This post is part of my series on marketing benchmarks that will help you understand how your game is doing and what is normal. To learn more, check out the full benchmark series by clicking the button
You work so hard getting fans to wishlist your game and then you check your numbers and you see a ton of deletes! It is so frustrating. Of course deletes are normal but is your game abnormally off-putting? Are you scaring away your potential fans?
In 2021 I collected wishlist data from 58 developers to try to see what a typical number of wishlist deletes looks like.
For released games, this is what the number of deletes looks like:
🥉 9% wishlists are deleted
🥈 12.7% wishlists are deleted
🥇 10.5% wishlists are deleted
💎 11.65% wishlists are deleted
Then I looked across all games to see what the average and median delete rate looks like:
- Average delete percentage: 9.80%
- Median delete percentage: 7.75%
Here is a graph showing the delete percentage and total wishlists.
I don’t see any real relationship here other than if you have fewer wishlists your deletion percentage is a lot lower. I suspect that games that have a HUGE number of wishlists typically got them from big festival appearances and being played by streamers. It could be that the audience is much less invested in the game and are wishlisting it as means of a bookmark to follow up later. They don’t actually like the game, they just want to keep track of it. So they are more likely to also delete it from their wishlists later.
What is up with those games that have high wishlist deletion percentages (30%)?
If you look at the graph there are 2 games that have delete percentages that are higher than 30%. What is “wrong” with those games.
In both of those cases they were games made by a youtuber as a gag for his channel. The games actually did quite well and were played by other well-known streamers like Sodapoppin. However, one of the game’s premise is a bit of a lighthearted fast-follow of another popular game and the other is a bit of a meme.
So my hunch is that high number of deletes is because of the meme-like aspect of the games and the more fickle fan base. These are not the typical hard core games that Steam shoppers tend to enjoy and so they deleted a lot.
Time on Steam?
Maybe the age of the game and duration of game on Steam is the cause of the deletes. So lets sort all the games by age and then graph the delete rate on top of it. Here is that graph:
It does seem that the longer the game is on Steam, the more deletes. It just makes sense.
Now your immediate reaction to this data might be “OMG I put my Steam page up TOO EARLY.” But if you see the percentage difference isn’t that much. And it is more important to have your page up longer to gain more wishlists.
As established above, the longer you are on Steam, the more deletes you have. One of the main reasons is that Steam Sales such as the Winter and Summer sale result in deletes.
You see when a big sale goes out, shoppers check their wishlists to see which games have the biggest discounts. While browsing the list, the might see games they are no longer interested in, so they delete them.
For more information on these topics see these posts: