Jun 19 2014 - Posted by:
Disclaimer: This will be rant-like and won't contain any new information on Resonance, or anything else we might be up to. You have been warned.
So. Marketing. We know a thing or two (or at least we think we do) about developing games, but promoting them has been by far our weakest point.
Admittedly having only attended one of those ( Casual Connect Kiev ) we don't really have a lot of experience. But our (perhaps hastily) drawn conclusions from our experience are:
- We suck at presenting our game properly.
- Lost Echo is not really the kind of game that will do well on these shows. It requires some patience, it requires being able to hear the music and spend some time with it. In the 30 seconds someone takes a look at it at a showcase (all of which are the intro) all he sees are a some lady walking in slow motion going somewhere and then some text, and all of this without sound (because the environment there was generally loud). We can promise people that everything comes together when you put some more time into it, but coming from an unknown developer it doesn't mean much.
- They are kind of fun!
- You get to travel!
- Meeting other devs was awesome.
- It was also kind of depressing.
- Kind of expensive (lodging and traveling expenses).
- We suck at it.
Verdict: Maybe if we get more experience and maybe with a game that is a tad more showcase friendly, it would be a good way of marketing. For Lost Echo though, we're not so sure.
iADs / Facebook mobile app Ads
We are on a budget, we really can't afford an all-out marketing campaign. So this kind of advertising sounds good, right? Although we didn't try it (yet?), all (and I mean ALL) the info that we have gathered, is that they are effective for free apps, but really not so much for paid apps. And the reasons kind of make sense. iADs are displayed in other free apps, which isn't exactly the strongest indicator that the user is willing to spend 3$ on a game he hasn't heard of before. And as far as we can tell the same rules apply for facebook mobile ads.
- It's a pretty cheap solution (at least you can make it cheap).
- It apparently works well enough for free apps.
- But not so much for paid apps like Lost Echo...
Verdict: Well... No.
We had tons (and I mean tons) of offers to straight up buy installs and good reviews. And apparently... it works. Since the app store is chart based, managing to get to the top of the charts means you will stay there for a while, so you will also get a lot more sales organically...
- Apparently it works.
- Kind of expensive.
- Apparently it works (and that's really depressing).
- We wouldn't be able to be proud that our reviews in the app store are generally positive any more.
- We wouldn't be able to live with ourselves.
Verdict: We wouldn't be able to live with ourselves and the fact that this is as widespread as it is and that it actually works is a very depressing subject matter.
Umm... *shrug* Anyone have a walkthrough for this marketing thing?
Turns out, marketing Lost Echo is a puzzle that can't be solved.
Now, in all fairness, we are happy with how Lost Echo is doing sales wise and Apple has featured us quite a few times now. And we've gotten a fair amount of hardcore fans that promote our game (and we really appreciate it). So maybe whatever it is we are doing now (which is, not much), is working. So maybe we don't need to do anything else.
We have a couple of ideas to try though. We recently made a Ludum Dare game called Inner War which we have gotten pretty good feedback on. We thought, and it has been suggested to us by other people, to polish it, make a bigger more complete experience out of it, publish it on mobile devices for free and have it link to Lost Echo. But we also need to work on Resonance as much as we can and we are only 2 people and there's only so much time...