SpeedRunners is a 4 player competitive platformer with online and offline multiplayer. It was created by DoubleDutch Games and is being co-developed with tinyBuild GAMES, a Dutch and US-based indie games developer which teams up with other indies to help make their games more successful.
Today they released a press release announcing that they will be adding 50 new characters to the game for free, no DLC. But the game will see a price increase to $15, still worth the money in my opinion. These new characters will be unlocked by using the new XP system added to the game, the more XP you gain the more characters you unlock, this is set to go alongside a story driven unlock system (still in development).
Here’s the press release:
At tinyBuild, we take our user analysis very seriously. Through extensive research we have determined players need constant positive reinforcement through neuron responses. Our goal was to increase DAUs and their daily engagement factors by at least 30% to justify investment and have a positive return.
It was obvious players weren’t happy with getting negative user loops in their daily game sessions, because when you lose a ranked game in SpeedRunners you get negative points. These points decide your Rank, and determine whom you get matched against.
After consulting with former [free to play company] analysts, we concluded we needed to introduce a completely useless, cosmetic metric that would always count up. However when the discussion went into a graph of “so you acquire 500k users, your stickiness is 2%, and your conversion rate is 5% based on an ARPPU of $0.02” I suddenly sobered up and remembered we are talking about free to play games.
Having tried to explain how tinyBuild “doesn’t acquire users”, evoked confusion and awkward stares in the room. Even more so, “why _don’t_ you do free to play?” someone asked, genuinely puzzled by my response. Then I remembered we make games for the fun of it, and said we “are assholes and take money in advance, then people play for free later”. Waking up in cold sweat, I realized this was all a horrible nightmare, a flashback from my web game development days.
We design games that are fun, and it was a great and fun way to make SpeedRunners more interesting. The paragraphs above refer to an actual nightmare I had, and actual meetings with genuinely puzzled and confused free-to-play people.
However, our stats did indicate (no joke), that we now have 50% more players day over day according to Steamcharts. A jump from 500 peak users to 750 in a day.
Introducing the Biggest Update To SpeedRunners yet, 50 new characters and an XP system!
- Added 50 new character skins including secret characters, a bulldog detective, and more
- A new XP system creates an unlocks experience. People now gradually unlock content.
- SpeedRunners is now building up towards a story-driven unlocks system, where players unlock both new content, and snippets of the story through comic books
- SpeedRunners is getting a price increase on June 1st to $15
- Increased daily players by 50% overnight
If this is not the weirdest press release you read today, I got nothing.