6 Steps To The Perfect Indie Game Launch
The rise of indie developers can only be a good thing for the gaming industry. It’s easier than ever for people to develop their own games and release them on platforms like Steam or even official console stores.
That means we’re getting more interesting games with unique stories and exciting new mechanics that we wouldn’t normally see from AAA games made by big developers.
But anybody that has ever made their own indie game will tell you that it’s a lot of hard work. The development process itself takes years, even for a relatively simple game. Unfortunately, the hard work doesn’t end there because, now that you have a finished game, you need to launch it to the world.
If you want people to download it, you need to make sure that you get the launch right and you plan properly beforehand, which is where a lot of people fall down. It’s such a shame because even the most amazing games don’t get the recognition they deserve because the launch was handled poorly. But with these tips, you can make sure that doesn’t happen to you.
Know Who Your Player Base Is
This may sound obvious, but you’d be amazed how many people release their game without considering who they’re making it for. Is your intended audience casual gamers? Are they teenagers? Are they experienced or are they novices? Are you making a first-person shooter or a side scrolling adventure game?
It’s important to know exactly what your player base looks like, especially if you want to market your game in the right way. You need to make sure that you know who your demographic is and what sort of people play games like yours. From here, you can work out the best marketing strategies and thus reach more players who would enjoy playing your game.
When you try to market a game without understanding your player base, it’s easy to waste money advertising on the wrong platforms or using the wrong marketing methods.
Choose The Right Release Date
So, you know what your player base looks like and you’ve figured out how to reach them. Next, you need to decide when you are going to release the game. The best way to market your game is to release it when there are the least amount of people competing for attention. The fewer games that are being released at the same time, the better your chances of success.
When you have so many other things to worry about – like making sure your game runs properly – it’s easy to overlook what might seem like a small detail such as when you launch your game. But getting this wrong can ruin all of your hard work and even cripple sales before they’ve really begun because not enough people know about it yet.
Choosing the right release date requires careful planning and preparation. You need to be aware of any big events that may conflict with your release and how much exposure they will receive in comparison. You also need to give yourself enough time to build excitement about the game before you release the game.
Create A Website
This is another simple tip that some people neglect. You need an early website ready to accept potential buyers who want to check out the game even before it’s complete. You can show teasers and give people updates about the progress of the game, and you can offer direct downloads from our website once the game is released.
This is a great way to get people excited and start building a player base ahead of time, so when release day comes, you will hit the ground running. Make sure that you design a professional, easy to navigate site that displays your game well. The quality of the site makes a big difference because people won’t trust that you can make a good game if you can’t even build a simple website.
Boost Your Social Media Presence
Now that you have a website, you need to market it. Create accounts on all of the popular social media websites and work on building up your presence so you can reach more players. Build relationships with game review sites and offer incentives for people to review your game when it comes out or give you feedback about it before release so that they are more likely to talk about it when the time comes.
Although you can make a few posts on social media on your own, there’s a lot more to it than that. You should consider hiring a digital marketing agency to help you with your social media presence and other aspects of promotion. Having a professional marketing team behind you drastically increases your chances of making a big impression with your game.
Consider Using Paid Ads
Another excellent way to market your game is by using paid ads. There are a few different options available, including Google Ads and Facebook ads. Paid ads can drive traffic to your website or social media accounts and help you to grow your fan base early on so that when you release your game, there’s already a big audience waiting for it.
Advertising isn’t cheap though, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s important that you learn about the finer details of how these types of ads work and what sort of return they provide before investing in them because it can become costly very fast if done incorrectly, and no one wants to see their hard-earned money wasted. If you are working with a marketing agency, they can help you here.
Offer A Free Demo
Another option for marketing your game is to offer a free demo. This can be done rather easily – and cheaply! – by using the shareware method, where you give away part of the game as a demo and then offer to sell or upgrade the full version.
You’ll need to be careful when choosing what to include in your demo though because it needs to entice players enough that they want more but not so much that they don’t need anything else from you. The longer and bigger your demo is, the less likely it will be for anyone to download it so ease them into it slowly by offering bite-sized bits of gameplay and promising them more in the future.
Follow these simple steps and your indie game launch will be a huge success.