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Game Competitions - Worth the Prize Money?

03-17-2010, 08:25 AM
#1
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Derby, UK.
Posts: 161
Game Competitions - Worth the Prize Money?

Hi again,

We're thinking of creating a competition for our latest game release something like "Get highscore and win itunes gift card".

Has anyone had any experience with such promotions?
Whats a reasonable prize amount to generate high interest in the competition?
Did the profit you make exceed the prize you offered?
How did you promote the competition?

Any other hints / tips / experiences you don't mind sharing would be valuable information!

Thanks guys,

Dave.

We Are Colin - Indie Games from Derby, UK. Facebook Twitter YouTube
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03-17-2010, 08:43 AM
#2
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,770
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All I know is, people love iTunes gift cards. Even $10 would get them excited, but when companies do $300+ gift card giveaways, it's gigantic .

03-17-2010, 08:57 AM
#3
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Ukraine, Kiev
Posts: 560
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I had an experience...)

I can tell u that 10, 20 50 $ it's ok
But the problem is to promote your contest...If TA will write about it it would be great and u'll have a lot of players.. but if not....don't think u'll get more then 20 people in contest...
03-17-2010, 09:22 AM
#4
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Derby, UK.
Posts: 161
So it's really the same as with your game? If you don't promote it well, then no one will know about it and will have no interest.

So i guess another question is: Is it easier to promote a Competition for a game then the game it's self?

We Are Colin - Indie Games from Derby, UK. Facebook Twitter YouTube
Gravity Runner - Running game with Retro Graphics
Screw The Dealer + iSevens - Card Games -
WordSearch Rush - Featured by Apple - Available now
03-17-2010, 10:26 AM
#5
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 1,151
In all the experiences I've ever heard of, competitions are completely NOT worth it. We gave away a few hundred dollars worth of prizes over a year ago, hyped it up everywhere, and barely got an uptick in sales or interest. I know many other examples of competitions failing in spectacular ways, and not a single one where the developer thought it was worth it.

My theory on why this doesn't work is related to people's mental separation between things that are fun and things you get paid for. And oftentimes, when you get paid for something, it's no longer fun - it's work. Since people play games for fun, they aren't generally interested if they can make some cash on it. That's just not how they think of the activity.

Anyway, my 2 cents. If anyone has had sales success running a competition, I'd love to hear it.
03-17-2010, 12:21 PM
#6
I saw a game that did this but with the stipulation that prizes would be rewarded after 100k users played. Not sure how it went, but just an idea.
03-18-2010, 03:30 PM
#7
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 9
Another problem to think off is the legality of the contest. We were recently rejected because we did not have a full rules page. Apple somehow thought that people would be confused thinking that they were sponsoring the contest.
03-19-2010, 02:47 PM
#8
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 23
I ran a couple contests for Face Race, both were announced here on the TA forums and on Twitter. I got exactly zero responses, and no increase in sales. Now I've got $380 in merch in my basement that I don't know what to do with...