How Early to Start Promoting?

07-22-2013, 09:47 PM
#1
How Early to Start Promoting?

Just wondering what you guys thought regarding releasing information/screenshots about your game prior to release. At a talk I went to in Austin from some well-known iOS devs, the general advice was to talk about it early and often, because you don't have the budget to create a whole ton of buzz just before release, so you kind of have to slow build and gather a community who is interested in your game.

My question I guess is how early do you start promoting, and what channels do you use to start getting the word out when you're still in a somewhat early phase?

Try out our new game The Way We Roll by Polar Bird Studio!
07-23-2013, 06:46 AM
#2
Hi,

it is absolutely necessary to promote your game before launch. Check my article about marketing for mobile apps and games, I cover there also pre-launch phase of app development.

For example, we launched a microsite for our upcoming game TrainStation and already collected over 100k email addresses through it.

07-23-2013, 08:18 AM
#3
As soon as you have something notable to share, start sharing!

It could be an amazing opening scene, a teaser trailer, a sound track by a notable musician, or even the announcement of a notable musician joining the team!

Share early, share often. That's kind of the premise of kickstarter as well, build a following before you're finished (and kickstarter adds the bonus of potentially making money doing it!). Even failing a kickstarter isn't terrible since you're promoting your game to a whole bunch of eyeballs.

You have 1 chance at launch, and having the biggest following possible helps that launch out significantly.

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07-23-2013, 01:30 PM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by R3v View Post
Hi,

it is absolutely necessary to promote your game before launch. Check my article about marketing for mobile apps and games, I cover there also pre-launch phase of app development.

For example, we launched a microsite for our upcoming game TrainStation and already collected over 100k email addresses through it.

How were you able to drive the traffic? The fact is, simply sharing something without having an audience to help initially boost it, goes no where. How do you start from zero?
07-23-2013, 02:37 PM
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by flathead View Post
How were you able to drive the traffic? The fact is, simply sharing something without having an audience to help initially boost it, goes no where. How do you start from zero?
Well... it's pretty hard to go from zero. We are company with 100 people, three live Facebook games and TrainStation itself has over 1 million monthly active players. We placed an in-game note about microsite and also got some press coverage.

Those 100k emails are nice because they belong to people who are genuinely interested in mobile version of our game. However, we have another 1,5 million emails from Facebook players, so we are gonna use them as well during our launch.
07-23-2013, 04:45 PM
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by flathead View Post
How were you able to drive the traffic? The fact is, simply sharing something without having an audience to help initially boost it, goes no where. How do you start from zero?
You could also figure out something related that you could give people who would be interested in your game. Maybe a strategy guide or a discount code or something like that. Then build your email list by exchanging that for their email address.
07-23-2013, 10:21 PM
#7
Thanks for the tips guys. Good article, R3v, I've looked through a lot of your stuff, but hadn't read that particular one I don't think.

I do imagine it's pretty tough "going from zero". I'm not quite at zero, but hanging down there pretty close. With our first game "The Way We Roll", I had a landing page with email submission form, but pretty much only got my friends to sign up for it, despite Facebook page, Twitter account, two trailers, and two different prerelease articles from iFanzine. But it also wasn't really incentivized, so I could see that being of some help.

Fortunately, this time around, we've brought on somebody whose sole responsibility is marketing, so hopefully he can work on building interest a lot more consistently than I ever was able to as designer. And now that we have a decent player base, even if it isn't all that large, we can leverage that for game 2.

It also may help that our new game is much more novel in concept, as our first game was at its core just a re-skin of a classic concept, even though I think it brought a lot to the table.

Anyone else have any thoughts/stories as to how they did or could drum up Pre-release interest, especially as a small developer without a ton of prior contacts?