Developer Realaxis of the recently released Steam game Stained has turned face on their word to release Steam keys for previous owners. Here’s another example of why certain indie developers should put their game through a marketing firm.
Stained was part of the Indie Royale Debut Bundle 3, one in many of the site’s package deals that look to get indie games approved on Steam Greenlight. While Indie Royale doesn’t necessarily state that an early purchase comes with a Steam key when released, it is the current norm.
This is also what what Realaxis previously promised, when the bundle was released. In a previous message, now updated, the developer mentions:
We will also give a steam keys to everyone who will buy the game in this bundle.
So get it there and give us a thumps up!
Now, the developer has gone back on that word, stating low sales as the reason not to hand out any more keys. There is an honest breakdown of just how poorly Stained has sold, just 300 units, though the message won’t come across any less snide because of it.
We have decided not to distribute the keys any more to the IR bundle purchaser.
I think you already had your share of enjoyment when you purchased the game via IR-Bundle for 50 cent.
Further in their response, the develop mentions a grand total of $3100 in sales, spread across all channels. Stained also didn’t manage to pick up any traction from press or from reviews or Youtube personalities. Codes were sent out for promotion, but no one even responded.
In an additional kerfuffle, Realaxis had begun sending out keys manually via email to Indie Royale purchases, due to the company not responding to their email. This, in turn, lead to logistic issues, since adding keys to the bundle now would mean that some would have received the game twice.
Realaxis does acknowledge feeling bitter about the whole thing and so won’t comment whether or not they are working on another game. Stained support will continue for a level editor, as well as owners of the Desura version of the game.
Stained released on Steam on July 10, 2014 for €7.99. We periodically discuss games in gameplay sessions for bundles. Sadly, we only started cataloging from bundle 6. From what we remember, the puzzle platform title is decent enough in its own right, even if it’s nothing special. Not all games have to be epic. You got to keep your word though. That’s an important factor.