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

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

Indie game marketing tips: The benefits of strong community managament

When beginning the PR campaign for your latest project, learning about and beginning to establish your game’s audience is a vital component. After all, you need to understand who you are marketing to! However, why should it progress forward from there? Cultivating a smaller, close-knit community that is eager for your game takes time, money and a lot of creative and strategic planning. Surely, if your game and its marketing are good enough, your audience will find and buy your game? This blog post will look at the benefits of a consistently engaged community, covering both pre and post-launch. read more

The Importance of Storytelling in Indie Game PR

Once Upon A Time…

Once upon a time, on an excel spreadsheet far, far away, a lonely games marketer sat and wished they could engage their audience just a little bit more….

Storytelling, when used in the context of PR and marketing, refers to the combination of facts and narrative. You don’t need to be an experienced writer to utilise storytelling PR, but instead, be able to see the story already there in your game’s development. Storytelling can open another entry point for players to access your game, and add a competitive edge to your campaign. 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

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 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