If your Twitter feed is anything like mine, you’ll know that half the world is playing The Stanley Parable, even though it was only launched a few days ago with very little fanfare. Turns out that this indie darling has clocked up more than 100,000 sales in that time – and developers Galactic Cafe have chosen to share their experiences with the adoring public.
Obviously, the game being by all accounts amazing does somewhat help, but the developer explains that it wasn’t prepared for this level of popularity.
This is a lot more than we were expecting, and the shock of a successful launch may have been one of its biggest challenges. Some of the repercussions of this success is affected by business decisions we made 18-24 months ago, long before we ever thought this was going to make any real money!
First and foremost, this taught us a single and invaluable lesson: do not expect success, but be prepared in case it happens.
Part of that preparation for Galactic Cafe meant paying attention to things other developers might have overlooked – the team released five trailers, none of which contained any real glimpse of gameplay footage.
If you make the marketing material interesting on its own, it’s irrelevant whether it “sells” your game.
There was also the “obvious” decision to create a complete, standalone demo – which has been downloaded by up to 200,000 players already – that didn’t run the risk of spoiling the main story.
For more details – and some genuine insight into the development and marketing processes at play behind The Stanley Parable, head to the official post-mortem blog. If you’re intrigued, try the demo, or buy the game outright – it’s on sale right now for just US$12.