Indie game PR tips: What is review code?

Sometimes it’s easy for us to forget that a term we commonly use is actually field-specific jargon. And so it is with ‘review code’ – a term that every games journalist, influencer or PR will understand, and which we often make the mistake of thinking developers will understand too. But why would they?

I’ve noticed that ‘review code’ is confusing to a lot of people. So I thought I’d write a quick post about it: what review code is, what it isn’t, how it works, and when it should be available. Q&A format because it’s Friday and I’m tired. read more

Indie Game Marketing 101 – Part 2 – Tweeters’ Questions

Welcome back to Indie Game Marketing 101! If you haven’t read yesterday’s beginner’s guide, and you’re completely new to the concept of games marketing, you might want to start there.

For the second part of our Games Marketing 101, we wanted to open the floor to game developers on Twitter, to find out exactly what questions have been searing their ways into people’s skulls.

We had a fantastic response to our shout-out on Twitter, and some brilliant questions we wouldn’t have thought of ourselves – apologies if we end up missing any questions out. Here’s a selection of the most pertinent ones, which we’ve done our best to answer. read more

Indie Game Marketing 101 – Part 1 – A beginner’s guide to games marketing

So, you’re releasing your first indie game. You’ve been hard at work on it for a while, and this whole marketing malarkey is something you’ve heard come up a few times. But to be frank, you’ve never really known much about marketing, or what it entails. In fact, you didn’t even consider it when you set about crafting your masterpiece all those months or years ago.

Then you realised that everyone is doing marketing, and it seems everyone at every games event or on every Twitter conversation is talking about marketing, and suddenly you feel a bit overwhelmed. With so many buzzwords flying around, and so many different developers disagreeing over what approach is best, it can be difficult to know where to start, and easy to feel left behind. read more

Journalist? Blogger? Streamer or YouTuber? We want your insight!

Are you a games journalist, blogger, streamer or YouTuber? We’re looking for people who fall into that category – whether professionally or as a hobby – who can spare ten or fifteen minutes to complete a quick survey for us.

The survey – which can be completed anonymously – is about your experiences of interacting with game developers and PR people, as well as what sorts of things you’re looking to cover in 2019. We’ll use it to help improve the ways we work with you folks, and we’re also planning to use the data to help us compile a report, which we’ll release publicly (we won’t include any personally identifying information in the report unless you expressly give us permission to do so). read more

Why nobody cares about your indie game

We sometimes have clients come to us who have been running their own marketing for a while, but have hit a brick wall: they simply cannot get more than a handful of people interested in their game. Often, these clients are stumped, and at their wits’ end. They’ve tried everything, but nothing seems to work.

When you work on enough marketing projects (and I’d estimate I’ve publicised upwards of 200 games in some capacity over the years), you start to spot trends that make these issues a lot easier to diagnose and treat. Here are the top five reasons we find indies aren’t getting the attention their developers were hoping for – and how to steer things back on track for your game! read more

2018/19 trends in indie game marketing & PR

In many ways, 2018 has been a phenomenal year for indie games – with the likes of Return of the Obra Dinn, Guacamelee 2 and today’s GRIS rightly enthralling players. But it’s also been a very challenging year for a large number of indie developers, who have increasingly found it difficult to stand out from the crowd.

Over the year we’ve worked with around 20 different indie studios on more than 50 individual PR and marketing campaigns, and we’ve spotted some trends we think you should be aware of as we wrap up 2018 and head into the New Year. read more

Developing your PR standing as a game developer

A common source of disappointment we see among indie developers is the erroneous assumption that a PR campaign will instantly convert into top-tier coverage. The reality, however, is that being namechecked by the biggest outlet involves a complex and multi-staged process that takes time, energy, and an element of trial and error.

When an editor, journalist or influencer is deciding what to cover on a given day, there are two prerequisites that need to be hit. Number one: they need to know that product or company exists. Number two: they need to be confident that it will be of interest to their audience. read more

Indie game marketing: the most common mistakes, and how to avoid them

Last year, I wrote about the most common indie game PR mistakes, and how to avoid falling into those traps. More than ever, those tips remain true: it’s vital to have a clear proposition, allow enough time to prove your value to the media, and ensure everything you present is on-message and slickly produced. But good indie game marketing covers more than just PR, and we often see studios follow the rules when it comes to their public relations, yet fail to capitalise on this success due to having a less-than-robust overall marketing strategy. read more

How indie game marketing can benefit from open production

Recently, many games studios have thrown out old ways of making and marketing their games, and have embraced a bold, disruptive new approach: open production. But what is it? And is it right for you?

What is open production?

Traditionally, video games are made behind closed doors. Teams of designers and developers work away in secret, with information drip-fed to the public by PR and marketing teams, often building up to big reveals and impactful campaigns as the game heads towards launch. read more

How indie games can get the best marketing exposure at expos

Gamescom’s just wrapped up in Cologne, PAX heads to Seattle this weekend, and EGX and the Paris Games Week hit Birmingham and, uh, Paris respectively next month.

It’s that time of year where thousands of indie developers around the world head to expos to showcase their latest creation. But with booths at many such events costing thousands, if not tens of thousands, how can indies get the best bang for their buck?

Here are our five top tips – for getting the most out of your marketing, and more besides. read more