Luci wrote:ya games dead. it's averaging 8 players a day according to steam... lol.
Well concurrent users isn't the same as "players in a day" since people might only play a few hours a day at most, and sometimes less. You have to look at the total player hours per day, and then divide by average play time per day, to estimate the number of players in a day.
You also picked a Monday after a reasonably busy Saturday and Sunday. For example, there were about 300 player hours on Saturday (This is more accurate: https://steamdb.info/app/332650/graphs/
). If each player played about 2 hours on average (a pretty high estimate), then you had at least 150 players on that day.
But aside from this, I'm sure the devs are aware of the player numbers and wish they were higher. If the devs think cash flow is a problem they will do something about it. We don't have enough information to make that call. As long as the game is in development and there are the funds for it, and people give feedback regarding the game, then it will continue to be a viable Early Access game.
The supporter packs have not gone on sale yet within Steam, so that is still a lever to use. My guess is that even if they plan on making it free-to-play eventually, and going the Dota 2 model of free-to-play with purchasable cosmetics (since they can't sell power by their game design principles) they don't want to make it free-to-play too early to avoid alienating existing supporter packs. If they do go the free-to-play with the cosmetics option, well they need to have enough content to give as cosmetics to the existing backers to differentiate from free-to-play players. That is likely not there yet.
Also, the existing 7-day free trial doesn't really get communicated well to begin with (hence some complaints in the reviews), since it is only mentioned lower on the page and most people only get information on a game from the upper section of the page before the green "free-to-play" button. I think a lot of players feel a bit deceived by the "free-to-play" button, because many players only realize it's a 7-day free trial after installing and starting the game. A small thing that would avoid a lot of confusion and some bad reviews if it was mentioned at least above the "free-to-play" button (e.g. http://steamcommunity.com/id/gossett106 ... ed/332650/
Anyways you will struggle to find Early Access Sandbox games that are also free-to-play, primarily because they are funding development. What is the game that you are playing as described above? Perhaps we and the devs can see and learn from what they are doing right, or put their strategy into context?
Many games are still in active development and with even lower player numbers, because their game is still in development. For example, Sunset Rangers is a game I tried. There has never been more than 5 people online at the same time according to Steamcharts (http://steamcharts.com/app/559340#All
), since their Nov 2016 release. But according to the Steam Discussion boards, and the update history, they are still in development and quite active (http://steamcommunity.com/app/559340/discussions/
). They just don't want to push for more players until the game is more developed. Until then, they get a small group of players who are willing to give feedback and discuss the game with them while it is in development, which is how the Early Access model is supposed to work.
TL;DR Game development is hard and often thankless