Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-06-06 20:30 JST)
Japanese indie game developer Hikari Itsuki recently took to Twitter to say that the Nintendo Switch version of their new game Magic Potion Millionaire sold “startlingly well.” Just how well did it sell and what was the reason behind the success? We reached out to Itsuki to find out.
What is Magic Potion Millionaire?
Magic Potion Millionaire is a shopkeeping and dungeon crawling hybrid where players explore procedurally generated dungeons and gather ingredients for making medicine to sell in their shop.
Up to this point, Hikari Itsuki has developed titles that combine cute pixel art with unique mechanics such as Magic Potion Explorer and Magic Potion Destroyer, with this latest entry seeing a release on the Nintendo Switch for the first time in the Magic Potion series. Magic Potion Millionaire initially released on Steam in December of 2020, and the Nintendo Switch version followed in November of 2021. Despite the gap between the two releases, it sounds like the sales of the Nintendo Switch version have been going extremely well.
Comparing sales between the Steam and Switch versions
We started by asking about sales of the Steam version which Itsuki described as “enough to keep developing games while sometimes working part-time jobs.” On the other hand, Itsuki says the Switch version sold enough in one month to rival the last three years of sales for the developer. Compared to the Steam version, the initial response was roughly 10 times greater on the Switch.
In addition, thanks to the sales of the Nintendo Switch version, Itsuki says they can breathe a sigh of relief and focus on the development of their next game for the time being. For Itsuki, multitasking can be difficult, and they commented that they had days where they couldn’t focus solely on development causing work to progress slowly. Now that Itsuki can concentrate on developing their game, they think the next title might come together relatively quickly.
Itsuki also says they’re thankful for Nintendo’s support. While showing the game at an event, Nintendo staff had reached out. During their conversation Itsuki got the feeling they were looking to make relationships with solo developers, so Itsuki decided to contact the company later on and asked about releasing the game on the Nintendo Switch. Despite asking without having a publisher, Itsuki says Nintendo was kind and thorough in their communication and supported them right up to the game’s launch.
The reason behind the Switch version’s success
When we asked Itsuki about why the Switch version was so successful, Itsuki brought up how the press release they put out when the game launched was picked up by media outlets. Itsuki didn’t know how to make a request to PR agencies, so they studied how to put together a press release and the results were picked up and published by large gaming websites.
Itsuki also says the game is a good fit for the Nintendo Switch. They felt the low-resolution pixel art would work well on the Switch, and while developing the PC version, used resolutions that would scale to the 1280×720 and 1920×1080 resolutions used by the Switch in case a Switch version was in the cards at a later time. Itsuki looks back thinking that was a good choice.
At any rate, Itsuki seems very thankful for the sales of the Nintendo Switch version and the support they received from Nintendo. With new games constantly appearing on the eShop, the chance to get eyes on your game can be tough. However, stories like this go to show that there’s still a chance for solo developers to get a piece of the pie.
Itsuki is currently developing an action game called Magic Potion Liberators. While they’re still looking into which platforms to release it on, Itsuki says the game will definitely appear on Steam and the Nintendo Switch.