Yep. It’s healthy for all us fans active on the forum–and on reddit, and Discord–to regularly remind ourselves that we are not that big a share of CoG’s readership.
The new Choice of Rebels thread has already racked up a couple of hundred likes, which is fantastic (and the actual feedback by people who post is invaluable)…but from a marketing perspective, it’s small potatoes compared to the 40,000 people and counting who’ve bought the game. Even mega-successful forum threads, like Wayhaven 3 with its 1,400 likes, will be dwarfed by the number of people who’ve read Mishka’s even more mega-successful games.
The CoG email list, blog, and omnibus apps between them reach a much wider share of CoG’s customer base than anything that happens on fan forums. Access to that market, rather than any specific promotional support, is the main reason we all agree to let CoG hang on to a big chunk of our royalties.
When it comes to marketing, not even all CoG games get all the same bells and whistles. Choice of Rebels: Uprising, for example, never got a trailer with Dan Fabulich growling about the unstoppable power of our imaginations. But it got the blog interview and (most importantly) the mailer, and it took off… biggest opening day sales ever, at the time. The mass-mail was the main thing that made that possible, promotion-wise.
Publishing with CoG or HG should be as pleasant an experience for everyone as it was for me; it’s more than reasonable for HG authors to want consistent treatment for all games. But the reason a forum announcement thread hasn’t been an entirely consistent part of the HG deal to date is that the forum is not where a game’s success is determined.
(At any rate, not the forum-as-market–the forum as a body of brilliant beta readers, reviewers, and editors is I believe a key part of why my game succeeded).