The Steam Review

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Shadowgrounds announced for Steam

Alien Swarm gets a rival :: April 24th, 2006 :: New products :: 17 Responses (Feed)

Frozenbyte‘s old-school top-down shooter Shadowgrounds has been added to the Steam roster with an early May, $25 release planned.

Shadowgrounds screenshot
Shadowgrounds and Alien Swarm: Infested are almost direct competitors.

“Making Shadowgrounds available to Steam’s eight million gamers is a great opportunity to get the game out to a wider market,” said Steven Milburn, Director of Marketing at Meridian4. “Shadowgrounds’ high-octane, addictive gameplay will be a good match with Steam’s audience.”

“Steam is the best online distribution channel, end of story. They are really pushing the online distribution model and I am glad Shadowgrounds is part of that,” said Frozenbyte CEO, Lauri Hyvarinen.

Two things jump out from this piece of news: firstly, that Valve’s figure of active Steam users has increased to the tune of two million, and secondly, that Valve have elected to distribute a game so similar to Black Cat GamesAlien Swarm: Infested, one of the first games developed outside Valve to be announced for Steam.

Not only that, but the two are the only remotely mainstream top-down shooters I can find in today’s market, competing, unlike Day of Defeat: Source and Red Orchestra: Ostfront, for almost identical audiences. Indeed the only core difference I can find between them is Shadowgrounds‘ focus on single-player compared with Alien Swarm‘s on multi-player.

Frozenbyte released a 395MB Shadowgrounds demo in February which can be downloaded from the official website through Steam. Having stumbled across it before I don’t think it’s unfair to recommend a look; it provides honest entertainment for the duration of the demo areas at the very least.

17 Responses to this post:

  1. Tom Edwards Says:

    Those poor Alien Swarm guys. They’ve been beaten to the punch twice in the same month!

  2. Andy Simpson Says:

    Wow. Steam is gaining momentum, it seems. May is going to be a busy month for Steam releases/prepurchases. Episode One, The Ship, Sin Episodes, this. Wow.

  3. hahnchen Says:

    Yeah, but these releases are not going to expand the Steam user base. Sure, it’ll give Valve another revenue trickle, but how many copies of Shadowgrounds do you think will be sold? Not many I reckon, and I really doubt anyone is going to install Steam just for this game.

  4. DiSTuRbEd Says:

    Not going to expand the Steam user base? Righttttttt…RO expanded the user base with its release.

  5. Tom Edwards Says:

    [Comment ID #721 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Do not underestimate the power of retro. πŸ˜‰

  6. hahnchen Says:

    How much do you think RO expanded the user base by? It’s not exactly the most popular game in the world is it? Yeah, it got quite a few non-steam fans from UT, but I’m pretty sure the majority of the players were from the existing user pool.

    It will continue to attract new players by having a retail version, but how much?

  7. Tom Edwards Says:

    People are buying the games for the games, not Steam. It’s a purely matter of advertising how many new users get pulled in.

  8. wizpig64 Says:

    I didn’t like the demo when I installed it. πŸ™
    Even so, this is definitely gonna get more developers’ attention set on Steam.

  9. hahnchen Says:

    Of course people are buying for the games, what I’m saying, is there hasn’t been a good/popular enough non-Valve game to rope new customers in.

  10. Tom Edwards Says:

    Not to the extent of Valve’s games, no. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

  11. ATimson Says:

    Especially with Sin Episodes due out; I suspect that will bring in a substantial non-Valve audience. (As will the forthcoming Warren Spector game.)

  12. hahnchen Says:

    I was going to mention that RO and Sin Episodes are the only ones with any potential to lure more customers in, being that their retail presence will surely attract the casual gamer.

    But pretty much every fan of the original Sin already has Steam. I really wouldn’t start talking about the Warren Spector project for at least another 18 months.

  13. UndeadScottsman Says:

    which in April last year became the first game developed outside Valve to be announced for Steam

    I beg to differ… Pirates of the Burning Sea was announced to be released through Steam way back in January of 2003.

    Here’s a link to an article on Gamespot.

  14. Tom Edwards Says:

    Corrected, thanks.

  15. hahnchen Says:

    So even after the poor sales of Half-Life 2 Xbox, latest Steam news says Valve are making stuff for Xbox360! Tom, you should also have a newstip system which doesn’t require email.

  16. Tom Edwards Says:

    Don’t worry, I get my Valve news direct. πŸ˜‰

  17. ironclad Says:

    Me too, steam.exe is a very reliable source.