Content Warning devs don’t believe shadow-dropping games will work for you

Character holding a tool in Content Warning press image
Credit: Landfall Games

Character holding a tool in Content Warning press image
Credit: Landfall Games


  • Content Warning has seen huge success, with the game launching as a free-to-keep title for only 24 hours
  • Despite the indie becoming a viral hit, developer Landfall Games suggests that shadow drops might not be for everyone
  • The game has seen a peak player count of over 200,000 players, with over 90,000 players online at time of writing

Despite being a fairly niche game, with just a sole platform, Content Warning has taken over the gaming world right now. Released on April Fools' Day as a free game for just 24 hours, the silly co-op game has become an example of how well viral marketing can perform in such a short span of time, with little or no lead-up. However, it won't be great for every developer.

If you've been wasting time trying to find out how to throw items in Content Warning to your friends, and uploading your spooky moments to YouT- I mean, SpookTube, you likely grabbed it for free. The game has since had its price changed to $7.99, but the hit indie game made waves at launch, thanks to the fact it was released as a free-to-own title for just a day.

But, if you're an indie developer, don't go planning your perfect strategy to release your latest game for free and as a shadow drop. Speaking to StealthOptional, Landfall Games said "We’re not sure shadow-dropping something for free this way works for everyone and we’ve had varying success with it throughout the years".

A few years back, the same developer released Knightfall: A Daring Journey, which was also released on April Fools' Day as a free-to-keep title. It was an almost battle royale-like game, where teams of two would drift horses and visit towns while attempting to capture a fabled rose. While it was a success at the time, it's no where near as big of a success as Landfall's latest hit, with a peak Steam player count of 3,328 players. In comparison, Content Warning peak is 204,439, which was hit just 23 hours ago.

However, while shadow dropping your upcoming indie game isn't recommended, Landfall Games still want indie devs to try interesting ways to release their games. In the same quote, Landfall Games stated "Since the beginning of Landfall we’ve always tried thinking outside the box when it comes to our marketing and release strategies", before adding "We want to encourage other indies to do the same! There’s probably a million different ways to drop a game in a viral way like this that we haven’t thought of yet".

So, it might not be a good idea to go and release your years of hard work to the masses without any marketing. But, if you've got a unique way of marketing your indie game, it may be worth trying out.

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