Talking to the press, and the general public for that matter, can be a daunting task. However, adding that personal touch to your press materials, such as a quote direct from your team, can take as little as half an hour and add flavour and appeal to your game that no-one else has: because only you and your team are making your game!
So, we’ve put together a quick and easy explanation of what a quote from a developer might look like, where you’d use it, and how to write one. Aren’t we good!
Penning a quote talking about your own game might sound like the worst part of your week, and you might wonder why your marketing person would torture you like this – but rest assured, throwing together a quote is a simple task that can really benefit any press communications it’s included in.
This blog will explore what a developer quote is, why marketers might ask for one, and how to write a bloody good one.
What is a press/developer quote?
When we talk about a ‘press/developer’ quote in marketing, we’re talking about a short, usually a few sentences long statement from a member of the development team to be used within press communications. Most commonly, a press quote is featured near the end of a press release to round it out and end the otherwise usually formal document with a human touch.
Why do we use quotes?
Penning a personal quote about your view on your work may seem unneeded – especially if it’s used within a press release for your first game. Who’s going to care about the thoughts of another indie developer? In fact, quotes like this are important to use to remind people that they’re not giving their money to a faceless company, but a real person that loves indie games as much as they do. There’s a lot of indies out there, but only this one is made by you, so celebrate it”
The following are a few reasons why a quote directly from the developers of a game are used:
The tone of a game, especially if it includes dialogue, is not only created by the skill of the writer, but the personality of the game. A quote is a malleable piece of copy that can be altered to echo the title’s tone: creating a comedic, lighthearted game, then make a quip or joke about production! Creating a title that looks to be wholesome or warm, then bring that attitude through in your words. Press communication works best when it presents the facts, so journalists may add their opinion around it, but the developer’s words is the one space real personality can come through.
- Human touch
You don’t need me to tell you that a lot of indie games get released every day. However, this is the only game that’s being made by you! Bring your personal history and inspiration to your game’s release to create a story only you can. This doesn’t mean to talk at length about the trials or troubles you’ve had for pity, or to list out your CV, but instead give the press an insight into what makes this game important to you – and in turn why it should be important to them!
- Depth to coverage
In short, the addition of a developer quote gives any coverage that uses it that extra level of depth. Instead of a surface-level news piece, an article can become a more rounded look at not only an upcoming game, but the people that the players money will be going to.
- USPs/selling points
Listing your game’s unique selling points (USPs) is a good way for players to get a quick idea why to play your game above another. However, press releases rarely have the space or tone to discuss why those points were featured in development, and why they’re important to the developer. This enthusiasm behind say – high quality writing, a highly customisable character or a multiplayer mode, not only tells players that that feature will be in the game, but it’s put in there by someone who really cares to execute it well.
- Make the press’s life easier
Quotes also have a great value to the journalists covering your game. As mentioned above, they add a level of depth that is difficult to organically achieve: journalists simply do not have the time to talk to every developer of every game they want to cover. So, providing a ready-made quote speeds up their day for them, and makes it seem to the reader that they have spoken personally to you. You get coverage, they get an interesting, in depth article – win, win!
How do I write one?
Every game is different, and so every game’s press communications are different. So, one quote may work best in one piece rather than another. A PR and marketing team can work with you back and forth to get the best out of your personal quote within press communications. However, if that resource isn’t available to you, here are a few key pieces of advice to writing a great press/developer quote!
- Intent/motivation: What do you want to get out of your quote? Have a clear idea of what you want readers to get from this glimpse into the development of your game. Do you want to reassure players that their favourite genre is in the right hands? Do you want to affirm that the standard of writing in your game is high? Have a think about what you want your players to think about you, as this will be the first introduction many of them will get of you and your team.
- Write down your USPs: What are your game’s unique selling points? What makes it good? What makes it different? Why should players choose your game over another? Write these down to keep yourself on track when penning your quote. They’re your points of focus. You don’t have to include all of them if it feels clunky or too ‘marketing-y’, but it will help you begin talking about your own work – which in itself is a huge task!
- Personality and tone: Here at Game If You Are, we’ve worked with a few developers that have been hesitant to send over a quote as they believe it needs to be of a certain quality of writing, a certain tone or a certain level of formality. This is rarely the case – in fact, the quote can be as formal or as informal as you feel is appropriate to talk about your game. Feel free to talk casually and make jokes or share personal anecdotes – the quote is a place for you to be you.
- Inspiration: A great point to talk about is your motivation and inspiration for making what you’re making. Where did the idea come from? What motivates you every day to make it? Why did you make this idea into a game – and why this format/genre/art style? Share quotes, events, brainstorm notes – share how this game was born.
- Final sentence: Your final sentence should focus on wishing your new audience well, thanking them for their support and talking about what you hope they take from your game. Think of it as a personal final message you’d like to send directly to the people who look to support you.
Drafting a press release quote can be daunting. Hey, you hired a marketing/PR person to talk to the general public for you – why do you have to do this? In reality, it’s a short task with an agency’s help. A draft or two, and you’re done – you have a short but impactful insight into your development process, and you’re on the way to turning your users purchasing and playing a game, to a community engaging with your development and growth as a company. It may not seem like much, but never underestimate the power a human touch has in this modern, fast-moving world of indie games.
If you’ll let me get a bit cheesy here: you are the number one factor your game has compared to all others. Being able to know the person (or small team) behind a game is a major advantage indies have over triple-A, so take advantage of it! With the help of a good marketer, that itself can be a great help to getting your game in the hands of like minded people.