Elena Temple is on Xbox One!

That's right! After debuting poorly on Steam and then releasing on Nintendo Switch successfully enough to keep me in this indie business, my quirky retro platformer arrived on Xbox One!

Working with ID@Xbox

Honest disclosure here: it only took so long because I didn't feel like my game was good enough for the console I best knew for its AAA bombastic shooters. But last fall I said why not give it a shot and I applied for the ID@Xbox program. To my delight, I was welcomed in and now, almost a year later, the game is live. Why did it take a year? Well, first of all, the paperwork and getting the dev kits took a few months, then I did publish two other games in between, which also took some of my time. Then I had a few busy months in my personal life. And maybe I'm too slow and/or lazy and I hate myself for it. But let's not digress, the game is live and I'm super happy about it!

The porting process was a bit more difficult than on Nintendo Switch, but just like with the people at Nintendo, the ID@Xbox team was super helpful and I'm tremendously grateful to them! The new game trailer I made was also posted on their YouTube channel, which felt like a big win for me.

On the store, my game was super visible, so I can't possibly find anything to complain about here. I was lucky enough to have few games release on the same period as Elena Temple, so on the Pre-Orders section the game started out at position 15th and then just kept climbing up from there as the release day drew closer. When it finally went live, magic: the game was the first one on the New Games section, the first one you see when you open the store. Talk about a spotlight on my game!

What's new for Xbox One?

The biggest addition is a new timed-exclusive dungeon, The Golden Spider. It's a small one, with 16 room visible on the map, plus 4 more that you'll need to discover. But it has unique mechanics and elements, like:
  • magic orbs that you need to collect and place them on sockets to trigger a room modification
  • platforms that turn on/off when you jump
  • spiders that move on their web if you lure them by passing over their trigger points
  • chests containing a various number of coins
  • new types of obstacles and new decorations

Another addition that players previous requested was the function to change between the virtual systems on the fly while you're in the dungeon. It feels great and it seems to be well appreciated. Since there are now two dungeons, there is of course a Dungeon selection screen. And a new splash instead of the game logo, featuring a pixel art version of the game's cover art.


By far the best part so far of this new launch was the kind reception I had from the Xbox community. I had about fifty streamers interested in showing the game on their channel, plus a dozen review sites wanting to write about it. The overall impressions seem to be very positive. Furthermore, a lot of people jumped in to tweet about Elena Temple and try spreading the word, simply because they liked the game and wanted to give a helping hand. I honestly never had so many notifications on my twitter account!

I also had several giveaways with various partners, some are still live while I write this. This also lead to a lot of visibility for the game and for my twitter account. Just look at those stats! I increased in followers from about 450 to more the 650! Maybe not all of the new ones will stick around, but still, an increase of almost 50% in less than a week, that's something. It gives me a wider audience to talk to about my new games or about sales for the old ones. Plus it was super fun to be more active, to tweet way more, to engage in discussion and to meet wonderful new people.

But did it sell?

And we arrive to the least pleasant part of the story. Not because sales have been terrible, but because I feel there is much more happiness to be found in this indie life than plain sales numbers. Yeah, I need to sell enough to be able to keep doing this. But with Elena Temple I knew from the start it wasn't the type of game to fund my future ones. It was a foundation to build on and so far it did its job brilliantly. It released on Steam, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One, plus the game concept is approved for PS4 and PS Vita - yeah, surprise, I'll get back to this a bit later. It sold well enough so far to show me there is definitely an audience for my games. And it helped me create a small community of players, reviewers and streamers from absolutely scratch. I knew absolutely no one before I started this. My previous 11 years in the industry had been exclusively working on client games.

Ok, yeah, the sales. I keep trying to move the discussion somewhere else and you keep bringing it back! Fine! Sales were mostly as expected, but not as hoped for. Which is good. It could've been great, but I'll take good any day instead of bad or terrible. And for a brief moment when I woke up after the release (it launched at 3AM for me), things seemed pretty terrible: the game had sold only 9 units. As is my habit, for people who know me closely, I started to prepare my noose, I even tweeted about it. I have a bit of a dark sense of humor and I tend to rush into negative conclusions when it comes to myself. I suck, it sucked, I knew it, I'll just cower under a rock..

But it wasn't all that bad. It was just me being too hasty, because the game ended up selling 56 units in the first day and 31 in the second day, based on the latest report from Xbox. On Nintendo Switch it sold 190 units and 125 respectively in the first two days. That puts it so far at about four times less units sold on Xbox One compared to Nintendo Switch. It's not that bad, it's kind of the usual ratio I heard from other indie devs and it's what I realistically expected. I hoped for more, but if I manage to keep this trend, it's going to be pretty decent. Definitely decent enough to keep bringing my games to Xbox One. The ones I make at least, not the ones I publish. Publishing will for now remain a Nintendo Switch exclusive adventure for me.

Initially I wanted to make this article longer, to talk about what's next, but it ended up so long that I decided to split it in two. So expect a new article about my future plans very soon.

Thank you for reading and for your support!