How To Get Players To Discover And Buy Your Game In An Oversaturated Market: 3 Tips And 3 Action Steps

In this training, you’ll learn:

  • How your marketing efforts isn’t the problem… the problem is that in an overcrowded market you need something different to grab attention
  • Examples of how other games did something different and got attention in an overcrowded market — and how you can use the same strategy
  • How to get a player to come to YOU instead of you trying to get THEIR attention
  • How to talk about your game in a way that differentiates it from the hundreds of other games similar to yours
  • 3 Step Action Plan: showing you exactly what to do to get a player to come to you instead of you going to them (remember, you don’t want to be ignored because your game looks and sounds the same as other games even though it isn’t)
  • How to build a marketing “system” that once you build it, works for you automatically in terms of getting wishlists and game sales
  • A simple technique you can use RIGHT NOW to help you get players to find you
  • How to do all of this without spending money on PR or branding
  • How to get a player to download and try your demo
  • A business marketing strategy made specifically for small indie game studios with a very small marketing budget
  • So if you want to avoid your game “dying on the vine”, here’s what you need to know and what to do…

How Do I Know This Works?

First let me tell you how I know this works. My name is Dariusz. And since 2005, I’ve created 3 successful startups. ALL of my startups were in overcrowded, very competitive markets. And all my startups have been in creative industries (graphic design and game art). How I survived making creative things in oversaturated markets was counter intuitive (but worked to cut through all the noise).

Before helping game devs market their games, I had 3 successful startups

So what I’m about to show you are the same strategies and techniques I used. And it’s the same techniques I use when I’m marketing my client’s video games.

And you won’t see these strategies and techniques anywhere because most game marketing is focused on how to get attention using a certain platform.

What I mean is, game devs are told how to best market their game on Steam… or Reddit… or Twitter… or TikTok.

I’m not saying this advice is wrong or bad. But what happens when you focus on marketing your game using a platform, the means of your success can also be the means of your failure.

In 2018, it was possible for small game devs to grab attention. But what worked yesterday doesn’t work today…

For example, 10,000 wishlists are no longer a key metric on Steam. It’s the “velocity” of wishlists now. And in 2 years, this metric will change too.

So what I’m saying is, don’t rely on platforms to help market your game. Platforms will always change their algorithms and metrics. And it’s a hard game to play because what worked yesterday may not work today.

No. What you’ll learn in this training are the basic, fundamental business strategies that you can use even though the landscape might change. So in other words, what works today will work tomorrow.

So, if you’re a game dev that doesn’t have millions to spend on PR and branding, and you want to get your game discovered without spending any money and too much time, then here’s what you need to know…

Tip #1: The Problem Isn’t Your Marketing

Tweets. TikTok. Press kits. Trailers. Cold emails to YouTubers. Paid Google ads. Paid sponsorship to YouTubers / Twitch Streamers. Reddit posts.

These WERE all great ways for small game studios to grab a gamer’s attention — without spending too much money on marketing. But now that the market is crowded, almost all marketing efforts just ADD to the noise. Gamers, and people in general, just tune this extra noise out…

“Oh, that’s an ad. /ignore”

Just look at Reddit. Small game devs use to use Reddit successfully to self-promote. And it worked. And because it worked, more and more game devs did it. But today, Redditors turn almost hostile to any small game dev trying to self-promote. And it’s because nobody wants to keep seeing ads. People are not on Reddit (or any other platform) just to see game devs self-promote.

Yes, gamers love buying games. They love to shop around. But they hate being sold to.

So, the problem isn’t your marketing. It’s that your marketing is ADDING to the noise. Then how do you cut through this noise? How do you create marketing that doesn’t add to the noise and gets tuned out?

Let’s keep going, and this will all make sense…

Tip #2: To Be Successful In An Overcrowded Market You Need To Dominate A Niche

If you want your game to be discovered in an oversaturated market you cannot copy a market leader. Instead you need to carve out a “niche” and dominate that area.

Let me explain…

YouTube dominates the video sharing market. But Twitch carved out a niche and focused on live streaming for gamers (at first). Curiosity Stream carved out a niche and focused on documentary / educational videos.

It’s the same in video games. In 2000, Counter-Strike carved out a niche in the FPS market, and dominated the tactical FPS genre. In 2003 Call of Duty carved out the World War II niche and dominated that FPS market. In 2008 Left 4 Dead carved out the zombie FPS niche.

You see a pattern? There’s usually a leader in a market. Then other games come in. But instead of competing directly with the market leader, they break off a chunk, and dominate that market — and become their OWN market leader in their niche.

Now, all of these games eventually evolved and broadened their genre to grab a bigger market. For example, Twitch no longer just does video game streaming, they also have other categories like “Just Chatting”. Same in gaming. Call of Duty broadened their scope and now you can fight zombies.

This is an important lesson though…

When we first start off, we can’t be everything to everyone. We need to carve out a niche in our genre and dominate that.

And once you dominate a niche THEN you can start broadening your market.

Again this is a very important lesson for new and small game studios: focus on creating a new category or a new niche in your genre. If you’re the first to open a new category, you’ll usually become the market leader.

And how do you do this?

Well, it’s very difficult to execute this strategy two months before launch. Carving out a new niche and dominating it starts even before you write your first line of code or draw your first pixel. It starts in the market research phase.

But what if you’ve already started developing your game? What if you are going to launch in a few months? What if you’re past the product planning and market research phase? How can you position your game as a “market leader” and get attention in an oversaturated market?

Well, there is a way to market your game, and help it differentiate it from all the hundreds of games that are similar to yours. I’ll show you that later on. But first let’s keep going with the next tip…

Tip #3: Instead of Going To The Gamer, Have Them Come To YOU

Remember how I said that most marketing just adds to the noise? And this noise is ignored by most people?

So, a better strategy is, instead of using “interrupt marketing” where you bombard gamers with self-promotion posts on Reddit, Twitter, TikTok, or even buying Facebook or Google ads, you take another approach.

Let me explain a different strategy…

When a gamer clicks the “Add to Cart” button on your Steam store page, it’s because they already know about you, they already like you, and they already trust that your game will be fun or enjoyable.

It’s rare that a player will accidentally find your game on Steam, see the capsule art, watch your trailer, see the screenshots, and be so motivated that they impulsively buy your game.

The actual path is a lot more complicated. That player probably has seen or heard about your game already, and has an established relationship with you already somehow.

So, a better strategy is “relationship building”.

And instead of going to THEM with ads, self-promotion posts, you create a system where they come to you. And you build a system where you begin starting that relationship so they know you and trust you.

Ok ok… this is a LOT. But don’t worry!

I’ll show you exactly how to do this “relationship building” in the steps and techniques below. So let’s keep going…

Step 1: Simplify Your Marketing Message So That a Gamer Knows What They Get

Ok, to start, let me ask you…

  • How do you describe your indie game?
  • What sub-genre are you in?
  • What’s your “elevator pitch?”

For example, if a game dev says their game is a, “puzzle, action platformer”… well guess what? There’s a lot of those games on Steam. Nothing special. It’s hard for a gamer to differentiate your game from all the other thousands of puzzle action platformers.

Being specific is the best way to simplify your message. It’s how you cut through the noise.

Let me explain…

Remember how I told you how carving out a niche in your genre is how you get players to notice you in an oversaturated market? Well, this is how you do it. You have to simplify your message so that a player can tell the difference between your game and the thousands of games similar to yours.

It’s like Counter-Strike vs. Call of Duty. To a non-gamer these two games look and sound like the same thing. You’re a soldier. You’re in an army. You shoot your way out of trouble.

But to a gamer, these two games are as different as night and day.

It’s the same with your game. You need to simplify your message so that a player can tell the difference from other games that look and sound like yours.

Let me show you how…

This is an old example, but look at Tower of Guns. Let’s check out their Steam page and see what I mean.

In their capsule art, they have a little line saying “First-Person Bullet-Hell Rogue-Lite Mayhem”. This is smart because in less than one second, a person knows what the game is — and is not.

Then in the capsule description, it says…

“Tower of Guns is a fast paced first-person-shooter for the twitch gamer…”

Specific. Simple.

This is important because when a player has never heard of you or ever seen your game before, they are going to compare it to other games similar to yours.

And if you don’t specifically tell them and show them how your game is different than the competition, then you’ve lost their attention.

It’s why Curiosity Stream spends a lot of marketing money telling you that they are a streaming service for documentary and education fans.

It’s why AAA game studios spend millions on branding.

They want to make sure you know HOW they are different from the competition.

At first glance, if you had no idea what Curiosity Stream is, you’d think it’s a YouTube “copy-cat”. But since Curiosdity Stream knows who their target is, they can craft a marketing message that cuts through the noise and directly connects with their target.

It’s the same when describing your game. Start backward. Who is your target player? Craft your marketing message around that, and you’ll get more attention.

To help you, use Tower of Guns “formula”:

“Tower of Guns is a fast paced first-person-shooter for the twitch gamer…”

Or…

[Your game name] is a [genre] for [your target player]

But that’s not all… let’s keep going onto…

Step 2: Create Marketing Content So It’s EASY For Gamer To Find You

There are two types of online content: News-Based vs Evergreen.

News-Based Content is stuff you’ll see on TikTok or Twitter. It’s content that is passive. But the content HAS to be new. If it’s old, people don’t care.

In fact, people who consume passive News-Based Content don’t CARE about the content itself. They only care about getting that quick hit of dopamine and serotonin. It’s content made to get people emotional and “addicted”.

For example, a big thing happens in the news. And there’s a flurry of posts, hot-takes, discussions. But then another big thing happens in the news, and then that crowd that cared so much about that news is no longer interested. It’s old news. Their dopamine system is motivating them to search out for the next big news — the old news no longer gives them that “high”.

I’m not saying this is bad or good. I’m not making any judgments.

What I’m saying is that News-Based content is NOT a good way to build an audience for your game. It’s not a long-term strategy for marketing your game.

News-Based Content works for news and content creators. But for marketing your game and building an audience, this strategy isn’t the best.

Yeah some game devs have been successful building an audience using News-Based Content (i.e. Twitter or TikTok). But for the most part, this strategy doesn’t work.

So then why do game devs keep using TikTok or Twitter?

Well, a lot of game devs keep making News-Based Content to market their game, because…

1) News-Based Content is MORE popular than Evergreen Content. So it’s only natural to want to be part of it.

2) It’s low-effort. It’s easy to post something quick about your game on Twitter or Tiktok. It’s a lot more work to write a 1000 word article or make a 10 minute video.

And…

3) Game devs are also addicted to it, too. It only takes one good post to get you addicted. That’s why you’ll see a lot of game devs keep posting even though they get zero engagement… they probably got one good post, and they’re now chasing that “high”.

A better strategy to build an audience, get attention, and build a relationship with new fans is by publishing “Evergreen Content”.

Evergreen Content is stuff that is as fresh no matter how old the “news” is. And it’s content that a player SEARCHES for. It’s not passive content.

So for example, content you put on…

  • Blogs
  • Articles
  • Reddit Posts
  • YouTube Videos
  • And even game demos

…is all Evergreen Content. It’s searchable. It’s indexed. And it’s there for the long-term.

Creating Evergreen Content is how to get gamers to come to YOU.

For example, say you’re developing a motocross platformer. I bet there are at least 10,000 people who are into motocross and love platformers.

But how do you get the attention of those 10,000 motocross / platformer fans?

Well, you can post News-Based Content on Twitter or TikTok. But you’re competing with literally millions of other topics. And the chances that your target player will find you are slim.

A better way to get attention is to start creating Evergreen Content specifically on that one topic (i.e. motocross platformer game). And chances of your target player finding you is way higher because that’s the nature of Evergreen Content: it’s content people seek and search out for.

And I know a lot of people reading this will tell me “this worked 15 years ago… blogs are dead”. But these people don’t understand the underlying mechanism why it works.

It’s NOT the technology or the platform. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blog, or website, or an article on Medium, or a video on Youtube.

It’s the psychological approach: active vs passive users.

What I mean is…

People who are actively searching for content are far different than people who are passively scrolling Twitter or TikTok.

You want to grab the attention of the active people because those people are the ones that are more motivated to follow you because of your content.

The passive users only want that dopamine / serotonin hit and don’t necessarily care about the content itself.

So what I’m trying to say is, it’s hard to build a community with apathetic people. You want to find people who are motivated, and eager. And those are the people who are actively looking for you — and you can find them by creating high-quality Evergreen Content.

I’ll show you exactly how soon. But first…

Step 3: Reward a Gamer For Discovering You

When a gamer does discover you, when they find your content, you need a reason to get them to come back. You need to reward them somehow.

The best reward is talking about what THEY are into. If you focus your content on what they want, you’ll grab their attention and they’ll stick around longer.

What I mean is, players are not into game dev. So if your Evergreen Content is all about game development, then you’re not really talking to your target audience.

To talk to your target audience, talk about your GENRE.

Like what?

Well…

What do you hate and love about your genre? What ways are you trying to improve your genre with your game?

In a moment I’ll show you a technique on how to write interesting Evergreen Content that players will gravitate to.

But for now, just know that as a game dev, you have an inside look at your genre that no player has access to.

And as a game dev, you have more authority about your genre than anybody else.

So lean into that strength and instead of talking about technical game development, talk about what players want to hear: new and interesting insights about their favorite genre from the perspective of a game developer.

I know you know this. I know that you know that other game devs are not your market. But I have a sneaky suspicion you are mostly talking and getting feedback from other game devs… and most of your audience is other game devs. If that’s the case, start talking about your genre, and you’ll start attracting players and not other game devs.

Another reward you can offer is an exclusive demo.

For example, say you write an article or make a video about how your game is trying to solve X in your genre. And at the end of the article or YouTube video you tell the person they can play your demo that shows exactly how your game is solving X in your genre.

What most game devs do however is, they give NO reason why a player should download and play their demo. These game devs assume that just because their demo is free then that’s enough motivation for a player to play the demo.

In an overcrowded market, just because it’s “free” is no longer a good reason to try demos.

But if you give a REASON to try your demo, you’ll have a better chance of a player downloading it and playing it. And by talking about problems in your genre and how your game is solving those problems THEN you have a really good reason why a player should try your demo.

Ok, now let’s get into more advanced techniques to help your game gain attention in an overcrowded market, and let’s talk about what to DO when a player discovers you…

Stair-Step Your Way Into Wishlist And Games Sales: Here’s How…

My goal here is to:

  • Help your game get discovered in a crowded market
  • Help you sell more copies of your game

To accomplish these two goals, remember, you need to build a relationship with players first. It’s rare that a player will buy your game on impulse. Chances are they’ve heard about your game first.

Most times there is a “stair step” process a player will take before they buy your game.

So, let me break down how players find games and how they buy games. Then I’ll show you a system you can copy to help you do the same for your game.

Stair Step 1: Discover A Game Through 6 Types Of Sources

Players discover new games through a combination of a few methods or sources:

1) Online Gaming Platforms: Many gamers discover new titles through online gaming platforms like Steam, Epic Games Store, PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, and Nintendo eShop. These platforms often feature new releases and promotions, making it easy for players to explore and purchase games. But remember, usually before they buy, they will have heard of a game through a different method, like…

2) Social Media and Gaming Communities: Social media platforms such as Twitter, Reddit, and gaming-focused communities like Reddit’s r/gaming or gaming forums are popular places to learn about new games. Gamers share their experiences, recommendations, and news about upcoming releases.

3) YouTube and Twitch: Many gamers follow content creators, streamers, and YouTubers who review and play new games. These influencers often focus on a specific genre and attract those players who like that genre. And these influencers provide insights, gameplay videos, and reviews, helping their followers discover new games.

4) Gaming News Websites: Websites like IGN, Kotaku, Polygon, and GameSpot regularly publish articles and reviews about new games. Gamers still use read these websites because it’s an easy way to keep up-to-date in one spot

5) Gaming Conventions and Events: Attending gaming conventions like E3, PAX, or Gamescom allows players to get a firsthand look at upcoming games. These events often feature exclusive game demos and announcements — and players love getting things first and telling people online about it

6) Word of Mouth: Recommendations from friends online of IRL, can be a powerful way to discover new games. When someone enjoys a game, they often share their excitement with their gaming circle

The method of discovery can vary from person to person, and many gamers use a combination of these sources to stay informed about the latest releases and find games that match their interests.

And this might seem all obvious to you, but let’s keep going because you’ll learn something not so obvious…

Stair Step 2: Played A Demo (Or At Least Watched Somebody Else Play The Game)

Once they’ve discovered a game from any of the sources above, it doesn’t mean a player will go and buy the game… or even wishlist it. A player still needs something more compelling to get them motivated to take any action.

So what they’ll do is either play a demo, or go on YouTube or Twitch and watch somebody else play the game. Or they’ll watch your demo.

The key here is: they want to see actual gameplay footage.

The reason why they want to see gameplay footage is because they need to justify their buying purchase. Even if they’re really excited about a game, they still need to be compelled before they actually take out their wallet and give a game dev their money and time.

So…

They’ve discovered the game. They’re interested. But before they invest any time and money into it, they still need some motivation. So their next step is another low commitment step. And they’ll seek out a demo or watch YouTube videos about the game to help decide if it’s a game worth playing and buying.

Ok, once a gamer has played a demo or watched gameplay on YouTube, then they’re ready to move onto the next step…

Stair Step 3: Wishlist Your Game

Most people believe that player’s wishlist games because they just wait for a sale. This is true, but there are other reasons why players wishlist games…

The biggest reason is that people need to take small incremental steps before they buy something. It’s really hard for a player to go from watching a trailer then buying a game.

They will often take one more little step before the actual purchase… they will wishlist the game because it’s LIKE buying it but with zero risk and money.

Also, because there are a LOT of games to weed through in this crowded market, it’s hard to organize which games you want to eventually play and buy.

So a good way to organize what you’re interested in is to put it on a wishlist so that you can forget about it now, and then buy it whenever you’re ready.

Another reason is, players use wishlists as a reminder for a game they want to get on the day it’s released.

Again, this is a low commitment action. Once they wishlisted a game, they’ll move onto…

Stair Step 4: Buy The Game

Again, people rarely buy on impulse. They often take small incremental steps of commitment before they buy a game.

They’ll discover a game from different sources (see stair step 1). Then the “relationship” process begins.

And then they’ll want to see actual gameplay or try the game for themselves.

So they will watch a YouTuber they trust play the game… or they’ll watch the trailer… or they will download a demo and try it out for themselves.

Then the player will wishlist the game as a way to organize the games they’re interested in and weed out all the rest.

Again, players take these small increment commitments because they want to BUY the game, but they still need to justify it. So all these little steps help them convince themselves they need to buy and play this game.

Then when the game is released, or when it’s on sale, or when they are ready… that’s when they click the “Add to Cart” button and buy your game.

Stair Step 5: Post Game Research

Now this is the most important step because it relates to YOU and how you can market your game when it’s crowded with hundreds of games trying to do what you’re doing.

And this is the not-so-obvious step that most people don’t know about when it comes to video game buying behaviour.

Here’s how it goes…

After a player buys and plays a game, they will often want to validate their feelings about what they just bought and played.

It doesn’t matter if they hated or loved the game, they want to find out if other people have the same feelings.

So they will go and search YouTuber or Google for videos or articles about that game. Again, they are searching out because they want to see if other people have the same feelings they had.

This is an important step because this is how players also discover new games — and how they can discover YOUR game.

If they love a game, they will want to find out if there are any games similar to that game. So they will go on YouTube or Google and search for games like the ones they just played.

Or if they hated the game, they will go on YouTube or Google and read what other people have said about the game and why they hated it.

This Is Where YOUR Evergreen Content Works To Help Players Discover Your Game

So remember how I said players discover games from different sources:

  1. Online Gaming Platforms
  2. Social Media and Gaming Communities
  3. YouTube and Twitch
  4. Gaming News Websites
  5. Gaming Conventions and Events
  6. Word of Mouth

Well, in order to market your game using any of those sources requires a marketing budget. You need a marketing manager to help you make connections and deals with influencers and video game journalists. You need the right type of game that appeals to the Twitter or TikTok crowd. You can’t just go on r/gaming and talk about how amazing your game is — you need your fanbase to do that.

All of this marketing effort requires a LOT of time and money.

And if you’re a small game studio with a small marketing budget, then this type of marketing isn’t really feasible.

This is the game AAA companies play. They have the money and budget and connections to do this type of marketing.

But here’s how you can use your limitations to your advantage…

Remember how I said that AFTER buying a game and playing it, players will search out and see what other people said and wrote about the game? People want to validate their feelings about a game they just played, so they will go to YouTube or Google and search out other people’s opinions in hopes they validate how they also feel.

Well… THIS is your opportunity to find players who are looking for you.

If they loved a game, chances are they want to play a game similar to it — but a bit different. This is your chance to get discovered. If you create content talking about how your game is similar to X but different, then those players will find you.

If a player hated a game, then they’ll search YouTube or Google and find other people talking about how they hated the game too. This is your other chance to get discovered. If you create content talking about how you also hate X in Y game, and how you’re trying to change it with your game, then those people will easily find you.

Create A Marketing Machine That Work For You In The Long-Term

Now do you see how you can find people looking for you? And you do this by creating Evergreen Content that connects with people.

And by creating high-quality, valuable Evergreen Content that speaks to players (and not other game devs), you’re building a “marketing machine” that will work for you when you’re doing something else. It’s like you’re automating your marketing.

What I mean is, that content you’ve made on your blog, YouTube (or even Reddit), is there forever. The longer Evergreen Content is out there, the better it’ll work for you. Google will index your blogs, videos, and even Reddit post. And this makes it easier for a gamer to find you — no matter how old your content is.

Now next time somebody plays X and loves it or hates it, they’ll search YouTube or Google and find YOUR game.

Ok, let me wrap everything up and tell you about how this strategy works as a “system”… a system you can copy…

The “Game Discovery System”

If you want to cut through the noise… if you want your game to get discovered in an oversaturated market… if you want it easier for players to find you, you need to use what I call the “Game Discovery System”.

It’s a formula that I use when marketing my client’s games who don’t have money to spend on PR and branding, and don’t have connections with influencers and game journalists.

And it’s a system designed so that once you set it up, it “automates” the relationship-building process, and leads to wishlists and eventually game sales.

Ok, here’s exactly how it works…

1) Pump out high-quality, valuable Evergreen Content about your genre that is made specifically for a player (not a game dev): Use a blog, website, or Youtube to pump out content. And use Reddit as well, because people like to Google “something something reddit”

2) Remember, after people play a game they will want to validate their feelings, so they will search YouTube or Google and try to find new games similar to that game, or want to hear what other people say… this is your chance to get discovered

3) Reward your player: When your player lands on your content, don’t talk shop. Don’t talk about game development. A better way to keep them reading or watching is to connect with the player and talk about your genre, what you hate and love about it, how your game is like X game, and how your game is NOT like Y game

4) Use your demo as a marketing asset: When players discover you through your blog, website, YouTube or even Reddit content, give them a reason to come back. And the best way to do that is to let them download and play your demo. It’s your first step into getting them to buy your game (no demo? then atleast setup a Discord)

5) Use your demo to build wishlists. In your demo, make sure you have a button that links back to your Steam store page. So on your intro splash screen, make sure you have a “Wishlist On Steam, Click Here” button. No demo? Then direct them to your Discord

6) Keep updating Steam. Once you’ve gotten their wishlist, it’s important that they haven’t forgotten about you — and so that they are aware of you when you launch. So use the Community Hub on Steam to keep your player informed about any progress. You can also do this with Discord. But I like Steam better because Discord itself has become too saturated. I don’t know about you, but I’m in 100s of channels, and only visit 2 or 3

If You Want People To Discover And Buy Your Game In An Oversaturated Market, You Need To Be Different…

In this training you’ve learned a LOT.

And remember, my goal here is to show you how to get your game discovered and get them to buy your game.

So you first learned that your marketing is NOT the problem. The problem is, what worked yesterday is not working today. Platforms themselves are getting overcrowded. And self-promotion posts on Reddit or Twitter that used to get attention a few years ago will now get hostility. And that’s because users don’t want to see ads on their platforms all the time. Sure, they love to shop and buy… but they don’t like being sold to. So marketing isn’t the problem… the problem is that most marketing ADDS to the noise.

The second thing you learned is the best way to cut through the noise is to focus on carving out your own genre or category.

And to carve out your own genre, you need to learn how to communicate in a way that connects with your players. What seems obvious to you about your game, may not be so obvious to a player. And if game devs don’t learn how to talk about their game in a way that differentiates their game from all the other hundreds, then their game will “die on the vine”. And that’s because you need to see it through the perspective of a player. To a player, most games sound and look the same. So it’s important that your communications shows and tells why your game is different — and explain why being different is valuable.

You also learned the difference between News-Based Content vs. Evergreen Content. And that Evergreen Content is the best way to market your game and get discovered.

And then you learned how players buy games by taking small incremental “stair steps” of commitment before they actually buy a game.

First they discover a game through a combination of sources (Online Gaming Platforms, Social Media and Gaming Communities, YouTube and Twitch, Gaming News Websites, Gaming Conventions and Events, Word of Mouth).

Then they want to try out the game with as little commitment and effort as possible. So they’ll play a demo, or watch gameplay footage on YouTube.

Then they’ll wishlist the game so that they can organize the games they are interested in one single spot.

Then they’ll buy the game when it’s released, or when it goes on sale, or later when they’re ready. But first, the player needs to build a relationship somehow to get to this point. Players rarely buy a game from a small studio they just heard about on pure impulse. They need to know more about the dev, the game, and what they’ll experience before they buy the game.

Players will take all these little steps of commitment because they need to justify their purchase.

Then AFTER they play the game, they will search on YouTube and Google to validate their feelings about the game.

If they love the game, they will search for games that are similar to that game on YouTube or Google. Or if they hated the game, they will search YouTube or Google and want to hear about other people complaining about the game they just played.

Then this is where you learned the “Game Discovery System”. This is where you learned how to leverage that moment when a person just finished a game and is now out searching to find new games similar to that game… or they are out searching for people validating their negative feelings for a game. This is where your Evergreen Content will work for you and get players to discover you.

Yes, you can try to market your game on Twitter, Reddit, Google ads, Facebook ads, making deals with influencers and game journalists. And if you have the time and money and have a dedicated marketing manager, then you should.

But if you don’t have a marketing budget, then you can leverage what you CAN do, and start creating Evergreen Content that connects with players… players who are looking for you.

And to connect with players, the topics you should create in your Evergreen Content should be about what the player wants: what they love about your genre, what they hate about the genre, what games are similar to the game they just played and want to play more.

So to help you on your FIRST step to get people to discover you and buy your game, here’s a simple technique…

A Simple Technique For Players To Find You In An Oversaturated Market

Think like a gamer does. Think how THEY would try to find your game. If a gamer is window shopping on Steam, and a game that looks and sounds like all the others isn’t going to get attention.

And if the game DOES grab somebody’s attention, then they’re not going to BUY NOW because that’s not how most consumers behave. Consumers need a relationship with you or your game first before they decide to click the BUY NOW button. They need to take small steps of commitment before they pull out their wallet and give you their money and time.

So… create Evergreen Content. Keep your marketing message specific and simple. Give a gamer a reward for discovering you. And remember, “the more you tell, the more you sell”. Meaning, the more content you make, the easier players will find you.

So to help you get started, do this RIGHT NOW. You learned a lot. But actual learning doesn’t happen unless it changes your behavior. It’s like reading about how to ride a bike. You haven’t learned how to ride a bike until you get your butt on the seat and try.

So, to get your “butt on the seat”, do this simple technique. And you’ll see how it will work in terms of helping you and your game cut through the noise, and get discovered in an overcrowded market.

Ready? Ok, open a Google doc.

On the top of the document, paste this:

1. What I Hate About My Genre?

2. What I Love About My Genre?

3. How My Game Is Trying To Improve My Genre?

4. What Games Inspired Me To Make My Game?

Now, under each question, take 3 – 5 minutes to answer it. Just brainstorm. Make quick bulleted lists. Don’t over-think it. Whatever comes out is good enough.

Here’s my example:

1. What I Hate About 4x Turn-Based Strategy Games?

– Ai is dumb
– late game slog, in late game there’s too many moving pieces and i just don’t want to spin all those plates mid game is boring
– no characters
– no events or stories
– Civ is the gold standard and i don’t want another Civ clone
– order system is outdated and old
– sprawling cities means too much micromanaging
– techtrees are an outdated system

2. What I Love About 4x Turn-Based Strategy Games?

– early game discovery
– the idea that my empire grows through my own planning and strategy
– the idea of controlling a city … but not having to micromanage
– deciding what to do so i like the idea of techtrees because it adds a sense of progression, but this an outdated way of marking progress

3. How My Game Is Trying To Improve 4x Turn-Based Strategy Games?

– tight, small, focused area not a HUGE world (think Batman:Arkham Asylum vs. Batman: Arkham Knight… the – first is a tight, self contained, focused, crafted world, the second is a big openworld)
– instead of a techtree, why not cards players can choose?
– instead of no characters, why not have a dynasty you can play.. where your character grows old and a successor takes over

4. Games That Inspired Me

– Civ
– Old World
– Age of Wonders
– Crusader Kings

Ok, now here’s how this technique can help you…

In my example, I came up with 20 bullets. And for each bullet, I can now turn that into valuable Evergreen Content.

For example, I can write a 500 – 1000 word article or a 5 – 10 minute video on how AI is dumb in 4x games. And then I can talk about my game and how I’m trying to improve AI in 4x games.

And I can write how Civ inspired me to make my game, but then explain the problems with Civ and how I’m trying to improve that formula with my game.

I can do the same thing for all of my bulleted ideas.

You can do the same thing. For each bullet you write down, it can be a topic for your blog or YouTube channel.

Best of all, it’s high-quality, valuable content made FOR players.

And as a little bonus tip: make sure to add a link where a player can download your demo. Your article or video will give them a REASON to want to play your demo.

If you don’t have a demo, then ask them to join your Discord.

You see how you can build a “system” where the marketing is “automated” for you?

If it takes you one week to write an article or make a video, and you have 20 ideas… then in 20 weeks you have a good chunk of your “marketing system” done and working for you.

So you don’t have to spend EVERYDAY creating content. One piece of content a week or two weeks is good enough. Just be consistent, and all your efforts will add up.

So do this RIGHT NOW. Start developing your “discovery marketing system”. Open a Google doc, paste the following…

1. What I Hate About My Genre?

2. What I Love About My Genre?

3. How My Game Is Trying To Improve My Genre?

4. What Games Inspired Me To Make My Game?

…and brainstorm and answer those questions. Use your answers as seeds for new Evergreen Content for your game.

Add make sure you have a link in your article or video where a player can download your demo (or link to your Discord). And in your demo (or Discord) have a link to where a player can wishlist your game.

Start there, and you’ll see that this strategy is the best way for a small game dev who has a small marketing budget get discovered in a crowd and help you sell more game copies.

By the way… if you’re having any trouble or any challenges with any of this, then here’s how to get free help…

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…

In The FREE “Wishlist Workshop” You’ll Learn…

  • Goal is to help you double or triple your game’s wishlists so that your game launch is a success
  • How to differentiate your game in a way so that it “rises to the top” in an overcrowded market place
  • 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.

Start NOW. Click the button on the right to download your free copy of the “Wishlist Workshop”, and start growing your audience!

Thanks! And looking forward to helping you find players!

Later,

Dariusz Konrad
Port Stanley, Ontario
Canada