I played Ashes of Oahu prior to release and had a lot of fun. Exploring the game’s vast, open world – especially after transforming into a bird so I could fly around freely – was a joy. So was using the game’s many skills and abilities. The game was released on Aug 29, so it’s lived a bit more than a month out in the wild so far.
I was extremely pleased with the game when I played it. However, the nature of an early build and the fact that I would’ve needed to start a new game to experience finalized questlines, plus looming deadlines for other pieces that I had to meet, meant that it simply wasn’t possible for me to have a review up for the game. I do regret that. All of this made it even more sad to see that the game just wasn’t selling well at all.
For weeks, the game has been stalled at eight of the ten reviews it needs to even get a positive rating. Sadly, that’s the nature of making games. Just because the devs dumped years of their lives and a massive amount of love and care into their game doesn’t mean that it’ll find an audience or that Steam’s algorithms will spread any awareness of it at all. But the game absolutely deserves to be played and enjoyed by a large number of people.
However, it launched with a $40 price tag. As Ashes of Oahu was made by a small team that self-published, many no doubt saw this as far too steep, regardless of the fact that the game has well over 40 hours of content to play through. Yesterday, however, the game’s price dropped to just $20, half of its launch price. This is an extremely good price for a game that’s overflowing with content. If you were on the fence before or are just plain intrigued by the game, then this new price might be just what you’re looking for.
I reached out to one of the devs for a comment on this price drop and the game’s visibility on Steam. They had this to say:
We gave our hearts and time to really try to make sure AoO was a great open-world storyline, and whatever we need to do to get more people to see it, that’s what we’re gonna do. We’d love to get more eyes on our project because we gave a lot to try to make it work. We think this price drop might get us more views, and more (obviously positive) reviews!
It’d be great if there was an “Indie Channel” or some sort of way to put otherwise new or small projects into the spotlight. We don’t even get a Positive/Mixed description until there are more than a key number of reviews from folks that didn’t get preview copies of the game. For one, preview reviews don’t count toward rating, which seems odd, but also until you have that key number you don’t get a review. It’d also be great to get some front-page views for random indies, but that’s just wishful thinking on my part.