money in Barrows Deep beyond what we backed. Ratio of peak users to total budget might be even more damning.
cmibl<enter>

eisberg
Scholar
Posts: 188
Joined: August 14th, 2018, 2:51 pm

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by eisberg » September 27th, 2018, 6:13 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:03 pm
Themadcow wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 10:28 am
Hmmm...
BT4 - 2,200 peak Steam users, $1.5m kickstarter
Pathfinder - 16,000 peak Steam users, $900k kickstarter
Interesting. And, I believe inXile said that they invested a bunch of their own money in Barrows Deep beyond what we backed. Ratio of peak users to total budget might be even more damning.
They are also in Louisiana and used the incentives from Louisiana Entertainment government organization, which give a 40% tax credit (not deductions) on how much they spend in expenditures/salaries, plus another additional 15-20% tax credit on each new job they created in Louisiana. Plus Louisana has a Grant opportunity as well that Inxile might have received. They moved to Louisiana shortly after the crowdfunding for this game ended, and the Governor specifically made an announcement about Inxile coming to Louisiana, so them getting a grant is highly likely. Plus what ever incentives they get from the US Goverment. Now that 7.5 million has been widdled down significantly because of Government incentives alone.

That 1.25 Million that Inxile said they would match for Kickstarter, yeah, it is possible that is all they actually spent of their own money.

_noblesse_oblige_
Master
Posts: 1193
Joined: July 13th, 2015, 7:18 pm

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » September 27th, 2018, 6:37 pm

eisberg wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:13 pm
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:03 pm
Themadcow wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 10:28 am
Hmmm...
BT4 - 2,200 peak Steam users, $1.5m kickstarter
Pathfinder - 16,000 peak Steam users, $900k kickstarter
Interesting. And, I believe inXile said that they invested a bunch of their own money in Barrows Deep beyond what we backed. Ratio of peak users to total budget might be even more damning.
They are also in Louisiana and used the incentives from Louisiana Entertainment government organization, which give a 40% tax credit (not deductions) on how much they spend in expenditures/salaries, plus another additional 15-20% tax credit on each new job they created in Louisiana.
Yeah, is this corporate income tax we're talking? Any idea how much corporate income they've had in Louisiana the past few years without selling a product? How many jobs did they create? What is this a percentage of? Often credits are fixed numbers, not sliding scales. Or, if they are sliding scales, they have caps.
eisberg wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:13 pm
Plus Louisana has a Grant opportunity as well that Inxile might have received. They moved to Louisiana shortly after the crowdfunding for this game ended, and the Governor specifically made an announcement about Inxile coming to Louisiana, so them getting a grant is highly likely.
Speculation. If you can show that they received a grant for any substantial amount we can potentially add that to the total budget of the game, but would it matter? The point is that the greater the budget of the game (regardless of the funding source) and the fewer the peak users, then the more damning the response from the people who actually buy and play games for enjoyment.
eisberg wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:13 pm
Plus what ever incentives they get from the US Goverment. Now that 7.5 million has been widdled down significantly because of Government incentives alone.
How much is the US gaming industry subsidized by the US government? Are you speculating or do you have actual numbers to show that inXile received a subsidy from any governmental body, be it municipal, state, or national?
cmibl<enter>

eisberg
Scholar
Posts: 188
Joined: August 14th, 2018, 2:51 pm

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by eisberg » September 27th, 2018, 6:59 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:37 pm
eisberg wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:13 pm
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:03 pm


Interesting. And, I believe inXile said that they invested a bunch of their own money in Barrows Deep beyond what we backed. Ratio of peak users to total budget might be even more damning.
They are also in Louisiana and used the incentives from Louisiana Entertainment government organization, which give a 40% tax credit (not deductions) on how much they spend in expenditures/salaries, plus another additional 15-20% tax credit on each new job they created in Louisiana.
Yeah, is this corporate income tax we're talking? Any idea how much corporate income they've had in Louisiana the past few years without selling a product? How many jobs did they create? What is this a percentage of? Often credits are fixed numbers, not sliding scales. Or, if they are sliding scales, they have caps.
eisberg wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:13 pm
Plus Louisana has a Grant opportunity as well that Inxile might have received. They moved to Louisiana shortly after the crowdfunding for this game ended, and the Governor specifically made an announcement about Inxile coming to Louisiana, so them getting a grant is highly likely.
Speculation. If you can show that they received a grant for any substantial amount we can potentially add that to the total budget of the game, but would it matter? The point is that the greater the budget of the game (regardless of the funding source) and the fewer the peak users, then the more damning the response from the people who actually buy and play games for enjoyment.
eisberg wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:13 pm
Plus what ever incentives they get from the US Goverment. Now that 7.5 million has been widdled down significantly because of Government incentives alone.
How much is the US gaming industry subsidized by the US government? Are you speculating or do you have actual numbers to show that inXile received a subsidy from any governmental body, be it municipal, state, or national?
Having an income isn't a requirement, it is based on how much is being spent. Louisiana is a new office they setup shortly after the crowdfunding of this game, it stands to reason they increased by a number of employees. The cap is $180m per year in tax credits.

What are the chances Inxile didn't get a grant? When even the Govenor is wanting to make an announcement about Inxile coming to Louisana, the likelyhood they didn't get a grant seems pretty small. In the companies I have been in that moved or started up a new office in another state, all kind of incentives were given to them beyond the normal tax credit incentives, so I find it highly unlikely Inxile didn't get a grant on top of the tax credit incentives.

We already know that the US government has various incentives to keep companies here in the US.

The point is, it is way to early to call out doom and gloom for this game, and with no enough information you really don't know what they need for it to be successful for them. If they ended up only spending that 1.25 million they talked about in the Kickstarter, then that means they only need to sell ~36k in sales to break even, in which it could be possible they already hit that amount.

_noblesse_oblige_
Master
Posts: 1193
Joined: July 13th, 2015, 7:18 pm

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » September 27th, 2018, 7:17 pm

eisberg wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:59 pm
The cap is $180m per year in tax credits.
Sure, and I'd be surprised if they even got $1m in tax credits. But, again, it doesn't matter where the money comes from - what matters is how much was spent on this game versus how well the game was received.
eisberg wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:59 pm
What are the chances Inxile didn't get a grant?
No idea. This is why I'm calling it speculation to assume that they did. And, again, it doesn't matter where they got the money. It's how effectively the money was spent.
eisberg wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:59 pm
We already know that the US government has various incentives to keep companies here in the US.
That doesn't tell us whether inXile received any incentives from the US government. Or what their monetary value was.
eisberg wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:59 pm
The point is, it is way to early to call out doom and gloom for this game,
I call it inXile's folly rather than doom-and-gloom. The more dismal their sales performance and the more dismal their reviews, the more I hope that they will learn the right lessons from this wild excursion away from the original series with backer money.
cmibl<enter>

eisberg
Scholar
Posts: 188
Joined: August 14th, 2018, 2:51 pm

Re: Bard's Tale IV Reviews

Post by eisberg » September 27th, 2018, 7:31 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 7:17 pm
eisberg wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:59 pm
The cap is $180m per year in tax credits.
Sure, and I'd be surprised if they even got $1m in tax credits. But, again, it doesn't matter where the money comes from - what matters is how much was spent on this game versus how well the game was received.
eisberg wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:59 pm
What are the chances Inxile didn't get a grant?
No idea. This is why I'm calling it speculation to assume that they did. And, again, it doesn't matter where they got the money. It's how effectively the money was spent.
eisberg wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:59 pm
We already know that the US government has various incentives to keep companies here in the US.
That doesn't tell us whether inXile received any incentives from the US government. Or what their monetary value was.
eisberg wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 6:59 pm
The point is, it is way to early to call out doom and gloom for this game,
I call it inXile's folly rather than doom-and-gloom. The more dismal their sales performance and the more dismal their reviews, the more I hope that they will learn the right lessons from this wild excursion away from the original series with backer money.
The tax credit is 40% on expenditures/salaries, if they spent 7.5 million on this game, that is $3million in that tax credit alone. Plus what ever tax credit they get for new jobs created in Louisiana as well.

And yes, it does matter where the money comes from, because it is only how much money actually was spent out of Inxiles own pockets that matter for when a game becomes profitable.

If this games fails it will not be because of how different this game is to the originals, there isn't going to be enough people who played the originals that are going to make a significant difference in the sales. Chances are the people who actually played the originals are an insignificant amount of people because the PC gaming industry back then was extremely tiny compared to today. So no, if this game fails it will have nothing to do with being different than the originals, I would say that if they tried to be like the originals chances are it would be a guaranteed failure unless they just kept to the 1.5 million raised for their budget.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest