Game developers need a marketing budget of at least €75,000 to get traction for their game, according to games industry consultant Nick Parker.
Speaking at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2016 in a session titled Indieappocalypse, Parker said there have been some exceptional cases, like Campo Santo’s Firewatch, where the team managed to build up a euphoria around the game despite an apparent little marketing spend.
Parker said this was an exceptional case however, and a sizeable marketing budget is generally needed to reach good sales.
Stand out from the crowd
One of the challenges mobile developers face is the large number of games on the App Store and Google Play, which stands at over 600,000 apps. Parker noted that the top grossing charts are typically full of the same games and developers year after year.
He added that with so many apps, supply has outstripped demand as there are more games available than players want.
In the face of these challenges, generally studios need a competitive marketing budget to get their game in front of potential players.
Parker said developers need a business plan for their game, which he claimed most do not have.
This needs to include numerous elements, such as a website for the game that is updated with news, blogs and FAQs.
Developers also need to create preview and launch trailers to show to consumers and send to media, and do PR to try and get previews and reviews of their app. These may also need to be localised and translated for foreign markets.
Social media outreach across platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitch and Twitter was also recommended, as well as a person specialising in marketing if you don’t have the expertise yourself.
“This all sounds so structured and corporate, but unfortunately this isn’t a hobby anymore, we’re running a business,” said Parker.