Friday, September 14, 2007

Marketing Indie Games > 2007 IGS/GDC session

A video of my marketing session from this year's Independent Games Summit (as part of the GDC) has just been posted up at GameSetWatch. It's also embedded below for easy viewing.

I was really excited for the chance to speak at the IGS and right around minute 10 you'll see me jump on a subject that I really wanted people to think about.

Most developers shun the portals as bad for them, but few take advantage of the portals. When a game goes on a game portal (ie - Real Arcade, MSN Games, etc.) the percentage that the developer receives is typically below 40%. Developers are notably frustrated as they don't think they are getting fair value for their work. However, no place offers the opportunity for selling like a portal. Sure you can sell a game from your own website, but it's the difference between selling lemonade at a stand on your street and selling it at Walmart. Even if you pocket 1% of the money at Walmart the volume means you make 1000% more.

However, there is another side to this. Whenever a game is on a portal, the player sees the developer name. Portals work hard to keep from losing their customers and won't allow developers to put links to their own websites in the games, but that shouldn't stop developers from stealing customers from the portals.

It starts by trying to do so. Developers should put something in the game that makes customers go look for them. I use the example in my session of Ricochet Lost Worlds. It tells players that they can download more levels from the Internet.

When the player goes and looks on the Internet for these levels, he ends up at the Ricochet home page.

That's just one of many approaches of abusing the portals. So many developers get angry at the portals, but very few get smart. When your game is going before thousands of eyeballs, you can turn those eyeballs back towards your own website.

Enjoy the session! (again for many!)

And I again recommend acting on the ideas. My brother did, and I hope to report his numbers from doing so. (maybe next IGS?) Traffic to his own website has gone through the roof, and because he had planned on that traffic, he selling to them and keeping them around for his next project. Steal traffic anywhere you can! Don't roll over, take your 30% and decide it's a hopeless situation out of your hands. It's only out of your hands if you don't act.

1 comment:

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