Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Free game marketing advice

Here's a little bit of video game marketing advice for those of you who develop your own instead of just affiliate selling them. I'll probably get some flack for this because it's not always true, but if you're just selling a small title without a fanbase or underserved niche, this videogame marketing advice might as well be.

The press can be worthless for game marketing & promoting them. Unless you're willing to pay or bribe them with advertising of course.

Don't worry about the videogame journalists. Sure, you might get a boost in ego & traffic from having your game written about by them. But the truth is - many sites they write at just plain aren't read all that often. There's no reason to chase after them unless you want to be really proud of having your release mentioned on one. Don't worry if no one at Kotaku, Destructoid, GameSpot or CrispyGamer wants to put up a small blurb about your game in their news. Many people who depend on gamesites like those simply pirate everything anyways.

Why would big places like IGN want to write about your release? They don't usually. The articles they write are to either get traffic from new visitors/search engines or give people reading the site who are already interested in the games you're marketing news. People don't read them or magazines to find out about interesting new games except in the well-established franchises.

Sites like Tigsource & IndieGames get more readers (unless you're major news) than their unknown announcements and are full of people who love interesting games. They are where you should be focusing your video game marketing resources if you don't have a large budget. Go to the forums where you can post your release in an as announcement - I just gave you one.

There's plenty more out there if you do your game marketing research. Many of the same gamepress writers you'd be trying to reach normally with your PR efforts also pay attention to these.

You'll get more traffic by writing about other games yourself and using their visitors (people wanting more info about them? be creative!) to promote your own. Go to message boards about them and be subtle marketing your own. Write walkthroughs for some areas. Review another developer's product and use it as a game sales page for your own or another you're marketing. Make a list of the very best games of that type and stick your own in it. Those can get popular with a nice push if you're into Digg or other types of social marketing.

Find your fans, and have your fans pressure the press into writing about your game instead of harassing them yourself. It's much easier than trying to scale the mountain the hard way and whining about why game journalists never want to listen to your marketing materials or post your press releases. Rabid fans are one of your best targets for game marketing - especially if they help you sell more games to other players too.


  1. Introversion even had to beg players to help them get press with their multiwinia game

  2. Are press releases worth paying $100 for?

  3. The best way to do your video game marketing is by doing something different than everyone else out there. Like the World of Goo guys