48 Things Every Game Dev Should Know About Successfully Marketing Their Game

If you’re a game devs starting a game studio, then here are 48 things you should know when marketing your new game…

1. Marketing does not create desires… the desires are already there

2. Gamers want the same desires fulfilled in different ways… desires hardly change

3. Show gamers how your game can fulfil their desire… in a way that no other game can

4. Gamers buy emotionally and then justify their purchase rationally (i.e. they’ll buy a 60 hour game but only play 8 hours of it and be satisfied with that)

5. Show gamers fantasy first, then facts second… you need both to be persuasive

6. You go first because people do not take initiative… direct them to where you want them to go (eg. if you have a demo, make sure to put a link or button on the splash screen saying “Wishlist On Steam, Click Here”)

7. Your biggest challenge isn’t money or time, it’s being invisible and getting buried in the noise (even with time and money you still can be invisible)

8. You don’t need money to cut through the noise… you need to better your marketing message, and to do that you must be simple and specific

9. It’s counter intuitive, but if your target is smaller it’s easier to hit

10. If you talk about game dev, you will attract game devs… not gamers

11. If you talk about your passion for gaming and passion for your genre… you will attract gamers

12. Conversion means how many people saw your stuff then took ACTION in some way (i.e. watched your trailer THEN clicked the link to your Steam page and wishlisted your game)

13. When you’re new and nobody knows you, engaging person-to-person converts the best, then email… social media follows way behind

14. Yes art is important in marketing, but people have a hard time putting a price on “beauty” and “art”, so they judge the value of games on tangible things like how many hours is the game, how many enemy types, how many missions, how many weapons, etc.

15. Never give away your demo too freely… what is often obtained cheaply is valued less

16. Your tiny indie game niche could be the next mass market… so it’s worth experimenting (but don’t code in isolation in your ivory tower… TEST your ideas IRL on players)

17. Marketing is about finding gamers who are already looking for you

18. Trying to convince or plead gamers into buying your game will lead to buyers remorse

19. Know the difference between “Perceived Value” vs “Actual Value”. Eg. a gamer perceives that a 60 hour game is MORE valuable than a 8 hour game even though that 60 hour game is shallow and tedious, and they will only probably pay 8 hours of it anyway

20. The more you tell the more you sell

21. It’s true that the ones that self promote are more successful than the timid ones

22. Youtubers and Twitch Streamers don’t want free game keys… they want a bigger audience

23. If you approach content creators with your own big audience, then you have what they want

24. Don’t rely on other platforms audience… focus on building your own community first

25. Branding works when you already have mass momentum and you need to keep your name “top-of-mind” in a person… plus branding requires that you keep pumping money into it… once you stop paying, branding stops working… so if you’re new and nobody knows you, branding isn’t the best strategy just yet

26. Reduce your uncertainty about how many games you’ll sell at launch by building a community first… this is obvious, but most game devs would rather just post twitter or tiktok and hope that they go viral before launch — but this strategy is low-effort and rarely works

27. Commit to talking about your indie game everyday because that’s how gamers will find you

28. Marketing isn’t an activity you do sometimes… it’s part of dev just like art, story, code, design

29. Just because successful game devs have connections you don’t, doesn’t mean your game isn’t better

30. Copying other game devs successes is a road to ruin… it’s better to research your genre and find a big need in your niche that no other game dev is filling, and make a game around that

31. Gamers want games made specifically for them, not games made for anyone and everyone

32. Don’t underestimate how much effort it takes to get attention… it’s often 3x more effort than you think

33. Even if your game is free, has 200 hrs of content, amazing story, fun mechanics, you still have to fight through obscurity

34. Biggest challenge and frustration gamers have with indie games is “slop developers”, the low quality in indie games, and “copy cat games” that follow trends

35. No idea what to say in your blog? What makes you so passionate about your sub-genre? Passion will fuel your creativity (again, don’t talk about game dev)

36. It’s counter intuitive, but don’t ask for a gamer to buy your game right away… build a relationship first

37. If you want to build an audience then focus on “Evergreen Content” that is found via organic search (i.e. blogs, Youtube, Reddit). Don’t focus on “News-Based Content” (i.e. TikTok, Twitter). News-based content is not ideal when building long-term traffic and a hard-core fan base because people who consume news-based content only want that dopamine / serotonin rush and don’t necessarily care about the content itself

38. Your game is intuitive to you, but not to your gamer… show them how to play your game because education is great marketing and great content for your blog or YouTube channel

39. How do you discover great books, stories, movies that have already been launched or published? Word of mouth, right? Publish “Evergreen Content” because this content keeps working for you in the long-run to generate word-of-mouth AFTER your game launches

40. You need both market research (what players want right now) AND innovation (what players don’t know what they want yet)… balance both

41. When it comes to marketing: Action = Traction. Talk about your game everyday. But again, not about game dev… and focus on “Evergreen Content”. Not easy to do, I know… but marketing is as vital to your game as is coding and art

42. Most important parts of your game isn’t the features… but what advantages the gamer’s get from those features

43. Gamers are novel seeking by nature… they are attracted to the new and novel… focus on how you’re trying to do something new. BUT!!!! Remember, desires don’t change, payers want old desires fulfilled in NEW ways

44. Simple, free, grassroots marketing is still very effective for new game studios who don’t have millions to spend on PR and branding

45. What are gamers mostly interested in? Themselves… put the spotlight on them and you’ll get attention

46. Marketing starts in the product planning phase when you haven’t even wrote your first code or drawn your first pixel… find what players want and are NOT getting, and make a game around those wants and needs

47. Two reasons why somebody didn’t buy your game: 1) lack of familiarity and 2) lack of relationship. You need to develop a relationship with players first before you ask them to buy

48. Finishing your indie game is only half the achievement, the other half is selling it

Want me to help you with any of these 48 marketing tips? Then take advantage of this free offer…

if Your Game Launches In A Few Weeks And You Only Have 129 Wishlists, Here’s What To Do To Grow Your Audience and Have A Successful Launch…

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  • What your player wants so that way you can create content that grab’s their attention
  • Optimize your Steam Store page so that more people wishlist your game
  • How to drive MORE traffic to your Steam page using attention-grabbing content
  • How to develop a relationship with streamers and game journalists even though you’re a small indie dev with no connections
  • How to build “word-of-mouth” for free so that your fans do the marketing for your

This is a FREE 6 week course. Each week you’ll get an insight that is easy to understand. And you’ll get a step-by-step guide showing you how how to execute that insight. And after 6 weeks, the goal is to help you grow your wishlist.

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Thanks! And looking forward to helping you find players!

Later,

Dariusz Konrad
Port Stanley, Ontario
Canada