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Potions: A Curious Tale, a young witch getting ready to throw something while a Command & Conquer box rushes in from the right.

EA’s Classics storm Steam’s charts but one dev isn’t happy

Fans of Dungeon Keeper, Sim City and other ‘EA Classics’ were no doubt happy to see them suddenly land on Steam. But for one indie dev, EA’s surprise release has been a disaster, bumping her game from the Steam charts spotlight.

That might not seem like a big deal – after all, games do get bumped from Steam’s various charts. But it’s the circumstances surrounding that bumping that’s led her to complain, and we can absolutely see her point. Released one day before Electronic Arts dropped their EA Classics, Potions: A Curious Tale has been described as a ‘cozy Diablo’ and, for a while, it was sitting happily on Steam’s New and Trending chart.

As you’d expect, visibility often translates to sales, so being there was no doubt giving Potions: A Curious Tale a big boost. But then, as Gittins puts it, “My indie game I worked on for 10 years was immediately bumped off of New & Trending by EA spam releasing 11 titles at once.”

Potions: A Curious Tale, which casts you as a young witch taking on the world, is still rated Very Positive on Steam. But, absent from Steam’s New and Trending chart, it’s now far less visible to would-be purchasers. As explained by GameDiscover, New and Trending will, eventually, make their way out of the charts, but less than a day after release, Gittins’ game was gone. “All of the built-up marketing and momentum squashed in an instant,” she adds.

There are a few issues here. Firstly, while EA’s Classics might be trending on Steam, they’re not exactly ‘new’. Secondly, by releasing them all at once, they’ve eaten up multiple slots in the New and Trending charts. Gittins has been the most vocal about the situation, but she won’t have been the only one affected. Posting in her Twitter thread, some other developers weighed in with their own similar experiences.

“My heart breaks for you. This same thing happened.. as we launched Elden. Top of popular upcoming and then… boom. Was also an EA shadow drop”, remarked Neon Doctrine founder Iain Garner.

But the biggest gripe, from Gittins and other devs, is the fact that these titles were ‘shadowdropped’. “I’d have avoided this date like the plague otherwise,” she adds. It’s not unheard of for major devs to move their releases so they’re not eclipsed by other titles. But in this case, Stumbling Cat had zero notice.

Gittins has since put out a statement, which you can read here, below. She makes it clear she doesn’t think EA were out to get her, that it was just horrible bad luck. But it’s still an understandably gloomy read.

“One of my goals for this game was to help young girls to recognise their own strengths and empower them to follow their dreams,” she explains, adding that was why she chose to release it on the eve of International Women’s Day. “I had a wonderful, joyful day turned sour due to forces outside of my control,” she adds.

Will this lead to Steam reconsidering how their charts, New and Trending in particular, work? Could Valve end up excluding bulk, shadowdropped games from that chart? Probably not. But what you can do, if this situation tugs at your heartstrings, is give Potions: A Curious Tale’s demo a go. And, if you’re sufficiently hooked, why not pick it up? It’s not as if Command and Conquer is going anywhere.

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