Do indie game awards matter?

In the crowded market of indie games, it’s understandable to strive to make your game stand out in any way you can. Beyond the obvious – having an amazing game and endless marketing budget – there are a number of other strategies out there to explore. One of the avenues many consider in their quest for exposure is indie game awards.

Marketing works best when it has a long run-up time, and having your game amass a few badges to attach to the trailer end card is tempting. Reputation building is one of the hardest PR struggles indie studios can face and having someone else endorse your product can serve as an easy shortcut where that’s concerned. This post will explore the variety of options for indie developers looking to submit their game for awards, and ask the question: is it really worth the effort? read more

How to structure an indie influencer campaign

Over the last few years, influencers have radically changed the marketing space for video games. Although traditional gaming media is far from obsolete, the power of influencers has proven to be a dominant force in an industry that continues to grow year on year. If you’re marketing a game in 2019 it’s certainly recommended you considered the impact and implementation of influencers in your strategy.

That’s not to suggest that every game needs to be supported by an influencer marketing campaign. For some games, this approach might not be suitable. But any robust marketing plan should be taking influencer marketing into account – even to simply analyse the impact of user-generated coverage, which you might have no control over. read more

Why journalists ignore your PR emails

One of the hardest parts of indie marketing is getting your game into the hands of the right people. You might know who those people are: games journalists. But, getting in touch with them is no easy task and even when you do, getting a response might be even harder. Journalists are very busy and their inboxes are filling up every day with a never-ending tide of PR emails from indie devs asking them to look at their game. It’s hard to know how to stand out in that crowd. PR agencies take great care in building the kind of reputation that gets their emails at least opened by journalists, but even that doesn’t guarantee coverage. read more

The most important metrics for indie game marketing

Tracking the success of your indie game launch can be a complicated and daunting task. For a start, there’s not a lot of information out there as to what numbers indicate success. That’s, in part, due to the fact that a game’s success could be viewed in a variety of different ways depending on the desired outcome. In this blog post, we’re going to assume that the desired outcome is for the game to make a small profit.

Which numbers should you care about?

To figure out which numbers you should care about it’s best to start with your sales metrics. What sales are you hoping to achieve for the game to make a small profit? This will be different for every game depending on your costs. There are a lot of variables here, from the amount of time the game takes to develop to the number of developers working on it and, of course, how much you are planning to invest in marketing. In this blog post, we assume an overall cost of $40k for a solo developer across a year’s development, which is quite a modest sum to develop a game, but the figures can be scaled to adjust to your project. Let’s assume this means it’d take 4,000 sales to break even, and – say – 5,000 to make a small profit. read more

How to Navigate Steam Sales as an Indie Dev

We’ve reached a point in the digital distribution of video games now where there is always a sale of some kind, somewhere online. These never-ending discounts have reshaped the PC market and dictate how a large majority of customers now engage with and purchase games. With this change, we’ve seen tools such as Wishlists become ever more important. Interested players might prefer to follow the titles they’re interested in and await their inevitable discount in the next sale, instead of buying them full price day one. It’s particularly important indie devs understand this digital landscape and how it functions to better take advantage of it in a period of stiff competition for visibility and success. read more

How to get influencers to play your indie game

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, influencer marketing is becoming a powerful force in the games industry and more and more developers are considering the way their audience consumes content. Indie game sensations have been created overnight with the power big-name influencers can bring to a project, but we’re not going to be discussing those fascinatingly rare instances here. Although it’s inspiring to read about how a combination of miraculous luck and fortunate timing has made games blow up on YouTube it’s probably not going to help you market your indie game. read more

Indie Game Marketing: Creating the best trailer for your indie game

One of the most important things you can do in your indie game marketing efforts to promote your game is a make or commission a professional quality trailer. Often referred to in indie game PR as one of the most important marketing tools, an amazing trailer can give your game the edge it needs to stand out amongst the crowd.

Gone are the days where customers could look at the back of the box to get a visual sense of a game – the rise in digital storefronts means trailers are often people’s first exposure to your game and first impressions count. You’ll want to capture the imagination of your audience, retain their attention and sell them on the appeal of your game all in a matter of seconds. That’s no easy task in today’s fast-moving world of digital content, but we’ve compiled a few key pointers to set you on the right track to create a trailer that will captivate your audience and give your game every chance of success. read more

Indie Game Marketing: Staying on target with your audience

Most industry professionals will tell you the first thing you need to establish when starting out with a new game, or even just an idea for a new game, is who your target audience are and how you’ll reach them. Now, indie game marketing differs from conventional marketing somewhat in this endeavour. Whilst triple-A has the luxury of their audience often seeking them out you can’t expect that level of attention as an indie. You will have to go out and find your target audience if you want to expose them to your game. Only once you have an idea of who your target audience is and where they are can you start to implement any kind of effective marketing plan.   read more

When not to release your indie game

You might think that the right time to release a game is when it’s finished, but things aren’t quite that straight forward, especially when it comes to indie games. Launching a game in an unsuitable release window can ruin any chances it has of success resulting in disappointing sales and the inevitable fade into obscurity. The bigger picture can be hard to see if you’re not familiar with marketing, but understanding the industries regular release rhythm can be invaluable. It could just give a game the edge it needs to gain exposure and interest on launch. Let’s take a look at the most important things to remember when releasing an indie game. read more

Thinking outside the box: Guerilla marketing & indie games

There’s a good chance you’ve heard the term guerrilla marketing before – as it’s often thrown around when discussing particularly unusual PR campaigns that use unique or novel techniques. In truth, guerilla marketing takes on many forms, but generally, the term is used to describe the unconventional use of marketing techniques to advertise a product with little to no budget.

It’s a very imaginative process with practitioners utilising high energy, impactful methods to grab the audience’s attention and leave a lasting impression on their prospective customers. The potential this has for indie game marketing as an untapped and cost-effective strategy is unparalleled. The advantage this offers could make the difference between a game standing out in a crowded market or disappearing among the flood of unrelenting releases. Guerilla marketing is about as indie as it gets – small, bespoke and uniquely designed. It’s a match made in heaven. read more