Using Traditional Marketing Methods for Your Game’s Promotion

Game development is a more complicated profession than it seems from the outside, especially when you’re a small team working with limited resources. Making a good game is only part of the ordeal – you have to be able to market it properly as well, otherwise you’re going to quickly get swept away by a wave of other titles. The market is more crowded than ever, and you have to use every tool available to you to improve your chances. Many people make the mistake of focusing too tightly on online promotion, but there is a lot to gain from more traditional marketing methods, even when your product is entirely digital.

Conventions

A gaming or game development convention is, by far, one of the best ways to put your game out there and make sure that it stands out. You’ll not only get to present your product among a very limited audience of competitors (there’s only that much room at any convention), but you’ll also get the invaluable benefit of being able to build connections with gamers and fellow developers. The lack of this kind of networking is by far one of the biggest mistakes of most indie developers.

Physical Office

Even a 2-person team can benefit from a physical office, and if you’re in this to make a successful product, it can’t hurt to get started early on. Working from home has many downsides as far as concentration and organization go, and you’ll also have a dedicated professional space for meeting clients and potential new coworkers. Get your own card as well and be ready to hand it out when the opportunity arises. Many people will just stuff it into their wallets, sure, but every once in a while you’ll get a nice chance to talk to someone who can help you a lot.

Talks

Talks can also be a good way to boost your popularity, but your range of possible approaches is a bit more limited here. You’ll typically need to already have some experience under your belt and be able to talk about your proposed solutions to a popular problem, otherwise people are not going to pay much attention to you.

If you’ve already released a game before, you can do a talk on some of the challenges you’ve faced during its production and throw in some references to your upcoming product. There’s nothing dishonest about that, and in fact, it’s the reason many people take the time to prepare interesting talks in the first place. Pay attention the next time you’re listening to one and you might hear a reference to something the person is currently working on.

You must also take some careful steps to ensure that the game you’re working on is marketable in the first place. Conducting proper market research is a must before you’ve even written one line of code. Sometimes, it just turns out that your idea is great on its own, but it’s just not that attractive to a lot of people. And when you realize this halfway through your production cycle, it can be a devastating experience that hits you hard.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!