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GDC2011 Lessons learned in successfully marketing

Lessons learned in successfully marketing games on PSN/XBLA and pc digital; what worked and what didn't

James Brooksby
James.brooksby@doublesixgames.com
Http://www.doublesixgames.com

Good relationships with Microsoft and Sony
Working in partnerships with game funding, non work for hire

Office reflects Peter Pan syndrome

Building direct relationships with community and marketing and will continue to enhance through social networ portals and club building

Achieves marketing strategy through minimal internal resource and select contractors (low cost)

Burn Zombie Burn!
Time to build, 10 months, maximum 9 staff
Special deal with Sony, exclusivity in return for guaranteed revenue

Launch window activities
Launch party at major industry event, zombie actors and stickers
Pr round trip in us
Sony eblast
Sony blog
Sony website competition
Facebook advertising
Talking to everyone, including smaller sites as you never know
Post high score on YouTube, sent out 3d zombie models to top few

Continuing activities
Competition in USA to win holiday to Paris and Egypt (extra 4000 sales)
Ps home launch 34% increase in sales and virtual items for sale
Premium theme
Halloween party in ps home with extra virtual items
Sony Asia
In to Germany (was initially 18 rated and couldn't be sold there)
Amazon.com
Strategy guide (first, digital)
Pc version (boxed and through steam)
Expansion pack (bzb in space)
- highly recommend DLC if your game can support it
More home items
Price fluctuation - half price
Bundle packs
Promote at Halloween
Playstation plus

Future activities
Japanese launch
Mac version
In a retail box
Toys and more...
Next expansion pack (zombie sushi)(in line with Japanese launch, but will be worldwide)
iPhone / smartphone version
More home items, price changes, bundles
Move
NGP
Follow up;-)

Digital sales not good before thanksgiving, large game releases during that time frame

Sales spikes with each little marketing or added content
Huge spike in sales with playstation plus
spikes and pits, weekends vs weekdays
Don't look at your sales on Wednesday, wait until Sunday
Drop right before thanksgiving, back up before Christmas
About 50% attach rate on DLC

Launch party cost, total $8000
launch value
Great launch press coverage
Launch window sales 38,000
Strong industry positive feedback including from platforms

Conclusions, take aways
1st months number approximate 19% of lifetime
1st months approximate 14% of lifetime
Many suggest 1st month up to 40%
don't panic on weekdays
Promote on holidays
Play with price, especially on holidays
Except thanksgiving
Make DLC
Reach the world
Port, but don't be lazy with polish and attention
Virtual goods are great
Competitions work
Create good relationships with platform holders
Think about your release date
Be good with stats/ numbers
Spend money on PR and marketing
Talk to others who are doing it
Make a game the team cares about, and you will make a good game
Have a great team of enthusiasts
Understand the new world and pay attention to it, it changes all the time
Talk to everyone
Try stuff, experiment
Expand your franchise, I can't stop ;-)

Production cost about $700,000 - marketing cost about $90,000

Audience q&a
Price points vs dev costs, amount of content, etc

Easier to drop price, very difficult to raise it
Think hard about it, don't want to see everything trending downward

Qa - how to choose a PR company
Ask gaming mags who they like, ask other devs for recommendation
Look at your favorite game company and whom they used

Qa - value of facebook, twitter versus traditional channels

Storefront is biggest, beyond that it's difficult to work out value
Depends on your game and product, what do they like and use and target them
Balance cost versus common sense

--Tom Ogburn

posted on Sunday, March 06, 2011 11:49 AM by TOgburn

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