The Steam Summer Sale is such a ridiculous extravaganza of cash that many devs take it into account when making their launch plans. When Two Tribes ended up releasing Toki Tori 2+ during the sale, it turned out to not be such a good idea.
Collin van Ginkel of Two Tribes has posted a retrospective blog on Gamasutra. For a start, they didn't know when the Summer Sale would start, so the launch was a coincidence.
It led to a clash between offering a discount for early adopters and being able to be a Daily Deal. "The thing is, Valve needs the daily deal to be a really good deal. They haven’t said this in so many words, but my take is that it has to have the highest discount on your title yet in order to be considered. And we knew we had a shot of being featured on the opening day.
"If we would have launched on the 2nd, our launch discount would have to be lower than the one offered during the Summer Sale just nine days later," continues van Ginkel. "Basically this would mean our early adopters, the ones who stuck with us during our protracted development period, would be screwed over."
Then as the sale launched, a combination of slow review publication, slow discount coupon distribution, and Steam's servers crashing, made it difficult to get the word out and anger fans who had been waiting for the game. Further, even with significant discounts, it was near impossible for the game to get noticed amid all the sale bargains.
"Even if we had launched on the 2nd of July, my guess is that many people would be saving up for the inevitable Steam Summer Sale to arrive," says van Ginkel. "We could and quite frankly should have considered this more, perhaps launching a few weeks earlier to avoid the conflict.
Toki Tori 2+ is available now on Steam.