A thought for a future article: Cross-promotion on Steam


#1

I’ve noticed a trend that pops up rarely on Steam. It’s when two Steam developers decide offer an exclusive, free piece of DLC for their game in exchange for owning another game on Steam, which is automatically handled in the background by Steam.

We’ve seen this with the following games, almost exclusive indie developers.

Terraria + Edge of Space: Terraria owners get an EoS armor, Edge of Space owners get a Terraria armor.

Battle Block Theater + Castle Crashers: BBT owners gets a Castle Crashers character, CC owners get a BBT character.

Awesomenauts + Sword and Soldiers: Awesomenauts owners get a free skin for Voltar styled after an SoS character, I forget what the other side receives.

People who enjoy one game have a tendency of looking into another game if it offers something small they may want in their original game, and see if the game appeals to their interests enough to want the cross-promotional content.

It seems to me that indie developers only benefit from this sort of thing and might take into account swapping player interest to broaden their impact. Several examples I can think of might be along the lines of…

Defender’s Quest + Dust an Elysian Tail: Defender’s Quest owners receive ‘Dusty Book’, which fires a slow stream of tiny projectiles similar to Fidget’s from Dust for 1 damage to any enemy immediately near Azra. Dust owners receive an extra NPC in their cottage for free, Azra or Slak, giving an HP bonus the same as all the other NPCs do.

Defender’s Quest + Epic Battle Fantasy 4: DQ owners receive ‘Epic Book of Swords’, giving all berserkers +% crit chance. EBF4 owners receive a special unbound ‘Psi Storm’ skill that shocks random enemies between # and # times.

Defender’s Quest + Secrets of Grindea: DQ owners receive ‘Book of Collecting’, giving +% to scrap gain. SoG owners receive a visual-only Obsidian Skull hat.

Does this come off as a terrible idea, or is incentivizing networking between indie developers or strengthening existing connections ideal and a smart path for the future? Any other possible venue of promotion than just relying on curators, youtubers and press can only be a good thing in my opinion.


#2

Ok, so what goes next:

  • People start to purchase indie games for more items for their own games (well, it will work for me and DQ for sure). This is benefit, but mostly will result in more dead ga… icons in the account.

  • Devs will start to implement achievements for this sort of things. “Want an achievement? Purchase this game, support us, you mortal”

  • Some manager in EA will see this and he will think “What the hell, we can use it” and will add more dlc for different games… in origin… several years later.

  • Activision will implement this on steam but this will result in different scope for the guns and more achievements in each new COD like “Modern Warfare veteran”, “Modern Warfare general” (MW2), “Modern Warfare spartian” (MW:Halo) and so on.

But yes, I would love to see this in DQ :slight_smile:


#3

My thought on this is that this is only good for vanity content - skins, etc. Anything that changes your in-game power levels is a bit of an insult to anyone who decidedly only wants one of the two games.

I’m also totally in favor of bundles, but I am definitely NOT in favor of being made to purchase any of the Epic Battle Fantasy games, for example. I got totally bored with JRPGs 10 years ago and there’s no looking back. Even if I weren’t in that boat, it would still rub me the wrong way on some level.

Lars has taken the high road in the past. Remember how you get The Book Of Face whether you like him on Facebook or not? Same idea. I’m here to play DQ, not to get jerked around with Facebook like monkey-pull-lever-get-peanut crap.


#4

As long as we’re talking about single-player games, I have no objection (as long as people are reasonable and create walkthroughs/guides without using those optional extras, or at least specificially mention when they do).

I really hate ANY kind of socializing/cross-boosting that benefits gameplay directly in any competitive games.

Also, it needs to be done well - instead of giving a clear benefit, just give another alternative (new item/skill/whatever, but roughly on-par with existing stuff, just different).


#5

This sounds like a good idea but I wouldn’t want to be less good at DQ if I don’t buy the crosspack. Just extra stuff like some extra Journal entries or a DQ1 mod.


#6

I don’t see how extra books make you ‘less good’ at DQ1 for not owning them. There’s only two book slots available for Azra and about twenty available, if not more.

I’d be much more bothered by journal entries being a cross-promotion bonus, story should never be locked off. But optional books that are just as viable as any other (if not weaker) seem fine to me, really.


#7

No I mean some entries that don’t affect story.
Also, a book would change gameplay.

Instead of a journal entry you could get some concept art, I dunno.


#8

well even outside of unlocking things inside of gameplay it would be nice to see some cross promotion stuff that was kind of a mash up between the two games. Someone mentioned concept art being something that could be unlocked as a cross promotion. What would be even cooler is unlocking a piece of custom art (or 2) which showed the artist’s take on each other’s games.

Unlocking something like that doesn’t affect gameplay or lock off part of a storyline but is something cool that a fan of both games involved in the cross promotion could appreciate. Further examples could be custom skins or music that reference each other’s games.

Obviously something like this is going to be a little more involved than creating a book that’s more of a simple reference but it could make cross promotion more meaningful without impacting gameplay experience or making people feel like they need the cross promotion material to completely get the value out of the game that they expected when they bought it.