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Proven ways to promote your game?

03-18-2009, 02:23 AM
#1
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 50
Proven ways to promote your game?

Hi everyone
I've been reading these forums for some time, while I get ready to create my own 3d arcade/action game.

I was wondering what is the best way to promote your game so there is at least some interest generated by the time it appears in the app store?

I assume posting around in forums and referring back to the game's website is mandatory, but what about advertising/reviews/gameplay movies etc.?

What methods have been useful to other developers in the past, both before and after the game's release?

And as a side question, any thoughts on Unity as a good engine for iphone? Are there any drawbacks to it? Anything particularly awesome about it?

Thanks!
03-18-2009, 02:35 AM
#2
Joined: Feb 1983
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 1,268,711
Best way to promote your game is by creating a great game that people want to play. It doesn't matter how many promo codes you throw around with contests and gimmicks if at the end of the day what you're offering on the App Store is a mediocre clone of existing titles.

The competition on the App Store gets more and more harsh every day, people try to beat the competition by pricing lower when really what they need to do is innovate and create something better to stand out in the crowd.

Do that, and your app will promote itself via word of mouth. Players recommending your game to other people is the best advertising you can get... And best of all, it's free.

03-18-2009, 02:37 AM
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hodapp View Post
Do that, and your app will promote itself via word of mouth. Players recommending your game to other people is the best advertising you can get... And best of all, it's free.
There are still a ton of apps that slip through the cracks and become hidden gems. You can't just make a good game w/o some decent advertising. Some get lucky and enough people with an ability to spread the word well can carry a title but not all get discovered early enough by the right people. If you want to really get some exposure, obviously make a good game but get a publisher with some face time like Gameloft to back you.
03-18-2009, 03:23 AM
#4
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 50
Thanks for the replies!
My game is definitely new and original, theres nothing else like it on the app store (for now)

I agree that word-of-mouth is the best but its risky like Benegesserit said, good games still get lost in the deluge.

I'm not too keen on a publisher either. This is a game I'm working on in my spare time so if it does flop I can always keep my day job haha!

Are there any other ways for me to promote it? Or "help" spread it by word-of-mouth?
03-18-2009, 05:59 AM
#5
Keep the price low or offer a lite version. Most people are willing to spend .99 - 1.99 to try anything that doesn't look like a poor clone. Now would be a good time to launch an app with all the hubbub about the iphone after the 3.0 announcement as they might start selling more units now faster than usual.
03-18-2009, 08:28 AM
#6
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Posts: 11,781
Hi All,

Just a player here but I can only hope "Don't Be a Fatty" is NOT issuing in a new era of hype. From all that I've heard and read about the game itself it is nothing more than a fairly mediocre attempt at Kaboom (or whatever the catching game genre goes by) with a few innovative twists. Having some big $200 giveaway contest to promote reviews and the constant banner ads here in TA just makes me feel nauseous and resolved NOT to bother with it (like being in a store with a really pushy sales person).
03-18-2009, 08:31 AM
#7
Joined: Feb 1983
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 1,268,711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benegesserit View Post
There are still a ton of apps that slip through the cracks and become hidden gems. You can't just make a good game w/o some decent advertising. Some get lucky and enough people with an ability to spread the word well can carry a title but not all get discovered early enough by the right people. If you want to really get some exposure, obviously make a good game but get a publisher with some face time like Gameloft to back you.
The developers of the good apps that slip through the cracks as hidden gems need to contact the review sites. Between big name releases I'm usually just randomly clicking around the App Store... and it's usually hard to find things that people aren't talking about.

If you know of any hidden gems, you should start a thread about them.
03-18-2009, 08:41 AM
#8
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,176
Quote:
Originally Posted by petes117 View Post
Hi everyone
I've been reading these forums for some time, while I get ready to create my own 3d arcade/action game.

I was wondering what is the best way to promote your game so there is at least some interest generated by the time it appears in the app store?

I assume posting around in forums and referring back to the game's website is mandatory, but what about advertising/reviews/gameplay movies etc.?

What methods have been useful to other developers in the past, both before and after the game's release?

And as a side question, any thoughts on Unity as a good engine for iphone? Are there any drawbacks to it? Anything particularly awesome about it?

Thanks!
Unity is a good 3D engine dont know much about it but I'm sure it's pretty good.

Ways to get your app promoted:

Giveaway promo code for reviews
Give promo codes to review sites to get publicty
Make a lite version of the app
Post a gameplay video places.
Give sneak peeks to review sites to post on there blog about.

Hope this helps!
03-18-2009, 09:07 AM
#9
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Boston, mass
Posts: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hodapp View Post
The developers of the good apps that slip through the cracks as hidden gems need to contact the review sites. Between big name releases I'm usually just randomly clicking around the App Store... and it's usually hard to find things that people aren't talking about.

If you know of any hidden gems, you should start a thread about them.
Except that many of the review sites are so swamped that they only review the games by major companies now; ie, gameloft, ngmoco, etc. There's enough volume that it's becoming hard for indi dev's to even get reviewed. Splat currently has 19/20 five star reviews in the app store, yet I can't get a single review site to even look at it as far as I can tell.

The game is ever changing, and as volume increases it's going to become harder for smaller dev's to have any chance of getting known, regardless of app quality.
03-18-2009, 09:37 AM
#10
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Chicago IL
Posts: 193
I found that getting reviewed doesn't really seem to help. Our game has been review by a bunch a sites all giving us amazing reviews. But we still haven't sold very many units. Maybe its because we haven't gotten on the right sites, I don't know. But it's been a bit disheartening. Lowering our price did help a bit, but not much. When we released our lite version it boosted our sales as well, but again not enough for us to quit our day jobs. I think it's just a combination of all the things that have been mentioned in this thread along with a lot of luck. Making a good App is the first step however, so make sure you get that right and you will be on the right track.

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