1. Loop Hero is combining sub-genres in a refreshing way
There are several things to unpick when it comes to Loop Hero’s genres. First, they’ve gone for popular ones. Loop Hero is a mix of of 3 sub-genres – idle, deck-builder and roguelike.
All of the genres are popular among players. In fact, typical roguelikes make c. 10x more money than a median game on Steam.
2. Loop Hero has done excellent consumer research
Loop Hero sells to the generation of millenials who have grown up with deck builders and rougelikes.
The whole setup of Loop Hero looks like it’s from the 90s. The teenagers gworing up playing games like this are now in their 30s and 40s – working from home, having money to spend on games and feel nostalgic about the good old days.
Look at the retro graphics and the amazing soundtrack. It’s a clear and intentional direction that the developers have taken.
Loop Hero’s success is driven by excellent customer segmentation and analysis. There’s a lot for indies to learn here. Find the customer segment you want to target and design a game for them.
3. It’s an ideal idle game and we’re all working from home
I’m not saying people are playing games during work time, but… If you’ve got 2 or more screens and Loop Hero basically plays itself most of the time, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out when people play it.
It’s important for developers to consider the current game trends and benefit from them. Loop Hero’s doing an awesome job on capturing the lockdown workers.
4. Valheim is just winding down, making space for a new entrants
Valheim’s made it to everyone’s Steam library. At the time of Loop Hero launch, Valheim had been around for a month. Since it’s only ealry access, the content on Valheim is limited, so a lot of people have got it out of their system and are looking for something new to play.
Just like Valheim used the decline of Among Us, Loop Hero can benefit from Valheim cooling down, although not to the same extent.
5. It’s only $14.99 – a fraction of AAA cost for double the quality!
There are a lot of great indie games being released at the $15-20 mark and they end up doing well. You can get 3-4 indie games for the price of one AAA release.
AAA games are now trying to push prices up to $70, widening the gap even further.
It used to be that indie games were nowhere close to being as good as what the AAAs had to offer. Well, that’s changed. If anything, indie games these days have more to offer.
It seems like none of the AAAs these days are released without game-breaking glitches and months of bug-fixes. Games like Cyberpunk work their teams to the breaking points and still fail to release a complete bug-free game.
At the same time, indie offering has become better than ever.
Firstly, they’re bug-free. Games like Loop Hero and Valheim have had massive launch success purely through working as intended.
Secondly, they’re innovative and refreshing. AAA games have been working hard to reduce their financial risk. That risk-aversion has made AAA games reluctant to use new game mechanic sor trial with different genre-combinations. It’s another huge open world action game with RPG elements. Great.
Finally, it doesn’t feel corporate. The recent hyperreal megabudget games have got so much bad publicity through bad launches that not having a recognisable developer might be a bonus on this day and age.
AAA used to signal quality. Now it signals a half-baked game that’s properly playable 3 months after the launch when the bugs have been fixed. Good for indies!