Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

How Much Have I Been Scammed Out of My Game?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on October 2, 2014

I guess I should quit holding my breath for all those YouTube Let’s Play videos of Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon now…

Turns out the majority of them were scammers, and my cursory investigations (especially for foreign language accounts) wouldn’t have exposed ’em.

How to Get Every Game on STEAM for Free

Le Sigh.

That’s a big problem – trying to handle a game launch AND trying to not piss off the legitimate reviewers / youtubers while weeding out the scammers… it’s a lot of work.


Filed Under: Biz - Comments: 7 Comments to Read

  • Infinitron said,

    How many did you hand out?

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Dozens. Not enough to make a big difference, but it’s still one of those things that make you wince.

  • Dave Toulouse said,

    When I get my game on Steam I will be suspicious of everyone asking for keys but not because of the scam stories heard. Simply because I recently have emailed over 120 youtubers (mostly smaller ones with 50,000 subs or less) and only got 4 videos out of this.

    So by now, I know that any “youtuber” asking me for a Steam key is probably just a fraud or just too small to not be worth my time. They didn’t pick it up when I was offering it so now I doubt they’ll come running to me asking for it.

    Sure, there are more than 120 youtubers out there but those I targeted were the ones with the most likely chance to do good for my game so tough luck for the others.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    It’s a catch 22 for them, I realize. In order to *get* more subscribers, they need to cover big, popular, newer games. Sadly, covering little indie games doesn’t increase their exposure. But then — everyone and their cousin is covering the same big, popular games… so I don’t see the harm in occasionally taking a walk on the indie side.

  • Dave Toulouse said,

    I wrote a post about that: http://www.over00.com/index.php/archives/2529

    It came out of frustration from not hearing from most of them but the more I think about it the more it makes sense.

    People keep telling indie devs they must do something different, unique, original and that releasing the next generic platformer or zombie game is a dumb choice to succeed. Yet, most youtubers are doing exactly this. They just post over and over videos of the same games the big youtubers are already getting millions of views from and they try to compete against them …

    As I said in my post, if I want to know what FTL is about I probably will find this video first: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-SnIhpCm5w

    It’s not that I’m a fan of TB or care about his opinion but it’s the easiest video to find, it indeed does a good job at showing the game and then I’m ready to buy the game or pass.

    Now many youtubers also try to succeed only with their personality by playing the same game over and over but I’m not talking about them here. I don’t care or contact those who just post the same 2-3 games over and over. My target are the ones actually doing previews/reviews of games. And if these don’t do anything to try to get a different audience/niche then they are doomed like many indie devs out there …

    So I really don’t understand what’s their real plan toward “success”. That’s like me saying “Well Call of Duty is making millions so all I have to do to get success is make a Call of Duty myself”.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Yeah. I look at the counterpoint – Matt Chat. Took me a while before I learned about that one. I’d already read his book, “Dungeons & Desktops” and hadn’t known about the channel. He’s struggling with viewership for exactly that reason – he’s NOT covering the current hits. He does indie, he does old-school cult-classic PC games, stuff like that. And he has a small but devoted following. But he doesn’t get the big numbers. I think it’s a multifaceted issue, but a big part of it is simply that these games aren’t currently part of most gamers’ lives. The average gamer today has probably not even *HEARD* about the Gold Box D&D games (the “average” gamer today may only even know about D&D by reputation). And they certainly aren’t flashy for video like the new games. Take something like Planetary Annihilation – that game was *MADE* with Twitch streaming in mind. It was literally manufactured for the purpose of being watched as much as played.

  • Dave Toulouse said,

    Well Matt Chat is actually a good example for my point here.

    With 11,853 subscribers he’s right in the middle of the type of youtubers I contacted. I’d say he’s actually doing pretty well considering his niche.

    I’ve contacted a lot of youtubers with less subscribers than him that still focus on the same hit games as the more popular youtubers. So even if tomorrow he’d start covering recent hit games I doubt his subscribers count would suddenly raise.

    I’ve been looking at a game called Cosmonautica recently and I wouldn’t be surprised if this game gets some momentum sooner or later. The good news for youtubers is that the big players still haven’t check it so there’s an opportunity there. I mean, after posting your 300th Minecraft video and still getting only 1,000 subscribers, why not try something else?