Archives for category: marketing

Is it safe to say this term is defunct now? For a lone or independent developer the marketing spend is pretty much zero, while big publishers ear mark millions to spend each year. Games from both sides of the fence will achieve varying levels of success so there’s no real correlation between marketing spend and eventual sales. Even the term ‘spend’ implies it’s a bit of a gamble – otherwise it would be called ‘marketing investment’ no? With an ever-growing amount of content available to people traditional marketing doesn’t really work. People don’t pay attention to ads in the same way they used to and look more towards other people for the content they should be experiencing. We all know this of course, and I’m only really paraphrasing Seth Godin – so what can we do to make our games more likely to hit that sweet spot? Make your game as good as it can be, that’s the obvious one – the second thing involves taking two fingers from one or both hands and crossing them!

There are all kinds of ways you can promote your game before people are able to buy it – but almost all promise an experience the game cannot deliver. More often than not the idea of a game turns out to be more interesting than the final product – for instance, Dead Rising. If you are merely looking to capitalise on initial interest then the hype machine will serve you well – but hype will ultimately leave the player disappointed if the product doesn’t live up to those expectations. If you hype a game that ultimately turns out to be a lame duck what have you actually achieved? People will view your future projects with scepticism. It’s far better to keep a low profile and generate interest when people actually start playing your products – newcomers to your product with no expectations are far more likely to have a positive impression than those who have high hopes. High hopes love to be dashed. Hyping a game months before release is like waiting for Christmas Day – as soon as that day comes and the wrapping paper comes off, the excitement dies. You may even be disappointed with what came in the box. The sleeper hit is the far better choice – it’s the gift your parents hide from you until the initial excitement dies down, then just when you think they’ve forgotten about what you really wanted – BAM! It comes out of nowhere because you weren’t expecting it, and you’ve never been happier!