PLA Studios's Tom Page offers advice for indies on how to market and sell their games
There are three strategies developers can use to increase the chances of getting their game noticed on mobile, according to PLA Studios’s Tom Page.
Speaking to Develop, Page said there was no effective single solution to improving discoverability in such as crowded market as mobile, unless a developer had partnered with or licensed an IP or brand and was able leverage its profile, but even this would require marketing spend.
His first piece of advice was to spot the target audience before a developer starts developing a game, echoing similar advice by Player Research’s Graham McAllister at this week’s F2P Summit how to successfully monetise a title.
Page also noted that creating a multiplayer game would immediately alienate consumers who play on their own – an important point to consider when developing such a title.
“Be sensible about the potential market. Who might be interested in playing your game? Right at the start, before you do anything, look at your design/idea from the point of view of who would play it,” he said.
“You need to be aware that if you are making a multiplayer game, no one who plays primarily on their own - for whatever reason - is going to consider your game. So your potential market is reduced, not matter how amazing your game is.”
Secondly, Page said the presentation of a mobile game’s store page and game icon were other hugely important factors to gaining attention on the app stores.
“Just as important is how you present your game. Your store icon, game name and description will all play a big part in what proportion of people make that leap from seeing a reference to your game and investigating it further, then potentially downloading it.”
Page’s final tip for indie developers was to ensure they do some form of marketing.
He said that while a game’s quality could speak for itself, the developer needs to get that conversation started, and also advised bringing in a professional to help get the word out.
“Do some marketing/advertising/PR - Even just a little bit, but don't do none!” he said.
“Yes it costs time and probably some money too and you'd rather spend that time/money on polishing the game. Your game's quality will hopefully speak for itself, but you still need to get that conversation started and that may well take more resources than you expect. So get a professional to do it, there are a huge number of different promotional routes you can take, but just recognise early on that this side of things does need attention.”