Nowadays most people are used to thinking that a glut of mobile games hampers long-term success. Does it work with every game and is there any chance to make people care about your game for a long time?
It’s absolutely true that today game releases come every single day and their owners are making fortunes from sales in the first month. To support this with evidence, an average video game on Stream is generating a profit of $10,000 for the first month. But unfortunately, not all of them are able to survive. A big part of them goes nowhere, resulting in a massive marketing deficit. So whether you strive to fill this niche in the market, stop taking chances and start using your brain, or at least hire people competent to carry out the work.
The fact that players remain keen on certain games makes developers devote themselves entirely to creating masterpieces. And there’s nothing even close to luck, as most people think. Purposeful, calculated approach combined with creativity is the only reasonable way to fulfill an ambition.
There’re plenty of techniques for selling goods, but one that suits the most to selling video games is “The Hook” and “The Kicker”. The Kicker is what makes your game gripping, but first, you need something which can catch the attention of future players. And there goes The Hook! Let’s see how it works on practice. If the core element of your video game is its PCG make which is assumed to attract attention and make your game superb, then you can proudly acknowledge that you managed to create The Kicker. But when you announce it as an excellent PCG game, it will hardly win the audience. What you need to go first is an intriguing Hook. Think over what may single out your game from other PCGs. For example, start with “extreme downhill cycling” and then add “racing through procedural worlds.”
Providing context for why this PCG is going to be exceptional, you protect it from being overlooked among games with procedural content. Try to feel how this change, insignificant at first sight, may affect first impression: The game is extreme downhill cycling (The Hook) through procedurally generated worlds (The Kicker)."
Your trailer when aptly designed will be watched thousands of times, promoting your game even before launching. As you’ll be taking advantage of it over and over while selling, try to make your best to perform it successfully. Everything in the trailer should have a purpose: the footage, the music, how they match up with each other. Tease but not explain.
The trailer is like business card, you can link it to anyone you want to announce your game to without finding time to meet in person. Trailers are so powerful that they can open the door which wouldn’t be done otherwise. Don’t skip an opportunity to attract heightened interest to your game which will undoubtedly result in social media hype.
There's no one way how to implement The Hook and The Kicker principle in the trailer. You can make it any proportion, or even 100 percent Hook, that's up to you. The only rule here is to make it damn well.
When it turns to advertising, the first thing every game developer find sensible to do is spreading the trailer with video game news sites. That might be a good idea despite the fact that around half of the views may come from audiences outside these sites. Video game news sites are proved not to be read even by people who play them. So think over how you can bring news to people outside gaming world and, by that means, extend your audiences.
Start investigating companies and brands related to your game and don’t be shy to contact them. Your trailer is a good ground to do this. New contacts can bring about a beneficial effect. Be open to new conversations and business proposals.
Most people who encounter your game announcement on the Internet will click away and forget about it until they come across it. But there’re also people who see it and have a desire to follow. These people are more liable to buy your game so you must keep them involved in the process up to its release.
As it usually happens, developers build beta-tests: a player sings up to the official site and is suggested following particular rules and start playing the game even before it is launched. A good example of keeping the audience interested.
Don’t forget the importance of active community that you should build and actively develop around your game. Creating a Twitch stream is an excellent way to share your game and see how it works with a possibility to get feedback for further improvement.
Whether you aren’t able to join together the people who appreciate your game, then what you may expect from them in the future is nothing. They naturally won’t be ready to buy it on the spot. So get to work then!
There's a big time span between your game announcement and its launching, so be ready to fill it with new announcements, articles, feature trailers, and so on. By the time the game launches, you should have a keenly aware public to support your product in spite of people who are just thinking ‘Oh, have I heard about it before?’
It might seem evident for some developers but is worth mentioning, as there’re plenty of examples when developers have announced their games and then have disappeared for long, which makes an announcement senseless at all. There's no likelihood that anyone will remember how excellent it's going to be and as a result no eagerness to start investigating. Don't let your future audience burn out, instead of this, think what more you are able to do to hold their attention.
A real talent lies not in your opportunity to create a playable game but in your opportunity to create it so that people want to buy it!