GDC Logo

Cook dinner Serve Without end’s announcement splash, deconstructed

Posted on

[The GameDiscoverCo game discovery newsletter is written by ‘how people find your game’ expert & company founder Simon Carless, and is a regular look at how people discover and buy video games in the 2020s.]

Properly, it is midweek insanity over right here at GameDiscoverCo HQ. We’re shaking off a slight chilly, attempting to take care of frantic pets because the water firm digs up the road, and squinting quizzically on the mass of sport discovery information flooding our imaginative and prescient.

Cook dinner Serve Without end: modeling an enormous launch splash?

A few of you might have noticed that Vertigo Gaming simply introduced Cook dinner Serve Without end, the fourth (aha, intelligent title!) within the long-running Cook dinner Serve Scrumptious cooking sim sequence that creator David Galindo has labored on for a decade now.

The CSD sequence is now as much as 1,000,000 items bought throughout the three current video games. And GameDiscoverCo thought it was attention-grabbing to have a look at how Vertigo positioned this fourth sport reveal for achievement, by pursuing a multi-point promotional marketing campaign.

So we caught up with Vertigo producer Erik Johnson, and he defined all of the issues the workforce did on the identical time to make sure most discovery curiosity:

  • A Steam ‘Every day Deal’ on announce day: Erik notes that getting a reduced model of the CSD Trilogy featured by Valve “was completely crucial to our success.” Not solely did it usher in round $30,000 gross income, the highest banner and ‘Wishlist Now!’ widget on the bundle web page closely cross-promoted the brand new sport.
  • An early trailer, mixing tease & gameplay: it is nonetheless early, and “the gameplay is all alpha proper now, when it comes to the mechanics and the meals.” So what to do? Play up the sport’s plot in a handsome animated trailer (see above), considerably of “a beautiful inside joke” for followers as a result of the unique CSD had no plot in any respect, and the franchise now has “bizarre lore” throughout it. However nonetheless put gameplay on the finish.
  • Voice actors built-in into announce promotion: David & Erik wished to make it clear that any promo from voice actors is a bonus (not why they have been employed!) However Elspeth Eastman’s and Emme Montgomery’s reveal that they’re voicing the (additionally visible likeness-adjacent!) lead characters within the sport clearly helped hearth up their fan bases, and past.
  • Lots extra Steam cross-promotion: since gamers recurrently go to all the opposite CSD Steam pages, there’s widgets for Cook dinner Serve Without end, plus Steam information tales when allowed (Valve generally reclassifies these, I believe sequels must be allowed overt crosspromo), and Steam capsule icons mentioning the brand new sport. Oh, and specifically organized third occasion widget cross-promo with Bakery Simulator – intelligent.
  • Kitfox (and associates) Steam competition look: a fortunate coincidence, however Erik says: We’re associates with Kitfox Video games”, who noticed the announce and stated “We’re operating a competition beginning tomorrow and we’ve got a associates part..” that Cook dinner Serve Without end might be in. An important instance of how pleasant peer connections may also help.
  • Media protection: curiously, no person actually picked up the announce forward of time when provided. However they have been comfortable to write down up tales in regards to the sport in real-time, given the franchise’s profile and social media buzz. Some good mentions, too: in Eurogamer, in RockPaperShotgun, and in IGN South-East Asia, amongst others.

As well as, after all, there have been “massive pushes on TwitterInstagram, Reddit, and TikTok” for the announce, although Erik notes: “TikTok completely tearing it up for CSD3, however we’ve not had that massive pop but for CSF.” In time, little doubt.

The end result? Cook dinner Serve Without end was wishlisted extra in its first 36 hours than Cook dinner, Serve Scrumptious! 3?! was in its first month after announce. The sport has 8,000+ Steam wishlists per week after being revealed (not unhealthy!), with 4,200+ of them arriving on day one. Here is a Steam wishlist graph for instance:


As for longer-term plans? A demo of Cook dinner Serve Without end might seem within the final Steam Subsequent Fest of 2022 or the primary one among 2023, with Early Entry launch to comply with someday pretty quickly after that.

General, we expect this can be a good instance of a sport with an current fanbase being well-organized with an announcement. It is uncommon to see an indie franchise with this many sequels. (Titles usually shift into GaaS and DLC updates, as a substitute of launching model new titles.)

However should you’re going for the sequel angle, ‘announce ASAP and loudly with some gameplay’ is a key mantra for achievement – mission completed!

[We’re GameDiscoverCo, an agency based around one simple issue: how do players find, buy and enjoy your premium PC or console game? We run the newsletter you’re reading, and provide consulting services for publishers, funds, and other smart game industry folks.]