The Game If You Are Manifesto

Game If You Are is a bit different from other consultancies. Our aim is to help indie developers plug the gaps in their expertise, by working together to analyse the bigger picture. But we know that sounds a bit woolly. So I thought I’d write up a few of our beliefs here at Game If You Are, fling them on our website, and call it something as grandiose as a ‘manifesto’ to grab your attention. In reality, it’s a set of seven things we try to keep in mind with every new project we work on. If you like the sound of the way we think, get in touch to arrange a free, no-obligations chat.

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1. Traditional games PR is dead

There are a hundred billion indie games. There is a finite number of games journalists, influencers and assorted media figures. Editorial budgets are waning, column inches are more fought over than ever before, and no one has time to sift through the thousands of press releases doing the rounds each and every day. Simply flinging an asset pack to an editor won’t cut it any more. So let’s stop wasting everyone’s time.

2. You can’t convince people a bad game is good

The games media space is insanely competitive. That means it comprises the most knowledgeable, enthusiastic and discerning gamers on the planet. No amount of pitching and favour-calling will convince someone to publicise something they’re not keen on, and no amount of spin will change an expert’s mind. This means quality has to be key in everything we do – starting with the game itself. We believe the best PR consultants start by helping you to understand what’s not resonating about your game, and support you on your quest to fix it.

3. Conversation is key

Ever found yourself emailing a hundred journalists, receiving no response, and left scratching your head as to whether anyone even got your email in the first place? It’s a story we hear every day. So every time we reach out to someone on your behalf, we ask them for off-record feedback. What did they like? What did they hate? What would enamour them to the game or its pitch a little more? Heck, we even ask these questions when we’re not directly pitching your game – we run an annual survey of journalists and influencers, attend regular meet-ups and events, and keep our fingers on the pulse in the professional and enthusiast games media worlds. And then we sit down with you and have an open, honest conversation about what’s going to give your game the edge next time you have something to shout about.

4. Collaboration is crucial

In my decade-long career in and around indie games, I’ve worked as a journalist, a designer, a developer, a producer, a senior operational manager, a PR guy, a digital marketing specialist and, gosh, probably more bits and pieces that I’m forgetting. But I know my limits, and I’m not going to try to convince you I’m the best person for every job. That’s why Game If You Are operates as a collective of experts in their field. We collaborate, discuss ideas, and help each other out on projects. It means that, whatever needs we identify for your campaign, you can rest assured that the best in the business are waiting in the wings, ready to help you grasp that next opportunity.

5. Bullshit is bullshit

Promising you the earth in our first call might get your signature on a bit of paper, and waxing lyrical about your game might stroke your ego and make you think we’re lovely. But the reality is, there are few emotions that sting more than disappointment. We like to cut the crap. We believe in radical honesty, in being open from the outset about what we think we can achieve, and what roadblocks we foresee. We love identifying problems – because it’s in doing so that we can start to find opportunities for improvement, enhancement, and better results for everyone involved.

6. Indie game marketing should come with an indie price tag

Some of the prices I’ve seen quoted to small indie developers make my eyes water. Spending on marketing is a good idea, and it’s no good cutting corners, but as a small games company you need to think lean. We get it – we’re indies ourselves – so we do everything within our power to cut back on expenditure and overheads, and pass those savings directly on to the studios we support.

7. People really fucking want to support brilliant indie games

It’s true! Screw the naysayers; let them scream into their Twitter-holes. In our experience, the vast majority of gamers are genuinely up for discovering new hidden gems. We make it our mission to uncover what makes your game shine, enhance it, emphasise it, and get it in front of the people who are desperately searching for it, by whatever means necessary.

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I could go on. But hopefully the above gives you a sense of what we’re trying to achieve. Are you ready to embark on a journey of discovery, enchantment and wonder (i.e. a really cool, effective publicity campaign, which may even improve the quality of the game itself)? We’re game if you are…

Lewis Denby
Director
Game If You Are Ltd

(Image credit: Figment, by our client Bedtime Digital Games)