Viral nipples don’t sell games, one developer sadly discovers


Have you ever wondered what the engagement value is on posting a banger? Have you ever read the exact words: “damn, this went viral, check out my Soundcloud,” and wondered how many people actually checked out that Soundcloud? Paradigm and The Dungeon Experience developer Jacob Janerka wondered too. Following the surprise success of a topless tweet, Janerka decisively proved one of two things – either Twitter isn’t driving wishlist engagement, or bare nipples just ain’t the marketing gold they used to be.

On February 15th, Janerka had an unfortunate run-in with a postman involving chafed nipples and an old shirt with cut-out nipple windows. Not the sort of thing that happens every day, and it was an unusual enough occurrence that the Aussie dev posted an artistic rendition of the event on popular opinion-sharing website “Twitter dot com”. Never heard of it myself.

The linework. The pacing. The clear conflict of expression on both actors faces. Nip colour precision-engineered to elicit a short chuckle. Janerka’s post did numbers, achieving what we in the biz call “being good at Twitter”.

‘Course, posting bangers isn’t – or at least, shouldn’t be – a full-time job for anyone. Janerka’s got a game to promote, and he was curious to see if any curious nipple-gazers would be interested in checking out his irreverent fantasy adventure The Dungeon Experience. Short answer – not really, no.

Looking back at the week, Janerka notes that engagement metrics for his advertising follow-up were dramatically smaller than the nip pic. Overall, only 74 more people ended up wishlisting his game. Sadly, Janerka’s come to the conclusion that his nips just aren’t selling games.

Frankly, I’m not sure we’ve exhausted the science here. A case study of one is hardly conclusive evidence. Would you find differing results from rendering nipples in other mediums? Oil paints? Crayon? Classical sculpture?

For what it’s worth, The Dungeon Experience looks quite good. It’s apparently some sort of farcical fantasy theme park run by a low-level mudcrab. Janerka’s last game, Paradigm, was an equally bizarre retro-future revival of Lucasarts adventure games. There’s no release date right now, but you can hop over to The Dungeon Experience Steam page for some daft jokes about not smelling so bad this time ’round, or checking out the “bonus leather experience” for storied adventurers.

Let’s hope Janerka finds a better marketing strategy, though.

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