This post is based on my own information from experiences of releasing multiple games, feel free to add your experience of getting your games discovered and their path to success or doom because of the algorithm.
Currently, nearly every new game depends solely on getting recognized by the algorithm. This is mostly beyond the developer’s control, as there is little to no information on what we can do to be ‘liked’ by the algorithm. The only thing we can do, as developers, is simply make the best game we can and make sure it is enjoyable.
The problem as I understand it, is that currently a game is either on the algorithm or off the algorithm, with no in-between. It is either getting a very significant boost in traction, reaching thousands of players, or it is struggling to gain even 100 concurrent users. There are 2 games I would like to use as an example:
Sword Haven: I have already made a post about this as a ‘bug report’, but as Roblox staff said, and I agree it belongs in feature requests better. To summarize; the game’s performance seemed completely randomized from the very beginning, regardless of what we did. I believe it was just the game constantly getting on and off the algorithm, but struggling to stay on for more than a day. It should not be this inconsistent.
Yeet a Friend: This is a more positive one, but nevertheless a good example of just how much impact the algorithm can have. After releasing, for the first week we were just simply sponsoring the game, no marketing outside of Roblox sponsors. Absolutely no growth for that week; averaging a few hundred CCU. After that I do not need to explain what happened:
I would love to see the algorithm being more consistent. Let games grow organically, allow them a small traction boost to see how players behave in the game and how metrics adjust. Let the algorithm adjust accordingly and smoothly. It can be really disheartening and demotivating knowing that your game’s future depends so much on whether or not it will hit the algorithm and stay there. Using my game Sword Haven as an example, we were all euphoric and excited seeing it go from just a few hundred CCU to 4000+, then confused and heartbroken to oblivion when not even 1 day later it went below what it even had prior to the algorithm boost.
I would also like to mention that (from my experience), the algorithm was significantly better in the past. I have had 4 other games in the past that grew steadily and organically to thousands of concurrent users. The latest game I had that grew organically was released in early 2021. All other games in late 2021 and beyond have this weird on-and-off the algorithm pattern.
TL;DR: Experience growth is extremely inconsistent, and the algorithm should be adjusted to allow for more organic growth rather than praying and hoping your experienced will be noticed by the algorithm.
Please share your experiences of releasing & maintaining games and how they have performed, whether you have also experienced such abnormalities or not!