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iPhone: Game Success - Marketing dependent or does a good game sell?

View Poll Results: iPhone Game - Marketing dependent or does a good game sell?
Marketing dependent 18 48.65%
A good game sells 19 51.35%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll
05-17-2009, 01:38 PM
#1
Junior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 15
Game Success - Marketing dependent or does a good game sell?

The Apps store seems flooded with apps these days, particularly games. We have a lite version already uploaded, with a full version out soon. It seems difficult/impossible to get noticed though. Surely, a good game should sell, or do you just have to jump through lots of hoops to try and get noticed. Starpagga Lite is the game, with updates out soon - lite version should be through submission any day, and full, well, soon. Any advice on getting noticed is very welcome.
05-17-2009, 01:43 PM
#2
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 818
The easiest sell is clearly a well known ip. But, if you have a good game and post videos on sites like toucharcade and get a couple good reviews, you can get your game up in the charts and then have it noticed by casual gamers not in the loop.

05-17-2009, 01:45 PM
#3
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 842
Marketing a part of it for sure. That is why you see so many hidden gems mentioned here. Games that are really good but never got the attention they should have. Having a good game is important but if you don't get any recognition it won't sell like it should.

Good ideas for marketing is giving some promos to review sites to get reviews up, making a Twitter account, doing promo contests, being active on forums like this one helps as you could get some discussion going and possibly user reviews (hope for Big Albie to see it :P)

Beta testing:Not currently able to beta test Tested: iPlutoid, Fish Fun, Armor Alley, Underworlds, 33rd DIVISION, Robocalypse: Mobile Mayhem, Earth VS Moon, Cash Machine, Helion, Zenonia, Koala Dartz, iSR, Baseball Slugger: Home Run Race 3D, Crazy Snowboard, Galactic Gunner, Rune Mage, Match3D, Card Ninja, iGangster.
05-17-2009, 01:45 PM
#4
I think a good game sells. I've never bought a game from the app store based on marketing, it's always been word of mouth, or reviews from podcasts/websites etc.
05-17-2009, 01:50 PM
#5
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: America
Posts: 1,012
You need to remember that your audience is the casual gamers who simply look at the stars and the screenshots to make an opinion.

My game, Sparta, has reached the Top 64 App in the US and has only been out for 3 days without a Lite version.

It is a good game in many cases and is about to become a great game once the update hits this weekend, but honestly, most of it is getting some good screenshots.

Game Designer and Producer of Trenches, Evertales, and more!

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05-17-2009, 01:52 PM
#6
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: somewhere
Posts: 1,823
Quote:
Originally Posted by scarboroughkid View Post
I think a good game sells. I've never bought a game from the app store based on marketing, it's always been word of mouth, or reviews from podcasts/websites etc.
but you know how hard is to make some website write a review? game "jump" is the best in it's genre (search a thread about it) but didn't receive any major notice.

or Gopher - is way better than recent Boulder Dash but sales will never be compared cause one of those titles is available only in europe (due to license issues), and sites don't want to write a review of a game that is not available in US/worldwide.
05-17-2009, 01:52 PM
#7
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Francisco, California
Posts: 5,305
A good game by itself will not sell unless it's supported by good pre-release, day of release, and post-release marketing and outreach. You're right that the iTunes is flooded with hundreds of releases each week and many fall by the way side.

On a daily basis, I see the extreme on both ends--games that are so overhyped that they can never live up, and games that are good that no one hears about. One trap that many devs have fallen into is the coming out of the gates with an extremely low price in hopes of jacking up sales. Of course if the game is bad, a low price won't help. But, the implications are far reaching because it also limits your ability to leverage price in the future. If you price at $.99 to start, you have far less flexibility than if you price at say $2.99. Obviously, you have to realistically take into account whether your game is worth a higher price.

A lite version is one of the best marketing tools you can have, but not always necessary. Apple doesn't help because you can submit both a free and full versions, and because of the review process, you won't know which comes out first and or even when in some cases. With that said, you need screenshots, gameplay video (too many devs still don't do this), and any supporting materials need to be available as soon as possible.

Marketing needs to be done beginning at the pre-release stage because once that game is out the door, you're already behind schedule in terms of generating awareness. I know I covered a variety of items, but I didn't want to get into the nitty gritty of it all.

Last edited by Big Albie; 05-17-2009 at 01:55 PM.
05-17-2009, 01:52 PM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Jones View Post
You need to remember that your audience is the casual gamers who simply look at the stars and the screenshots to make an opinion.

My game, Sparta, has reached the Top 64 App in the US and has only been out for 3 days without a Lite version.

It is a good game in many cases and is about to become a great game once the update hits this weekend, but honestly, most of it is getting some good screenshots.
I'd agree that screenshots go a long way to helping me decide whether to buy a game, especially if there is little information about it on the net.

On a side note, congrats on Sparta, I'm loving it at the moment.
05-17-2009, 01:53 PM
#9
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 980
I think it's a little bit of both. Marketing definitely helps ALOT. If your game is reviewed on one (or multiple) of the "Big Three" iPhone sites (148apps, Toucharcade, or Appvee) then of course your game will get quite a bit of attention and then begin to get recognized by other, much more casual gamers. A game should sell just because it's a good game, but sadly that's not really how it works. I thinmk it has to get noticed somehow, such as getting a good review froma big site, being featured on the App Store, or even being on an Apple commmercial (VERY rare but those on the commercial always manage to find a place in the "Top 100 list"). So it is probably a mix of the two, maybe with a little luck thrown in.

Last edited by iFonePhanatic; 05-17-2009 at 02:01 PM.
05-17-2009, 01:55 PM
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by pante View Post
but you know how hard is to make some website write a review? game "jump" is the best in it's genre (search a thread about it) but didn't receive any major notice.

or Gopher - is way better than recent Boulder Dash but sales will never be compared cause one of those titles is available only in europe (due to license issues), and sites don't want to write a review of a game that is not available in US/worldwide.
I'm not saying it's easy to get a game reviewed, especially by the bigger websites like IGN, I just mean general reviews, even like someone's opinion on here in a thread.