★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

The promotion is useless, maybe we should count on AppStore???

03-04-2010, 04:52 AM
#1
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 86
The promotion is useless, maybe we should count on AppStore???

Hi,

I'm the marketing manager of developer company OstinGames, we are only beginners, basically we have only one game - Zepi and two new versions of it Dark and Spring.

To promote all Zepies we've done so much work, I've been contacting bloggers, we've placed a banner on TA, made a facebook advertisement campaign even made some paid review, video review so on, and now we receive about 7 sales a day and that's it.

But when we released first Zepi, AppStore put it to the "new and noteworthy" section and we received about 200 sales every day for about a week. But still the game didn't appear in top.

Now my boss is asking me, what is the reason of all our work, it's useless! It actually didn't influence sales at all, only AppStore can really influence it. I'm trying to convince him that we sould do promotion, but I'm not sure that it is really necessary. What do you think, what to do next? Maybe it will be more reasonable to hire new software engineer and make more games and just hope that AppStore will notice them...

Thank you for your ideas

Last edited by OstinGirl; 03-05-2010 at 05:18 AM.
03-04-2010, 05:16 AM
#2
Hi, I'm your collegue
You've made a lot of work to promote your game (we usually do less). But the goood advertising campaign is not enough. Greate game sells itself. The quality of the game must be the first and the main critetria.
All of our games were featured by Apple (some even twice) and almost every app reached TOP100. But counting on App Store is a gamble. So my recipe is:
amazing app + great quality + good and timely promotion + App Store featuring = success.
And don't worry, this game is your first step, you have to work hard and invent your own strategy. Good luck!

03-04-2010, 05:27 AM
#3
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 139
There is no formula for guarantee a successful sale, all people here talked about mouth to mouth promotion, but no one knows how this magic things start
03-04-2010, 06:25 AM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by baldong View Post
There is no formula for guarantee a successful sale, all people here talked about mouth to mouth promotion, but no one knows how this magic things start
This is what I'm saying - every developer creates his own strategy from his own mistakes, raises and falls. Just do not panic!
03-04-2010, 07:26 AM
#5
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 610
If you know you are sitting a a great App you need to hype it before pre-release. And then do the marketing campaign.

With our own game, Jet Car Stunts, we knew we had something great, but we also knew we needed to hype it before release. We started doing this 2 months before release with videos and such. This hype pushed it into the top 100.
03-04-2010, 06:23 PM
#6
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Francisco, California
Posts: 5,305
I wouldn't rely on the Appstore to help you. Don't get me wrong, it generated the awareness and exposure you're looking for. But the degree of success really depends on the pre-launch tactics. And of course, it depends on the value of the game itself. A solid and highly appealing game will have a greater degree of success than a mediocre one. This is where devs need to set realistic expectations. Not an easy task especially if you represent a client.
03-04-2010, 07:43 PM
#7
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,206
To go on what Albie said, the first and foremost thing you need before even thinking about spending money on marketing is a good, solid game, preferably something a little different, something that isn't riding on the coattails of a genre that's already been done to death and doesn't offer anything significantly better than those that have gone before it.

If you're not sure if your game fits the bill start pushing before you release. Start threads, release sneak peek screenshots, maybe a video, get people talking about it, see what the responses are like. If they're very positive throughout and it generates a fair number of responses then you've likely got something that could be a hit on your hands. Only then would I consider something more than a grass-roots marketing effort (assuming I had the budget for it).

Zepi looks pretty decent graphically but it comes across as yet another matching game, albeit in a slightly different configuration. I don't know what it offers over its peers but I do know that it has a lot of peers, and trying to be seen in that kind of a crowd requires a pretty herculean effort -- possibly more than it's worth for the type of game that it is, really, though it's hard to say. Point being -- and I can't tell without playing how different it is -- it comes across as another me-too app in a genre and in a market that's been oversaturated with them. Even if the game is different, it doesn't give that appearance based on the screenshots, and that's what counts, so marketing that is going to be one hell of a tough sell.

There are a lot of questions, especially lately, on the efficacy of marketing, but as far as I'm concerned, any thoughts of marketing must of absolute necessity start by asking yourself how much competition your game has in the genre it fits in, because the more competition there is, the harder you'll have to market it, and at that point you have to ask yourself whether the costs will outweigh the benefits. For matching games, unless it's spectacular, the answer is probably no.

You really have to ask yourself the tough questions before going ahead with a marketing plan -- realistic and painfully honest questions.

[Relax with Galactic Chill] [Let me tell you a story.]
Currently working on: Music for Spirit Hunter Mineko
03-04-2010, 08:00 PM
#8
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Francisco, California
Posts: 5,305
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindfield View Post
To go on what Albie said, the first and foremost thing you need before even thinking about spending money on marketing is a good, solid game, preferably something a little different, something that isn't riding on the coattails of a genre that's already been done to death and doesn't offer anything significantly better than those that have gone before it.

If you're not sure if your game fits the bill start pushing before you release. Start threads, release sneak peek screenshots, maybe a video, get people talking about it, see what the responses are like. If they're very positive throughout and it generates a fair number of responses then you've likely got something that could be a hit on your hands. Only then would I consider something more than a grass-roots marketing effort (assuming I had the budget for it).

Zepi looks pretty decent graphically but it comes across as yet another matching game, albeit in a slightly different configuration. I don't know what it offers over its peers but I do know that it has a lot of peers, and trying to be seen in that kind of a crowd requires a pretty herculean effort -- possibly more than it's worth for the type of game that it is, really, though it's hard to say. Point being -- and I can't tell without playing how different it is -- it comes across as another me-too app in a genre and in a market that's been oversaturated with them. Even if the game is different, it doesn't give that appearance based on the screenshots, and that's what counts, so marketing that is going to be one hell of a tough sell.

There are a lot of questions, especially lately, on the efficacy of marketing, but as far as I'm concerned, any thoughts of marketing must of absolute necessity start by asking yourself how much competition your game has in the genre it fits in, because the more competition there is, the harder you'll have to market it, and at that point you have to ask yourself whether the costs will outweigh the benefits. For matching games, unless it's spectacular, the answer is probably no.

You really have to ask yourself the tough questions before going ahead with a marketing plan -- realistic and painfully honest questions.
Thanks Mindfield. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go through my lengthy spiel again that I posted in one of the other threads. So I let you do that
03-04-2010, 08:19 PM
#9
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,005
I'd tend to agree with the original poster that the AppStore itself is a powerful marketing tool, and the benefits of external marketing in this space are largely unproven as they've had minimal or no impact on sales for many developers.

In this particular case, the guy already had a brief stint of tremendous visibility in the AppStore thanks to being featured by Apple under "New and Noteworthy." His game may be quite good and fun on its own merits, but even with 200 sales a day for a full week never caught fire enough to break away from the pack and build momentum. It's worth pointing out that 200 sales a day is more than enough to break into many of the less competietive subcategory top lists. I don't think there's any pre-launch tactic that could have helped his particular game.

As you say, the puzzle genre has been done to death, making it one of the tougher categories to stand out in.

"Pocket Boxing" is another good example where an app can fall flat (in sales) because of bad timing. Anyone searching for a Punchout style game for the iphone is going to discover "KO Boxing 2" long before they stumble across a Pocket Boxing screenshot/review. Even googling for "punchout iphone" yields page after page of reviews for the Glu's beautiful and funny game. While the worst thing that's been said about Pocket Boxing is that it's "too similar" to Punchout (a good thing for players, as far as I'm concerned :-), it is quite understandably burried in the AppStore. Pocket Boxing might well have sold like hotcakes a year ago (and perhaps drawn a lawsuit ^_^) but it is what is is, and I'm glad that it's at least still on track to cover development costs.

My next few titles are more offbeat/original/mainstream efforts, and I'm excited to see how they pan out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindfield View Post
To go on what Albie said, the first and foremost thing you need before even thinking about spending money on marketing is a good, solid game, preferably something a little different, something that isn't riding on the coattails of a genre that's already been done to death and doesn't offer anything significantly better than those that have gone before it.

If you're not sure if your game fits the bill start pushing before you release. Start threads, release sneak peek screenshots, maybe a video, get people talking about it, see what the responses are like. If they're very positive throughout and it generates a fair number of responses then you've likely got something that could be a hit on your hands. Only then would I consider something more than a grass-roots marketing effort (assuming I had the budget for it).

Zepi looks pretty decent graphically but it comes across as yet another matching game, albeit in a slightly different configuration. I don't know what it offers over its peers but I do know that it has a lot of peers, and trying to be seen in that kind of a crowd requires a pretty herculean effort -- possibly more than it's worth for the type of game that it is, really, though it's hard to say. Point being -- and I can't tell without playing how different it is -- it comes across as another me-too app in a genre and in a market that's been oversaturated with them. Even if the game is different, it doesn't give that appearance based on the screenshots, and that's what counts, so marketing that is going to be one hell of a tough sell.

There are a lot of questions, especially lately, on the efficacy of marketing, but as far as I'm concerned, any thoughts of marketing must of absolute necessity start by asking yourself how much competition your game has in the genre it fits in, because the more competition there is, the harder you'll have to market it, and at that point you have to ask yourself whether the costs will outweigh the benefits. For matching games, unless it's spectacular, the answer is probably no.

You really have to ask yourself the tough questions before going ahead with a marketing plan -- realistic and painfully honest questions.
03-04-2010, 08:21 PM
#10
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,678
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueAxis View Post
If you know you are sitting a a great App you need to hype it before pre-release. And then do the marketing campaign.

With our own game, Jet Car Stunts, we knew we had something great, but we also knew we needed to hype it before release. We started doing this 2 months before release with videos and such. This hype pushed it into the top 100.
Agree. Pre-release hype is crucial in my opinion. After release, if you had a good response from people before release, they'll buy it, if sales are good enough, people will take notice, and you might get featured.