Save Multiwinia

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Chris
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Save Multiwinia

Postby Chris » Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:08 am

Multiwinia has the highest conversion rate we’ve ever seen. What this means is that every time somebody plays the demo version, there is a percentage chance that they will go on to buy the game, and that percentage is higher than any of our other games. This is excellent news, and generally lines up with our belief that Multiwinia is the most accessible of all our collection, the most immediately satisfying, and the most visceral and intense of our games. We can infer from his high conversion rate that people enjoy our game immediately, and that makes us very happy. By comparison, Darwinia had a very low conversion rate, at least initially, because we royally messed up the launch demo. The kinds of conversion rates we are seeing with Multiwinia are in fact excellent by any standards, and we should be very happy about this.

Unfortunately, a high percentage of zero is still zero.

Nobody is playing the demo of Multiwinia. There are a number of theories as to why this might be, but we think we already know the answer – very few people have heard about it, or have seen enough reason to try it. In this regard, Introversion has always relied on one primary form of publicity – reviews. Darwinia and Defcon were reviewed far and wide, exposing hundreds of thousands of gamers to our games in a far more effective manner than any adverts we can ever afford. The _only_ way for most gamers to hear about Introversion games and to understand the premise of our games is to read reviews of them, look at the pictures, read the comments, and then try the demo if they are interested.

It’s been three weeks since we launched Multiwinia, and today Metacritic shows four reviews (the minimum required for a metacritic average) for the first time since game launch. By comparison, Defcon had nearly thirty metacritic reviews within a week of launch. Of the reviews we have arranged with websites and magazines, less than 20% of them have been published at this time. One british games magazine has declined to review Multiwinia at all – ever. We’ve heard disturbing rumours from more than one source that major games websites are now cutting back on the number of games they review – and it’s games like Multiwinia that are getting dropped because there will always be hundreds of bigger games. If this is true and is widespread (as we are starting to believe), it has grave repercussions for all indie developers who rely on press reviews as their primary form of publicity.

And the most frustrating thing about all of this, is that we know Multiwinia is awesome fun to play, and we know if we get people to try the demo they will love it, and will strongly consider buying. Some good news : Multiwinia’s metacritic user rating is riding sky high at 9.5 / 10, the highest of all our games. Some bad news : only 16 people have voted, the lowest number of all our games. Again it underlines what we are seeing – play it and love it, but nobody is playing it. We just can’t seem to capture peoples attention long enough for them to download and try the demo.

At this point, a concession : It’s our fault the print mags are late with their reviews. We made a decision very late in the process to delay sending review code out to the print magazines for a whole month, and that will give us the first print reviews at the end of October. This may prove to have been a serious mistake, and the lack of web reviews three weeks after launch may actually be a consequence of the lack of print reviews in the first place.

So how do we correct this problem? That’s where you come in. It’s time for us to launch the SAVE MULTIWINIA campaign. We need your help, and depending on who you are, you can help in different ways. Reading this blog implies you are either an Introversion fan, a general gamer who reads here occasionally, or a journalist. (Or some combination of the three)

Journalists
We can’t stress how important it is to us that you review our games in a timely manner. Without you, there would be no Introversion – Uplink was a success for a number of factors, but a very large factor came down to a handful of journalists who found the game, loved it, then pushed it on their journalist friends. This started a snowball effect with more and more sites and mags requesting review copies. The word of mouth generated from this got us off the ground and set us on our way. We completely understand that there is a great deal of pressure on review mags and sites – the economy has been flushed down the toilet, affecting businesses at all levels, ad spends are down, people aren’t buying print magazines anymore, etc etc. You have limited resources and too many games to review, so choices have to be made and the larger games are prioritised over the smaller.

But you have to understand that there will be consequences for the industry if it becomes acceptable not to review small indie games. If we’d launched Uplink now as a startup company, and picked up this kind of reviewer response, we wouldn’t have made it as far as even starting Darwinia. This will affect all indie companies across the board who don’t have a major company backing them. Little Big Planet is an excellent example of a modern “commercial” indie game that enjoys incredible coverage across the games media – but they have the full weight of Sony behind them, and this will be the only kind of Indie we will ever hear about if you Journalists take to ignoring the little guys.

Please, review our game. Talk to your editors, convince them to print your review. Interview us, use our screenshots, our videos. Link to our demo in your articles. In the end, you hold the key to our games reaching a wide audience, or vanishing without trace. This is a bigger issue than just reviewing Multiwinia. We’re talking about games journalists and your editors making a rational choice, and wiping out all but the biggest indie games companies as a consequence.

Fans
You guys are the other major reason Introversion is here. The word of mouth that went with Uplink was incredible. Across the Internet, everybody was talking about it. It was the underground hit of 2001. Many of you probably heard about Uplink for the first time on Internet forums, and this wasn’t an accident. At the time we asked our community to help us with this directly, encouraging you to talk about our game to spread the word further. The combination of growing numbers of reviews on bigger and bigger sites and our fanbase aggressively spreading the word on internet forums pushed Uplink to a wider audience than we could ever have reached ourselves.

Now we need you to do the same. You all hang around on different internet forums all over the Internet as well as the Introversion community – go to those forums and strike up conversations about the game. Include screenshots, link to the videos on youtube, link to the demo on our website (www.multiwinia.com). Tell people why you love the game, get them excited about it. Most importantly of all, you are bringing Multiwinia to their attention – they may have heard of it or not, but at no point have they felt compelled to investigate further and try the demo. You have to encourage them past this point. This is a game they have missed, it’s fallen through the cracks, but they should give it a try because its really good fun.

To help you with this, we’re working on modifying the current Multiwinia demo so that demo users can join a LAN game, so long as the host owns the full game. The purpose behind this is to make it very easy for you to play against your friends who don’t yet own the game, without having to buy more copies. LAN parties in particular are great events for trying new games – take Multiwinia along and show it to people, fire up a game and invite other players to join as demo users. They’ll have a great experience, and they’ll thank you for showing them this game that they’ve either not heard of or ignored.

In closing
To everyone reading this blog who's just a gamer, we have only one simple request : try our demo, at www.multiwinia.com. We’re confident you will really enjoy it.

Save Multiwinia.
Last edited by Chris on Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby multimania » Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:22 am

Hear, Hear!
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Postby NeoThermic » Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:34 am

I will attest to the conversion rate of Multiwinia. I went on Introversion's behalf to the PC Gamer Showdown, showcasing Multiwinia off (near other games like Left 4 Dead and Mirrors Edge). While I only had it running on three computers (kindly provided by YoYoTech), there was always people playing Multiwinia on them. (Infact I counted that in an hour there was more people playing Multiwinia than Mirrors Edge..)

In all, I saw about 85% of the people playing Multiwinia at the booth go to their own computers and buy the game (one was majorly impressed that not only was it on steam, but you could get a same day download from the IV store if bought from there).

The PC Gamer Showdown packs also contained foamwinians, and at one point there was an impromptu tabletop game of Multiwinia on it:

Image

Helping Introversion is really easy. Just get the people to try the demo, or if they're at your house, let them on the full game for a bit. I assure you they'll buy it rather quickly.

NeoThermic
Last edited by NeoThermic on Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby multimania » Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:38 am

Wow!

I want that many foamwinians.

(I only have three)
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Postby vanarbulax » Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:46 am

I'm try and see if I can organize my friends to have a LAN party with Multiwinia. I don't think any of them have it yet though I rant on to my friends about it, but I guess I rant on to my friends about everything. Hopefully if they play it they'll purchase it.
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Postby ChaosSmurf » Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:53 am

It's all about the giant mechawinian face off we had just after that picture was taken. The number of ways those guys can join together is scary.
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Postby Nutter » Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:56 am

I'd love to show it off to people at my school and we do have small lan parties from time to time so the demo changes is great news. Unfortunately everybody uses mac's so I haven't really had the chance to introduce it to them yet.
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Postby jelco » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:10 pm

I recently put up a report of an excursion to CERN I made with school, including pictures with Foamwinians. As I was staging the pics on the trip, my classmates kept asking about it because they had no clue what 'that green thing' was, so I put a small explanation of it in there and yesterday mailed around the link to the report to all of them - they'll be more interested in the report, but there are some gamers in the group as well and they won't simply skip that part. ;)

There is one guy of whom I know that he has played the demo because he played Darwinia, and another one who has only ever played Darwinia's second demo who I might be able to convince to play the demo of MW. Let's hope so!

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Postby estel » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:13 pm

It's saddening to hear that MW currently isn't doing nearly as well as it thoroughly deserves to do; I'd been wondering why there was a shortage of reviews, so it will be interesting to see how large the glut of reviews at the end of the month is.

I guess there's no chance that you'll be naming the UK magazine in question? ^^
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Postby Rkiver » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:45 pm

I work for a gaming company, I shall spread the word to EVERYONE in here. About 300 people, sure to get some converts.
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Postby Xarlaxas » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:49 pm

I'll be going to a LAN event on the 19th of October, if the LAN demo is ready by then I will bring it along and try and convince people to buy a copy. ^^
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Postby martin » Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:02 pm

I'm a comp-sci student, sure to be some other people on my degree course I can convert ;)

In fact, a friend of mine who has previously hated all the introversion games bought MW last night thanks to me nagging him to try the demo :D
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Postby factoid » Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:28 pm

Wow...I've actually been following Multiwinia's development for a while now...probably the better part of 6 months. I even subscribe to the RSS feed for the devblog, and I was not aware Multiwinia had launched yet.

I think you're right that your major problem is awareness. Microsoft is NOT doing a good job of promoting the game on XBLA. Unless you haven't launched on xbox yet. I usually go every few days to the "new releases" section on Marketplace to see what games are new. I haven't noticed anything recently in Arcade except for Duke3D and they're still promoting the hell out of Braid and Castle Crashers.

Is it not in the US store yet?

Sorry you're having trouble with the launch. I hope things pick up for you soon. I for one have been ready to buy the product for months, so I'm going to go find it somewhere. I'd buy the PC version, but I was really waiting to see if I liked playing it on console better.


Oh---and you should really consider advertising with Penny Arcade, or at least try to get mentioned in their blog. That's how I found out about Darwinia....not through game journalism.
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Postby Davman » Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:39 pm

Just bugged a game reviewer I know over MSN, although she only tends to review MMOs, maybe she knows someone that does other reviews.

Also I persuaded someone at uni to try the demo, but I've yet to find out if he will buy it!

Edit:

Also been through my MSN list and advised everyone to try it. Out of the 10 that were online, 2 already said they'd tried it, 1 had bought it, the other said he didn't have the money (high-school student)
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Postby estel » Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:02 pm

factoid wrote:I think you're right that your major problem is awareness. Microsoft is NOT doing a good job of promoting the game on XBLA. Unless you haven't launched on xbox yet. I usually go every few days to the "new releases" section on Marketplace to see what games are new. I haven't noticed anything recently in Arcade except for Duke3D and they're still promoting the hell out of Braid and Castle Crashers..


MW isn't going to be out onto XBLA until about Q2 next year, I believe! :)

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