Another Bundle? We Talk About The Importance Of Bundles With Wadjet Eye Games
At the end of another bundle, the Groupees site has launched a new deal with titles from Wadjet Eye Games. For just a buck, you can acquire Puzzle Bots as well as the excellent film noir adventure Gemini Rue. For a minimum of $5, you’ll also receive the Blackwell adventure games, as well as Resonance with its quadruple storyline. You can purchase the Wadjet Eye bundle here.
We spoke to Dave Gilbert of Wadjet Eye Games a few months ago on the importance of these indie bundles in today’s industry. We received some interesting answers, for which we are grateful. You can find this interview below.
Daav: Do you personally get contacted or do you have a say in which games are eligible for any given indie bundle?
Usually I get contacted. Obviously a game of mine can’t get put into a bundle without my express permission, but I will usually say yes depending on the game. I try to avoid having two bundles with the same game happening at the same time.
Daav: Does that mean there are times when you apply yourself?
I’ve never actually applied myself! I plan on contacting the Humble Bundle guys once we port our games to Mac and Linux.
Daav: Do indie bundles have a noticeable effect on sales and/or awareness for your products?
Definitely. The Indie Royale bundle really gave the Blackwell series the push it needed. It was selling fine before, but in one stroke we had tens of thousands of people playing it at once. More than had been playing it for the previous five years combined! It also gave us the clout to get the games on Steam, which they had rejected several times before. So it really helped us out a lot.
Daav: You say it helps to get onto Steam. How so? Is it credibility that wasn’t there before? Isn’t that a bit insulting to dismiss a game, but approve it once others have first? The game in itself didn’t change.
It was more visibility. When Blackwell became part of Indie Royale, suddenly tens of thousands of people were playing the game. More than had had ever played the game since the game was first launched. That newfound popularity gave us much bigger clout in getting Steam to accept us. As for being insulted, I am well aware of what my games are – low-res, old-school, point and click adventure games. Convincing a mainstream service like Steam to consider them was always going to be a challenge, but one we eventually met and overcame!
Daav: Does the community ask for your games to put into bundles and if so what is that experience like from conception to finish?
There’s not much of an “experience” really. I give a build of the game to the bundle-makers and leave all the details to them! I don’t do a lot to advertise the bundles myself. The whole point of doing a bundle is to expose the games to an audience that I could never reach myself. For a Steam, GOG or Indie Royale bundle – they don’t need my help.
Daav: So your fan base doesn’t usually call to put games in bundles then?
I might be misunderstanding what you are asking, but no. They’ve never asked me.
Daav: Do you believe indie bundles affect the standard value of games? Negatively, there are arguments that too many bundles devalue a game’s worth, while positive comments would state that the publicity makes up for it.
Yes, to a degree. I think bundles are GREAT because they give another shot of life to games that have fallen way off the radar. But there’s danger in bundling every game that comes along. I have gotten several requests from various bundle makers asking if I’d like to include Primordia in their latest package, and I always have to decline. The game was just released a few weeks ago. The hype is still strong and the game is still doing very well at full price. I don’t need to drop the price or throw it in a bundle for the equivalent of a buck. If the game is selling well at full price, it makes no practical sense to do a sale or bundle. My philosophy is to always wait at least six months before doing heavy discounts. By that point, the game is out of the public eye and there isn’t as big a demand for it, so a bundle is the perfect thing to drag it back into the spotlight. So bundles can ADD value if you wait for the right moment, but they can definitely lower the value if you rush into it.
Daav: Once the game reemerges after a period of absence, does that then affect sales right after?
If a game is in a popular bundle, that means that many more people are playing it, which inevitably leads to new reviews. So sales and traffic definitely increase. We’ve also got the “long tail” going for us, so the sales of our back catalog increase as well!