Why 'SteamWorld Dig 2' Sold 10 Times More on Switch Vs. Steam


SteamWorld Dig 2 launched on five platforms at roughly the same time—Switch, PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, Vita—in September, but one platform in particular really took to the underrated digging simulator: Switch. SteamWorld Dig 2 was developer Image & Form’s most successful launch, and it sold 10 times as much Switch as it did on Steam.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/kzgq7y/steamworld-dig-2-sales-switch


For games that don’t scale up significantly with hardware more powerful than what the Switch has, it’s an ideal fit. It’s why I picked up Skyrim a couple of weeks ago but passed on DOOM.

I have noticed that the game selection on the Switch eshop has escalated extremely quickly as of late. We may start to see the end of the sales boom for smaller games on that platform once we hit the one year anniversary.


It is pretty early for Switch release but if Nintendo can get a hold of their store they can do it right for devs of small titles, even any title.


And a big part is simply that with fewer titles in the store, they are just easier to find. The way the store is laid out right now, it is going to be a nightmare in just a few months.

And GameTwo is its own channel, but it is really a show produced by the Rocket Beans network (which grew out of MTV’s GameOne, which in turn grew out of NBC’s Giga Games). I’m afraid I still cannot get into it…


I hope the eShop gets better organized. Would love to see separate sections for retro and indies. It’s increasing becoming my go to for indies. To the point where I avoid sales for Darkest Dungeon and hold out for the Switch release.


Good for Image and Form, I’ve enjoyed all of their Steamworld games.
I’m probably in the minority, but not having a pc I don’t use Steam at all. I wonder if that factors into the equation of the increased sales?
Here’s hoping nintendo continues to support indy games in 2018.


I’m glad this worked out for them it’s a pretty good game but I can’t help but feel any indie devs reading this who are now deciding to put their games on Switch are going to be super bummed by how they end up just as buried on the Switch store as they are on PSN/Steam by the time they can get the game out on there


A thing that might be worth mentioning here is that Image & Form has a pretty good history with putting their games on Nintendo devices. The first Steamworld Dig, which was a 3DS Download title way before it came to PC did so well, that it saved the company, if I recall correctly. So it’s not all that surprising that the sequel did also quite well.

I’m always a bit wary with stories like this, because even though this one was quite careful to jump to any conclusions, it still kind creates the impression that there’s ONE reason why games do well on platform X, and not so well on platform Y. There are certainly common trends, but there are still a bunch of factors to consider that are sort of unique to each title.

One thing I can sort of agree with coming from my own experiences with Steam is that, if a game doesn’t do really well right from the start, it’s will get buried so deep that it’s almost impossible to recover from.
Better (human-led) curation could help, but also more ways to draw attention to already released titles. Videogame reporting moves so quickly that once a game is out for longer than a week, it feels like it’s completely irrelevant in terms of News/review coverage. This again makes it harder for devs to recover, should their launch go not as well as planned.