Category Archives: Marketing

19 Aug

Visiting Gamescom and GDC Europe

Some really smart people scheduled the European Game Developer Conference in the exact same week and location as Gamescom. Since we were already attending the Big Indie Pitch we could not miss the opportunity to network with fellow game developers, publishers and industry veterans.

As with all events of this scale, in the evenings sponsored meetups take place in various locations outside the main event. Usually for networking over some snacks and drinks. No game developer should miss these opportunities of talking with people, so we were present at one event every evening.

Right on Monday we attended the Mobile Mixer, organised by PocketGamer. To take a break from talking, playing and drinking, the organisers held a discussion panel. People in the panel debated what mobile platforms can do to evolve and outperform other platforms. Some of the panelists included the CEO of Paradox, Oscar Clark – Everyplay and Unity Evangelist (this fellow really enjoys talking and he does have a lot of fascinating insight + a quirky hat), one of the founders of The Dutch Game Garden and some top executives from advertising networks.

Mobile Mixer Panel

Two points struck me from the panel discussion:

  • Fredrik Wester (Paradox Interactive) mentioned that they have a rule in their games, to never ask money from their players based on frustration.
  • Oscal Clark shared some experience about why an App Store driven by charts is broken. In the past, when he introduce top charts in an App Store, revenues for the platform owners dropped considerably because the top games were already more or less ubiquitos, so there was no incentive for users to re-download them.

Tuesday was the Big Indie Pitch, organised by Pocket Gamer again. And a swell job they did! Following a speed-dating workflow, we pitched to members of the media, sponsors and organizers. You can find more info about this over here. One interesting point is that both here and at the Mobile Mixer from Monday, there was a contest where people played Timberman for a chance to win some VIP passes for the upcoming event in London. Nice way to attract attention from the right crowd!

Big Indie Pitch Table

Wednesday Vungle organised a meetup in a pretty fancy location. We met a bunch of very interesting people over there and enjoyed a few drinks. The organizers were super open and friendly, giving us a lot of new info about their video ad platform and what is to come.

Thursday we followed the Gamescom calling, feeling a bit envious on all the people we saw around the city flashing their event badges the day before. We started with the business area which was quite temperate and calm. Most stands were exclusively for the press. The only lively places were the stands for each country with UK, Spain and Holland sticking out. The big companies (Rockstart, 2K, Activision, Blizzard, etc.) had big and closed areas, accesible only to the press.

In the evening we attended the Chartboost meetup where Bleau met the guys who developed Timberman and this happened:

Timberman group shot
Note: Only one beard is real. Guess which one.

Friday was solely dedicated to the Gamescom entertainment area. Oh boy! That’s a lot to cover! 6 enormous halls packed with huge stands, cosplayers and waiting lines.

One of the huge halls

Some major cosplay

The big game companies brought their best. The only line which we thought was worth waiting in for almost one hour was the Oculus demo area (note: one hour is a short waiting time ). Here we got a chance to demo the Oculus playing some Eve Valkyrie. The experience was not disappointing. So what if we looked funny from the outside, twisting our heads like mad men? We actually could inspect almost every inch of that sci-fi cockpit and dodged some missiles. And looking out the side window in space was quite something.

The Indie Mega Booth, while much smaller compared to the rest of the stands, was pure visual pleasure. We discovered several games which are a blast to play: Out There, Chroma Squad, Broforce, Typoman, The Next Penelope,

A few monsters playing Broforce

Oculus Testing

One observation: Twich.tv was present everywhere. Kind of gives a sign of how powerful of an influencer it has become.

For more photos from the event head over to our Facebook Page and click that Like button for the photos you enjoyed. If you will also like our page, we’d be grateful. 😀

04 Aug

Youtubers and Youtube channels that cater to iOS games

Last week we launched a big update for our iOS game The Way Home. In a way, this was the main launch so we wanted to promote the game and the update accordingly.

Among other promotional activities, this also meant contacting youtube channels in the hopes that they will like and play your game.  There are a lot of lists with such channels  and there is also Pixel Prospector’s site: VideoGameCaster.

The problem is that not many cater to mobile games, iOS in our case. On VideoGameCaster‘s homepage it actually says that:

Video Game Caster youtube headline

So we started searching and we have found channels that have been covering mobile games. Some of them also take requests.

Here is the list. We hope it helps. Please leave a comment if you know any other channel that covers mobile games, especially iOS or if you own such a channel and we will add it to the list (and probably send you a review request for our game too).

The sorting method used to create this list: None.

List of Youtubers and Youtube channels catering to iOS games

 

09 Apr

How to get players to like your game’s Facebook page

FacebookButton

 

I wrote last month about how advertising on Facebook for page fans will only get you more and more fake accounts. On top of that, the reach and visibility you have in front of real fans goes down the more you attract fakes.

For games however, a relatively safe alternative is promoting the page only inside the game. But just placing the Facebook button or like us button doesn’t work.

Usually games try and motivate “liking” by giving away coins. Coins however don’t have value for a player until after he has played for a while.

Another way to get them to like your page that seems to have good results is to reward them with a critical item or weapon or building or vehicle early on in the game that helps with their progress.

Here are 2 examples:

1. Bike Race Free – gives the third bike away but 2 conditions are liking both their game page and studio page. They have 3.4 million likes.

photo 1

 

2. Road Warriors – You can instantly get a better car at start. All you have to do is like the game page. They have 1.1 million likes.

photo 2

Two thoughts here. One, I wouldn’t focus my players on 2 pages. Players care about the game (if they decide to care about it). Most of the time they don’t know or don’t care about the company that made the game, at least not at first.  Second, it’s interesting that Road Warrior actually checks if you are a fan of their page so you can’t really trick them but you can unlike them afterwards.

I admit that I don’t have any strong data to prove that the items in their shops described above and the big number of fans are related.  I’ve just been following these games on occasion since they were down to 500k fans for Bike Race and 300k for Road Warriors (the time when I first liked their pages).

 

 

27 Mar

What’s your take on playable ads?

Screen shot 2014-03-27 at 4.18.09 PM

In January, an app streaming company named Agawi launched AppGlimpse, a service that allows a dev to embed playable ads. Today,  AppSponsor announced a similar service.  To us this sounds like great news for games we want to integrate ads in.

Since both services offer rewards after the player tries out the demo, we see an interesting opportunity to try and actually integrate these ads as mini games, make them part of the experience.  As an example, a secondary quest that rewards you with a special creature or item could consist of 2 of these playable ads.

What we still want to see or test out in the future is just how customizable the ads are; specifically, if we can tailor the ads so that we play ads similar to our game’s genre.

What do you think of these new types of ads?

Playable ad demo from AppGlimpse:

21 Mar

Doing rampant sales might hurt your revenue in the long run

Huge Sale red hanging tags

A great deal of game developers on the App Store do frequent sales. They are scheduled sales. On any site that tracks app changes, you can see the price evolution. Price goes up to $3 in October, goes free just before winter holidays. Leave it like that for a week. Put the price back up to $0.99 or to the original price.

They don’t do it on a special day, special occasion or for a secondary/special reason. They just use the price drop to get promoted by sites that look for such deals.

Don’t get me wrong, sales are great, but not used properly and used too often, this tactic loses its power.

Players that get their games on Steam are already used to playing the waiting game. And they already have hundreds of games that they have not played yet.  They will tell you you’re a fool if you pay full price.

The difference though between Steam Store and the App Store is that the former knows how to organize and promote sales. Players know about the sales. It’s organized and promoted. So even though the games are discounted, they make more money because of the volume. Not the same for the App Store.

So what would be good reasons to have a sale? Here’s what we agree to being ok or at least a bit better:

  • Important update or important day. I’m not talking about having a sale because it’s Madonna’s birthday. By important day I mean the studio anniversary, a number of downloads or players mark reached, black Friday, etc.
  • Doing sales to promote another game launch. I’ve been seeing this more and more. A studio sets some of its games to free. In the description of the game and via in-game message, they promote their new launch.
  • Doing sales to drive action. This is not necessarily related to the price of the game itself, but to the price of an iAP. Some games / apps dropped the price of one or more iAPS if you completed certain tasks in the game. For example, for each 5 friends that you invited and actually joined the game, the price for Full Unlock decreased until it reached $0.99.

In the end though, no matter how big a sale you have, they will still compare the price to the value and experience that your game offers. If they don’t perceive it as a deal, they won’t buy even if it’s free.