It’s been a month(ish) since the release of The Signal State on GOG, so it might be interesting to look at the sales data and compare it to our Steam sales data.
The total number of copies sold through GOG is approximately 1% of the total number of copies sold through Steam, with the vast majority of copies sold during the launch week in which we had a 20% launch discount.
This is a pretty absurdly low number! Data on GOG sales vs Steam sales is even harder to come by, and I’ve seen estimates for the GOG vs Steam sales ratio of anything from 2% – 15%. Ours is clearly on the very low end of this.
There are probably a variety of factors for this figure beyond Steam’s dominance. Our GOG launch was not simultaneous but came months after the Steam release. We did not promote the GOG launch particularly heavily. The lack of Steam Workshop support means the Puzzle Workshop in the GOG version of the game is clunkier in the way it works compared to the Steam version.
That lack of feature parity with Steam’s Steamworks backend services might in fact be the main deciding factor as to whether to release on GOG or not (assuming your game is notable enough for GOG to invite you to release it there). If your game relies on Steam’s backend infrastructure for anything more complex than leaderboards or achievements, you might find yourself having to find a whole variety of workarounds for GOG’s more suite of backend services.
Does your game use Steamworks for mod support, microtransactions, voice chat? If no, then a making a GOG build is probably quite easy. The GOG API for user authentication, leaderboards, etc. is pretty easy to implement. But if you need anything more advanced, you’re gonna have to find alternative solutions for your GOG build.
And if you’re not going to make much money off of the GOG release, is the time and effort even financially worth it?