Steam Promotion Saves Introversion From Death

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Steam Promotion Saves Introversion From Death

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The powers of digital distribution, Steam, and achievements have saved independent developer Introversion from dissolving.

Introversion Software is a videogame studio based in the UK known for games such as Uplink and Darwinia that explore Tron-like virtual worlds and hacking. Despite money troubles in the past, Introversion's successes have always been able to keep it above water and moving towards future titles. That was until recently when the release of Darwinia+ on XBLA didn't sell very well and Introversion nearly shut down completely, but Steam came along to the studio's rescue.

Introversion's Mark Morris wrote on the company's blog that Darwinia+ had unexpectedly taken three years longer to create than estimated. Along with other projects the studio had in development, money was running out and the success of Darwinia+ on XBLA could either make or break Introversion. Morris reveals that sales were low: "Internally we knew within about an hour of Darwinia+'s launch that it hadn't done well enough. It took us about two weeks to really accept that and the awful realization that we didn't have enough to continue with the office or the staff."

Morris called this point "rock bottom" as Introversion was forced to let all of its staff go, and even the studio's four remaining key members didn't have any desire to continue the fight. Things looked grim, but an idea sparked to add achievements to Introversion's Steam version of DEFCON to get Valve to run a promotion for the game. 21 achievements were added, and Valve agreed to run a promotion that put four Introversion games on sale for $5 total. It might not seem like selling four games for $1.25 each would be able to save a studio, but it was.

The sale brought in around $250,000 of revenue, which was quite a lot for the slimmed down four-person team. With a year of capital now in the bank, Morris says the whole ordeal only brought the team closer together. They're now working on the upcoming Subversion, the team's "most ambitious game to date," with renewed energy. Just another positive bit of press for Valve and Steam, which is giving small developers not only the ability to survive, but exist entirely.

Source: Introversion Forums

Permalink

Never underestimate the power of a sale.

*glances at Humble Indie Bundle*

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Steam: Selling you stuff without you realising it. Oooh...shiny.

I love this story, it's an absolute treat to hear about the small guys catching a break with a little help from the big guys.

I tried the DEFCON demo recently, and couldn't get along with it, but good on Introversion anyway :D

You see? Not only can Steam add 3 inches to your penis, give you good games for cheap, and provide a flawless experience...
yourmileagemayvarymaynotactuallyincreasepenissize

But it also selflessly saved the poor dying Introversion!
Steam, you deserve a hug.
*hugs Steam*

It's less like "Steam saved Introversion" and more like "Firing 95% of their employees saved Introversion."

Hurray for half decent DRM solutions!

*salutes Steam*

This isn't the first time Valve have helped out the little man.

So, is Valve exploiting independent developers? In short: absolutely not. Without pulling any punches, I can say with certainty that if it weren't for Steam, there would be no Tripwire Interactive right now.

Tripwire Interactive are the people behind the popular Killing Floor.

You can read more here: http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=25595

Well that's great for the four people that are left but what about the rest of them.

There appear to be some serious problems with posting today, anyone else seeing 2-3 repeats of these posts? =)

Fantastic. Uplink got a lot of play-time from me when I was younger. I'm glad that their company is still running.

Steam you did it again. Glad to see Introversion is still going.

PolloDiablo:
It's less like "Steam saved Introversion" and more like "Firing 95% of their employees saved Introversion."

Umm... no? It's like laying off their staff because they couldn't pay them anyway and were close to filing bankrputcy.

I didn't even know of Darwinia on the XBLA - checking out the trial version now.

I was always suspicious of Darwinia+'s chances. I'm a fan of Darwinia, but it was always winnable by on-mass brute force; tactics and strategy were minimal. The simple aesthetic and narrative were pleasing enough to keep me playing, but the multiplayer concept just didn't draw me in. I pre-ordered DEFCON and was disappointed by the multiplayer focus in that, too; I don't even think I reinstalled it on my newest machine.

Introversion are a good indie team, but their latest games haven't been so great. My best hopes for Subversion; hell, if I graduate soon enough, I might well apply for a job with them to finish it off!

I've never played any of Introversion's games, but they have always intrigued me. I'm happy for that they get another kick at the can. But, I hope they can, at some point, re-hire the poor buggers that they were forced to let go.

Oh, and obligatory: GO STEAM! GO VALVE!

Now, off for more TF2!

Aww, what a heart warming tale ;)

go steam!

So is it really necessary for the big titles to cost 50 €, even when they're 25 € in the stores?

Moral of the story: Only buy 5 € games from Steam.

I liked the demo of Darwinia+ but I never got round to buying it. Sorry Introversion.

Frequen-Z:
I love this story, it's an absolute treat to hear about the small guys catching a break with a little help from the big guys.

I tried the DEFCON demo recently, and couldn't get along with it, but good on Introversion anyway :D

bro, i doubt it was as noble as it seems. moar money for big vidya game company, bro, they're a business not a charity, bro.

Sgt. Sykes:
So is it really necessary for the big titles to cost 50 €, even when they're 25 € in the stores?

Moral of the story: Only buy 5 € games from Steam.

Actually from my experiences, Steam's prices are very competitive. I got the Introversion pack from the Steam Summer Sale, I think it was 5 bucks, so I think I helped save them! I like their games but have been playing DoW too much to really pick them up... Good to hear that they're still in business, and good job Valve!
Edit: Nice name Sykes...

Seems quite a few companies are realising, once the initial flurry of sales have passed, and it's 6 months later and you're maybe selling a dozen copies a month if you're lucky, throwing a small update out with either achievements or some extra content, and then cutting the price by 75% WILL bring in shedloads of cash you just flatly were never going to see.

IT's pretty much a given that Steam users will ignore £30-40 games unless it's an absolute crazed need, but they'll throw a few pounds at a game on a whim if it sounds remotely interesting, and as this and the World of Goo promo showed, a tiny profit multiplied enough times equals fat piles of cash you'd never see demanding £20 a copy.

Steam do need to sort out their full price games, as Amazon etc tend to undercut them by a good 20-30% every time, but when it comes to sales, Steam are epic and I've already got over 100 games on my account.

Apart from GTA IV I don't think I've paid more than £10 for any of them either, with most being under a fiver.

The_root_of_all_evil:
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Steam: Selling you stuff without you realising it. Oooh...shiny.

I laughed, that is so true.

Steam is an amazing force, man, it's saved more than this company.

That is brilliant! And I do admit I cannot wait for the new game to come out, it looks fantastic!

Liquidcathedral:

Frequen-Z:
I love this story, it's an absolute treat to hear about the small guys catching a break with a little help from the big guys.

I tried the DEFCON demo recently, and couldn't get along with it, but good on Introversion anyway :D

bro, i doubt it was as noble as it seems. moar money for big vidya game company, bro, they're a business not a charity, bro.

They still lent a hand bro, and thats important bro. Valve may not have done this out of charity, for that I'm sure bro, but they wouldn't let a company die like that. Bro, to me it seems like Introversion wanted help, and it was through Valve's digital distribution service and their deal that saved Introversion. Without valve, we would have heard a more grim tale of Introversion's ultimate demise, bro.
P.S. I think you may want to tone down your use of the word bro.

The_root_of_all_evil:
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Steam: Selling you stuff without you realising it. Oooh...shiny.

Its just $5... its just $5...

You'll be saying that as those $5 add up, and you don't even know...

Onyx Oblivion:
Never underestimate the power of a sale.

*glances at Humble Indie Bundle*

edit:
never underestimate the power of a -steam- sale
freakin THQ complete pack
and Orange Box
and the after christmas sale

Yay! I bought that pack during the sale, glad to help a good dev. Uplink and Darwinia = worth 3 times the sale price alone.

This makes me outrageously happy. :D

finally! after about a gazzillion years searching! i played the demo for uplink many a years ago and has ever since been searching for it! (completely forgetting the name didnt help!) if you'll excuse me, i need to dash off to steam to buy it as fast as my fingers will let me :D

go fingers go!

Achievement whores to the rescue !!

I bought that indie four-pack. :D

Too bad they're not out for mac.

The Introversion Pack was a super quick buy for me in the Steam sale, and i don't regret it one bit :D

Yay for supportin :3

Another reason why Valve remains to be my favorite developer!

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