Talking about one thing leading to another, the case of HyperReuts is quite exemplary. A mistake from the indie developer has lead to a dramatic conclusion. Their game has hit its peak player count after the Steam keys of users got revoked.
HyperReuts released a multiplayer shooter game called Evolvation last year. The game did not manage to gather a significant audience so developers issued 10,000 free Steam keys. The intention behind this idea was to boost the player-base for Evolvation. But the key started getting traded on grey market channels.
To counter this the indie developer decided to revoke the Steam keys altogether. But, this resulted in stripping several legit users from the game as well. For obvious reasons the backlash received by HyperReuts for this hurt them bad. The game started getting tonnes of bad reviews on Steam and the negative tide hit them.
Eric Ruts at HyperReuts even came up to acknowledge this “honest mistake”. He asked Valve to reverse the ban of Steam keys and it wasn’t done the right way. Eric addressed the issue in detail on the Evolvation Steam page as well:
I am just an indie [who] is trying hard. In the meantime, my company is getting ruined by negative reviews, hateful comments, and bad publicity by pressing (non intentionally) on a single button.
At the end, when Valve lifted the ban and made the game free for access, the player count went through the roof. The rise in the player-base reached a point that they could not fit the players on their servers. The load was more than what HyperReuts was ready to handle.
The player count peak has touched the 172,870 number whereas the concurrent users per day are 55K. Meanwhile, developers might want to look at the game’s monetization while updating servers. Reports suggest only a $100 profit for Evolvation to generated since the release of the game.