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Old 02-20-2013, 05:52 AM
MikeMarketing MikeMarketing is offline
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Default 50k$ budget. What services are worth the money?

Hello,

My name is Mike and Iím responsible for promoting new games in my company. We had a one big hit that managed to bring us quite a significant income. Weíve been able to create a much bigger and complex game with the money we earned and itís slowly getting close to release date. (Approximately 3-4 months)

Since my efforts brought great success in the past, Iíve been put in charge of creating a marketing plan again.

Now Iíve been given a proper budget of up to 50k $. I have a really nice plan that worked well with our previous game, but the issue is that every action I took promoting the previous game was free or close to free.
I believe that the consensus is that proper budget is important for app success and can bring good return, but I donít want to spend it on not worthy services. I also believe that making a concentrated and big campaign in a short amount of time is more important that doing some stuff her some stuff there a month apart.

Let me tell you slightly more about the game weíre working at. Itís a really big Hack and Slash RPG game set in a fantasy world, the graphics are not as beautiful as Infinity Blade II but it holds really really well. As all H&S it has hordes of monsters, dozens of spells, special skills, a proper multiplayer mode with co-op, PvP, PvM. The story is not our main focus, so it may not be very deep but itís entertaining nevertheless. So Iím not worried about quality of the game. I believe that it will gain interest of the big review sites and I also believe that it will get great scores. Because it's awesome. Whatís also cool is that it will be almost at the same time available on PCs/Macs/IOs/Android, do we get some synergy from being cross-platform. (User sees game on Android, tells his friend on iPhone etc.)

So after a significant amount of research Iíve came with these options of using our money. I think I should mention that we will sell it for at least 5$ probably more with no IAPs. I tried to push the freemium way but the lead designer is heavily opposed. This is what I got.

- Banner ads Ė siteskins on major sites (Touch Arcade, App Advice, 148Apps, etc.) That would cost about 20k$ for a week. Not sure how well they do with paid apps.
- PPI networks, technically we could pay 3,5 dollars for every install and still break even so we could dump much more money here, take some loans. Not sure about traffic they can bring though.
- Contests for users with small prizes on Facebook for sharing (Amazon or iTunes gift cards)
- Mobile ads on Facebook/admob/ other ad networks
- Getting initial reviews on sites like promoarrow or fiverr, may not be totally worth it but user will more likely buy an app that costs 5$ and has 50 good reviews than no reviews

This is what I came up with, I donít write about obvious stuff like creating a webpage, fanpage, asking for reviews, offering exclusive content for biggest sites, writing and distributing press releases because itís covered in the free stuff marketing plan.

I've seen the 15k-30k topic. It was very informative and gave me few ideas but I got a vibe that the game was a freemium game. Ours is a premium model and I think that it should be treated and marketed differently than a freemium or $.99 app.

If anyone had some experience working with bigger budget, or with any of the services I mentioned above and could share their insights I would be extremely grateful. Or maybe you know of some other services and ways to promote a game that are worth the dollar spend. Or maybe you work at one of these and want to convince me to bring business to you.

Thank you in advance for your insights! Sorry for wall of text
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2013, 07:13 AM
Afftor Afftor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMarketing View Post
Hello,

My name is Mike and Iím responsible for promoting new games in my company. We had a one big hit that managed to bring us quite a significant income. Weíve been able to create a much bigger and complex game with the money we earned and itís slowly getting close to release date. (Approximately 3-4 months)

Thank you in advance for your insights! Sorry for wall of text
Hello, Mike!

Glad that you have opportunity to make a huge investment into marketing this time, and good luck with your game!

As for your questions - I'd say that launching premium game with cost of 4.99 and more is very tough.
For example, take a look at Horn by Zynga - consider how much they invested in both development and marketing... and they got probably nothing. Game sank to bottom fast, with no in-apps there is no way audience will support you with money when you're out of charts...
So, my real suggestion would be switching to free-to-play, and investing heavily in PPI on the start to get ranked at top-3 of your category (should not be a problem with your budget) in US and UK both.

Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I've seen for premium games, unless it's something like The Walking Dead (and thus have a super-popular franchise to support them - but I believe TellTale Games payed a lot to get the franchise as well).
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:42 AM
MikeMarketing MikeMarketing is offline
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Hi,
Thanks for your insight.

I would much love to make the game freemium, it has a potential to fully utilise the IAPs and it would be much easier to market. But I had really hard time convincing the "father" of the project, who is an hardcore old time gamer and hates DLCs, IAPs, Virtual coins and everything associated with modern motetisation techniques I showed that 80% of Top grossing list is Freemium games, and the rest is made by big brand names which we are not, but to no avail.

I've never heard of Horn, thanks for the tip, it can help me with convincing, but what I got at a quick glance is that there was a huge problem with controls, which may add to their quick sinking.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:34 AM
sprite sprite is offline
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This sounds like a game that really should go freemium. It's hard enough getting someone to pay $1.99 for a game. I would at least launch it as a paid app with IAPs. That way you have the chance to switch it to free if you don't see the paid sales going well.
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  #5  
Old 02-20-2013, 01:50 PM
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MindJuice MindJuice is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMarketing View Post
I would much love to make the game freemium, it has a potential to fully utilise the IAPs and it would be much easier to market. But I had really hard time convincing the "father" of the project, who is an hardcore old time gamer and hates DLCs, IAPs, Virtual coins and everything associated with modern motetisation techniques I showed that 80% of Top grossing list is Freemium games, and the rest is made by big brand names which we are not, but to no avail.
Completing dismissing IAP in this market is financially irresponsible.

Game designers working at "for profit" companies need to consider both game design and monetization, otherwise they're only doing half their job.
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2013, 07:14 AM
Afftor Afftor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MindJuice View Post
Completing dismissing IAP in this market is financially irresponsible.

Game designers working at "for profit" companies need to consider both game design and monetization, otherwise they're only doing half their job.
I agree 100%!
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:59 AM
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craneballs craneballs is offline
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Ha, never thought about marketing a preemium game. I'm afraid the PPI for paid game will be huuuge.

You have a great opportunity to work with the price drop factor. I'm pretty sure that when people see a truly paid app going free that will work wonders with the download rates... the only problem is those ppl aren't bringing you a single dime.

As for your old timer friend, I can relate to that for sure But all data show otherwise and many players actually appreciate in-apps.

I would still go with the price drop for a day or two, supported by some FAAD-like service. If the game has a long playtime value, there's a chance people who enjoy it will tell their friends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMarketing View Post
Hello,
I've seen the 15k-30k topic. It was very informative and gave me few ideas but I got a vibe that the game was a freemium game.
Can you get me the link please?
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