Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Game marketing and promoting

Since we are beginners in the field of game development, we have been learning game creation process, tools and production the hard way.

During the process, we have noticed that making any game to the public distribution requires quite much: mechanics should be well planned and implemented, gameplay should be optimized, and game itself must be fun. Also, you should not forget the importance of visual appearance. To get all of this to one package requires lot of time and effort, but it is certainly possible and, ultimately, rewarding.

But even if your upcoming game would be the first-class product, there is still one tricky question left: How you are going to get players to your glorious game? Do you just put the game to the distribution and then wait for success? I would guess this method works only for the very few games (or alternatively you are a famous game industry veteran with solid fan base).

In most cases, getting large number of players for a game will require advertising and active marketing. If you are not visible players can't find your game among thousands of others. So you have to promote your game somehow. Also, marketing should be started well before the game is ready to be released, It would take lots of time to get the public attention and even build some kind of a brand.

Certainly, there is not one single right way to promote games. I have listed here few ideas to start with:
  • Create social media accounts for your studio/game, increase the fan base.
  • Set up a web-page for your studio/game, and fill it with information about what you are doing
  • Create a demo of your game and distribute it
  • Create trailer/gameplay/teaser videos of game and put them to youtube. Remember to promote your videos!
  • Be active in social media. Let people know what your are about to do.
  • Follow the number of visitors at social media and web pages. Google analytics will help to find out the profile of your web page visitors. Make adjustments to your campaign based on measured data.
  • Be active at twitter/blogger/whatever you find useful 
  • Make the use of  your "Friends&Family" -network (but do not irritate them to the extreme!)

We have been running a flash game site for a month now, and we have tried most of the promoting tricks listed above. It is still difficult to measure how we have succeeded, but there is some increase in the number of daily portal visitors...It will be interesting to see the long-term results from this.

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