Theory behind launching Supporter Pack for VR game on Steam — case study by Into the Radius dev CM Games

CM Games has run an interesting experiment with their VR shooter Into the Radius. Here is how the team managed to find an additional revenue channel by developing and launching a Supporter Pack for their core fans.

Serg Kharchenko, Evangelist at CM Games

After more than twenty (!) free content updates for our VR title, Into The Radius, we decided to make a Supporter Pack for the game.

Our theory was based on a strong community around the game. We saw players sharing valuable feedback, mentioning us in other game reviews, proposing exceptional ideas, and suggesting balancing tweaks. So why not offer the audience some cool extras related to the game and provide them with an opportunity to support the development team?

We decided to give it a shot.

How CM Games made Supporter Pack for its VR game Into the Radius: theory, launch, and results

Steam Supporter Pack overview

We curated a collection of game-related digital items, including:

  • Digital postcards;
  • Posters ready for printing;
  • Wallpapers;
  • Original game soundtrack;
  • Music from in-game cassettes.

We made it clear in the description of our Supporter Pack that its primary purpose is to provide additional collectibles to players while offering them a chance to support us. We set the price at $10, released the pack before New Year’s Eve 2022, and crossed our fingers.

First results and the Pack update

We were pleasantly surprised by the number of copies sold and the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the reviews. Inspired by these results, we decided to upgrade the pack with new camouflage patterns, such as skins for popular in-game weapons.

After consulting with our analytics team to identify the most popular weapons in the game, we prepared the necessary skins and integrated them into the existing sets within the pack. For players who have already purchased the pack, these additional skins were provided at no extra cost. For new buyers, the value of their purchase has increased without any change in the price. These additions are purely cosmetic, but they enhance the player experience by introducing new weapon styles directly into the game, adding an extra layer of fun to the purchase.

We synchronized the release of weapon skins for the Supporter Pack on Steam with the latest official game update, titled “The Little Things,” in September 2023, eight months after the initial release of the pack.

On the same day, we also introduced a separate pack featuring camouflage patterns for the PM, AKS-74U, IZh-81, OTs-33, and Mosin-Nagant on the Meta Quest Store. This pack serves as an add-on to Into The Radius, priced at $6.

Conversion rates and conclusions

Our efforts yielded positive outcomes, resulting in increased sales across both platforms. Customer reviews remained largely positive, contributing to our current ‘Very Positive’ rating on Steam.

We compared sales results between the Steam and Oculus Quest stores and found notable differences. The conversion rate for pack buyers on Steam stands at approximately 6.8%, whereas the META Quest store records a conversion rate of around 3.3%. It’s tough to figure out if this difference means there are more loyal players on Steam or if the pack’s release time and content difference are playing a role.

Our costs for this experiment were relatively modest:

  • Several hours of artists’ work, undertaken during a spare time from the production schedule to create graphics for the pack and store assets;
  • Several hours of management to combine everything;
  • Extra effort from the release manager.

In return, we got the following:

  • Confirmation that our loyal community members are willing to support us by investing in cosmetic enhancements for a single-player VR game just out of goodwill towards their favorite game developer;
  • Extra activity and positive results relative to the resources invested;
  • Moral boost and positive vibes from our players.

We’ve learned not to underestimate how much players want to support developers, even when the add-on is just for looks. Our VR hardcore survivors are all about it, buying sets that don’t affect the game’s quality directly.

Laster this year, we also planned to launch the sequel, Into the Radius 2, into Early Access, so we’ll use our knowledge in marketing and developing VR games to meet player expectations..

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