How a two-man studio beat Devil May Cry 5.
The first week of March surprised everyone with an eye fixed on Steam’s top-selling charts. Dawn of Man, a game developed by the two-man team Madruga Works, went as far as the first place and over triple-A bombs like Devil May Cry 5. With little to no marketing efforts and limited resources, this indie gem made it to the big leagues.
Dawn of Man is a resource management and civilization building simulator about the origins of mankind set 12,000 or so years ago. In it we’ll see our primitive tribes discover new technologies and make their way through history. “Dawn of Man takes players on a long journey from the ancient Stone Age all the way through the Iron Age, spanning over ten thousand years of civilization. There’s a real feeling of satisfaction when you successfully manage to carry your population through the difficult times or hunt one of those massive mammoths roaming the land”, wrote Mostafa Hossam in the review we published a week ago, which awarded Dawn of Man a pretty great 8/10.
According to Madruga Works’ Martiño Figueroa and portrayed by Rock, Paper, Shotgun, their success is explained by an influencer-based marketing strategy. “We spend zero money on marketing, as we are a very small studio. So our usual strategy is to have a showable version of the game about 2-3 months before launch and send pre-release keys to press and YouTubers”, he said.
Today, Dawn of Man holds a “Very Positive” average review rating submitted by more than 2,000 users and still holds a position in Steam’s top-selling charts. All of this was possible by the great exposure received from the millions of views that Dawn of Man received through many low and mid-tier Youtubers and streamers. These lead to a massive amount of users adding the game to their Steam’s wishlists. This, according to Figueroa, “was the biggest factor in this”.
Figueroa also admitted that the game still needs some polishing and additional content, and they’re already working on it. “It’s true that the later eras don’t have as much content as the beginning of the game, we intend to remedy this through updates in the coming months”, he confessed when addressing the state of the game upon exiting Early Access. “We also want to release more content for the game in terms of new structures, techs etc, especially in the late game”, he concluded.
Our boy from Buenos Aires, Juan has been a gamer for as long as he can remember (and possibly even longer than that). He loves a good story, and believes every indie game has a compelling one to tell.