According to a survey by Ars Technica Heroes & Generals by Copenhagen based developer, Reto-Moto, was the third most played and owned game in 2014, despite still only being in early access.
Heroes & Generals made its first public appearance on Greenlight shortly after the program was launched. “We submitted Heroes & Generals for Steam Greenlight when Valve announced this program a few years ago, and H&G was one of the first 10 games to be greenlit by the Steam community.” Kenneth Ellegaard Andersen, producer at Reto-Moto explains. And despite being a crowded program Heroes & Generals swiftly gained a lot of popularity.
“When we looked at the Steam Greenlight stats, we saw that we had received more than 16 times as many votes as the 5th most “popular” Greenlight game, assuming that we interpreted the stats correctly, so it became clear to us that we had a really good business case for launching H&G on Steam.” Andersen continues.
But because the game was in an incomplete state, Reto-Moto decided against launching it to a wider audience at the time, and instead went into early access. “We didn’t want to publish it at the time we were greenlit because we didn’t think the game was ready for such a massive exposure and huge influx of new players.”, Andersen says.
Heroes & Generals is one the many games that has benefited greatly from Steams Early Access program. A program where developers can release games in alpha or beta states, giving players a chance to play the games early while supporting the developers both financially and through valuable feedback.
“One and a half year later, on July 11th 2014, we released H&G on Steam under the Early Access program and in less than a month, more than one million players had installed our game on Steam. Currently we have more than 4 million registered player accounts.”
Heroes & Generals is an example of a first-person shooter that has gained success by embracing an alternative publishing method for its genre. It takes luck to get exposed on Steam, and with more than 2700 games released between January and April in 2014, the competition is steep.
Heroes & Generals is one of the lucky games that received a lot of exposure on Greenlight and managed to use this attention and interest to launch a successful Early Access campaign.
“Reto-Moto is a fairly small studio when you look at the scope of Heroes & Generals, and we don’t have a huge publishing division – most people on the team wear multiple hats and perform both developing and publishing related tasks. Publishing H&G on Steam has for us been a really great experience and we don’t feel that we have to spend an awful lot of time on the publishing aspect of having a game on Steam, and the tech and biz team at Steam has been very helpful and supportive whenever we have reached out to them.” Andersen concludes.