Finding ways to keep retail sales up. Sales are good now but let’s be real here, updates are fueled by new sales. If you guys have ideas on what it would take to get more of your friends to buy copies at retail and on Impulse let us know.
Three thoughts on the matter:
1. Replays! Replays! Replays! This is a feature that will really shine in reviews, and will really create some bonus points on forums. Replays that work will *rock* in terms of generating sales.
2. Cross-platform via Transgaming/Wine. Games that go Cedega, or are "known wine compatible", tend to get some favorable press. This will generate a second round of reviews, and will probably help the game sell well. It doesn't hurt that Demigod actually runs well under Wine right now, with the only issue being something with the Impulse Reactor multiplayer net-stuff. I've already been pushing hard for my friends to buy Demigod (I'm at 7 referrals and counting!), but I'll push a great deal harder when I know that I can get it working on OS X without any problems. Wolfire Games found that Lugaru sales on OS X actually exceeded sales on Windows; this is because there really is a dearth of good Linux/OS X games. Certainly top-tier titles like Demigod.
I really, truly think that the amount of effort needed to get Demigod up and running on OS X or Linux would be surprisngly small; all that would be really needed would be a few wine specific patches for the Impulse Reactor stuff, and then a GTK GUI for downloading Demigod directly from anywhere.impulse.com ; plus perhaps a place to pull down in-between patches. It would obviously be more work getting the rest of Impulse working (though Steam works really well on both OS X and Linux), but you really shouldn't have much trouble getting Demigod working, cross-platform, using a custom wine branch tailored for the game (look at Google Earth for Linux, or any of the EA games shipped by Transgaming using Cider). This would generate a lot of press, immediately, and probably get a fair number of geeks like myself to buy up rapidly.
3. This one is risky, but I think that Stardock has been willing to push boundries with business models, so I'd think it might be a good idea. I think that it could really generate a huge sales volume to allow some amount of "free" gameplay. Once a demo is released, AND you have created a system whereby friends can join Skirmish games together, I would allow for demo users to play online multiplayer under 1 specific circumstance; 2v2 Skirmish games where the demo user is invited by a paid user. This is *exactly* the sort of "first hit free" scenario which will get people hooked on multiplayer gameplay.