Distribution Big Marketing Questions (Help o.O)


Ok, where should I start? I am trying to answer some marketing questions and I have no idea where to start in some of them. I am a programmer and I am planning a release on July and preparing other games to start production.

So, these are the questions:
  1. Competitors: ok, I think I can get the same game quality/content and price tag on SteamDB and know against whom I am pooled against. Am I right on that?
  2. Market Share: What are the size of the market for the specific genre? For example: "when we talk about Turn-Based games in 2018 customers expent $15M" Where can I find this number?
  3. Customer Acquisition Cost: how much does it cost in marketing to aquire a customer?
  4. Consumer Behavior: how a customer reacts to products(games) and how can I influence his decision;
  5. Business Model: ok, that's easy I think. Steam, pay and download model. No freemium or play and pay. I am not that confident on my game to place it as a demo too =/
I am trying to answer these questions to avoid a shot in the dark. With the answers I can measure how much sales I can get in a title. If I multiply this I can get the total revenue and plan my development cost towards a number. For example: if I do a scrolling shooter the market is more towards buying simple games with low production value than buying high cost production games of this genre. With that in mind, I move towards fast development and not so pricy assets.

I know it's kind of big questions, but maybe it's just me being completely cluesless about the matter. If anyone can nudge me in the right direction I would be very happy. =]



4. Send the players real world cash for levelling up. They will love it. I don't think this has been done before. :D

(Hmmm, thinking about this though, I wonder if it would be viable to send real cash rewards to the first 'x' amount of people who achieve 'something' of high standing in the game. I might be on to something here ;). Of course anti cheat measures would have to be top notch).


šŸ§ *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
I think looking up a lot of these marketing questions will just hurt you, because for indies you usually have VERY big differences between studio and studio - average values doesn't apply to anyone, and basing your decisions off of them isn't much better than guesses. Also, don't forget that anything you've got up on a storefront will give you SOME money, so the more stuff you can get out for sale, the more your trickle of income will be... better to fire and forget than try to strike gold and fail... as long as your production quality is high enough that people won't start to outright hate your guts.

I'd stick with just making some high-level decisions (which is also faster than researching all the numbers):
  • Does searching for related games (e.g. "shmup" tag) show a lot of stuff that's clearly better than what you can achieve with the time/money budget you have? If so, it might not be a point to try to compete.
  • Are you comfortable with churning out something shippable of this genre with the profitability constraints you have? If you have no idea about how to make a genre, or hate it personally, you should skip it and do something more comfortable instead.
  • Is there a common thing with all the similar games you can find that EVERY game does? If so, can you make your game WITHOUT that to get your own niche? Likewise, is there something that hasn't been tried in ANY of the games yet you could try? For the shmup example, making a casual game where you don't die in one hit still is pretty rare, most games expect you to be hit at most 3 times in the entire game. Also making a game where you get to DESIGN the beautiful bullet patterns isn't super mainstream.
  • If people HATE a thing, avoid it. Lootboxes is pretty much universally despised now, for instance, and not a lot of people enjoy the "pay money or wait 10 hours" energy systems. You want to make people play your game for as long as possible, any time you give them a reason to put down your game, chances are they might not come back.
  • What systems can you harness to get more content for less effort? Stuff like procedural generation can help you make bigger games faster, so you might wanna squeeze those in wherever you can. Another thing that's easy to miss is having multiple playable characters with RADICALLY different abilities - essentially all your levels can feel completely different if the characters are distinct enough. Changing jumping for a grapple hook, changing standard shmup shots for a sword that forces you into melee range... that kind of stuff. I've seen WAY too many games make playable characters reskins of each other, or only differ in attack power vs HP. Make every character FEEL different or you're just wasting your effort on making stuff that players will feel is redundant.
  • The best way to get people to play a game is to tell them to play it directly. Stick around in social places (twitter, the GMC, whatever) and talk about it, like a person instead of an algorithm. Send mails to LPers, and send new mails if they didn't answer the first one - they're busy people and will forget stuff.


Wow! Thank you very much for your wise words! Love them. =]

I have searched and found SOME numbers, but not the market share, etc. I was doing some research into games that I could develop and ship in less than 6 months. Looked into some SteamDB numbers and did some calculations to measure the interest in that genre, the average price, the sales, the production value.

I think that is the way, like you said. Observe, try to put new mechanics, don't just reskin, adapdt a game to have what I found it's lacking.

Yeah, that's reassuring! Thanks again! =]