Game Portal Post Mortem

A month ago I posted my first HTML5 game Blue Ball Defender to three different web game portals. Game Jolt, New Grounds and Kongregate. A month has passed and I thought it was time I reported what’s happened.

Number of Plays

How many view/plays did each portal deliver.

Game Jolt – 37 views 10 plays
New Grounds – 1403 views
Kongregate – 76 plays

I’m not entirely sure what the deal is with Game Jolt providing two numbers. Perhaps they’re detecting the user moving focus to the game. I haven’t investigated.

The clear winner here is New Grounds. New games on New Grounds go through an initial period called “under judgement”. During the under judgement phase your game is rated by users interested in seeing the newest games. Eventually your game is either accepted into the main collection of games or “blammed” and removed from the site.

During the judgement process Blue Ball Defender had approximately 1000 plays in 3 days. After that the number of people playing it took a major dive. This may not have occurred if my game was better and thus received higher ratings (I’m realistic about the game).

Feedback

Which site provided useful feedback?

Game Jolt – No comments. Absolutely nothing.
New Grounds – 8 comments. These included some useful suggestions for improvements.
Kongregate – 1 comment.

Again, New Grounds comes out in front. The New Grounds commenters made meaningful suggestions and even returned after I had acted on their suggestions.

Cold Hard Cash

All of these sites provide revenue sharing for game makers. I was never expecting much and given the modest results that was probably a good thing.

Game Jolt – $0.02
New Grounds – $0.0
Kongregate – $0.05

New Grounds is in last place here but you’ll notice that the amounts of revenue are so small that it’s pretty much a tie. We’re talking about the difference between zero and one ad click. All of them have a minimum payout threshold of around $25 so I’m not holding my breath to see any money appear in my bank account.

Final Thoughts

Overall New Grounds appears to be the most useful portal however there’s no reason not to use all 3 sites. I’m not suggesting you use only one.

The initial big surge of views on New Grounds during judgement followed by a big drop was interesting. Given the constructive nature of the comments I received during judgement I suspect that New Ground’s users consist of, in large part, fellow game makers. Fellow game makers who periodically check in to try out the latest submissions. After the game was past judgement they moved on.

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