Jump to content

Best monetary rewards: marketing the slick and bland game


Recommended Posts

If you don't advertise, people won't know about your game, and so they won't buy it. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that most of the budget goes into marketing and hyping the game. That's how you maximize your potential profit.

 

The main criteria for people to determine if your game is worth buying are the marketing hype and the looks. Because, that's all they have before the game becomes available. And for a computer game, the window of opportunity is about two weeks, before the emotional rush subsides and peopel start nocticing the irritations.

 

An interesting fact about human behavior is, that they will value something they bought to be the very best. Simply because if it was a bad product, they would not have bought it! And they want to be sure they did The Right Thing. Or, in other words, they made a smart decision.

 

Which is a rather interesting process to monitor for someone who is far smarter than just about everyone else. It makes you smile a lot.

 

 

SO, the best product to make if you want to sell millions is a good-looking, but very bland product. Because, if it has obvious defects, people will ventilate about those. While being bland mostly makes people forget about it. There is no impact.

 

And, the people who do check forums and reviews to see what the opinion is, will be happy. Because, if you don't care, you won't post negatives. You will only do that when the game is Great, but has irritations. Even more so: if the game is great, more people will play it for longer, and so will be more upset by the minor irritations, that when you have a bad game nobody plays.

 

So, all in all, it's a far more monetary rewarding strategy to make bland games that are easily forgotten, and hype them as high as possible, than to make new and innovative games that will encourage many people to post about the bad things.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertising is useful because it gives work to advertising agencies. ;)

 

What you write applies to a big studio spending buckets of money on advertising the next Franchise X+1. It doesn't apply to smaller entities. In fact, I would advise you to read, say on GamaSutra, about how small studios do their advertising nowadays. Hint: Besides maybe Google AdSense, they spend 0 dollars on advertising directly. Going to developer-friendly tradeshows like PAX or GDC and doing interviews, engaging early adopters on social media are much, much better investments for smaller entities (remember, time is money, if you're responding to forum posts or tweets, you're not developing the game).

 

A sample:

With zero marketing spend, State of Decay hits 2M copies sold

  • Like 1

The Seven Blunders/Roots of Violence: Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle. (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)

 

Let's Play the Pools Saga (SSI Gold Box Classics)

Pillows of Enamored Warfare -- The Zen of Nodding

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

With zero marketing, nobody would know about your game. You wouldn't be able to have Steam or GOG distribute it.

 

What you're talking about is alternative ways of marketing that don't cost money immediately.

 

Still, you need to hire the people who lobby with the people who make the "free" advertizing, etc.

 

 

There is no free advertizing. It always costs money.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you know how I knew about State of Decay, and followed its development? Do you care to know? It has nothing to do with advertising.

 

I forgot the most important venue of getting your game known for smaller entities: video streamers. They don't cost you any money, because they have their own ways of making money, and give you a huge awareness boost.

 

Here's another one to read:

A Wizard's Lizard by the numbers: our HTML5 game on Steam

This one gives hard numbers on how beneficial it is to be featured on a well-known streamer's channel.

 

Also, if you run a crowd-funding campaign for the game, that in and itself raises awareness.

 

---

 

These are simple cost-benefit assessments, and traditional marketing is clearly a waste of money for smaller companies. Can give you a link to a Brad Wardell article (of Stardock, they make GalCiv and Sins and Fallen Enchantress), where he shows the numbers on magazine advertising etc. being ineffectual compared to word of mouth.

 

The alternative ways, as you called it, is in full swing (and was in the past two years!) for Pillars of Eternity. Dozens of interviews and podcasts, game demos at select tradeshows, close engagement with backers (PoE has had the most frequent updates out of all the crowd-funded games I've seen, and the forum presence is also strong). Streams are encouraged too, though no high-profile streamers featured PoE so far, which is understandable, since the beta is just a small slice of the game.

 

So marketing-wise all boxes checked that are worth checking at all. You can rest comfortably. :)

Edited by Endrosz

The Seven Blunders/Roots of Violence: Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle. (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)

 

Let's Play the Pools Saga (SSI Gold Box Classics)

Pillows of Enamored Warfare -- The Zen of Nodding

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The main criteria for people to determine if your game is worth buying are the marketing hype and the looks. Because, that's all they have before the game becomes available.

That's not entirely true. The second part, at least. You also have, eh... what should I call it? Mechanic analysis. It's the difference between a cinematic trailer (or even a gameplay trailer, oftentimes) and an actual demonstration of gameplay mechanics.

 

Hype is great, but having people actually know they want your product is better. That's why it's great to actually tell people what it is you're working on for your game's combat, exploration, controls, etc. Hype tells you "Fully customize your hero! Travel across a vast realm with endless possibilities!" When you get the game, however, and it takes you 10 hours to explore the whole world, and you can only change like 4 things on your character... that does your game no good. It's akin to a lie. If you're coming over to visit, and you tell me you're bringing dinner, then you show up with like... a French fry, I'm gonna be a lot more upset than if you just said "Hey, we should eat something, but all I've got is this one fry." Or than if you had simply not even mentioned having any food in the first place.

 

Anywho, that, and what Endrosz is saying, regarding the rest of your initial post. Advertising is important, in that if people who would want to buy your game don't know about it, then they won't buy it. But, honestly hyping something is probably the worst aspect of advertising. It's the "I made a product, and now I'm just going to try and make people want it, instead of making a product people want." Not that you have to make a product that 0 people want, just to be able to hype it. But, hype is just a nebulous, almost emotional-"adrenaline"-based thing that makes for some nice up-front sales numbers, while all but guaranteeing a lot of disappointment once people get their hands on the game.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...