Thursday, October 21, 2010

All Games Are Crap part 2

Not content with writing about games being crap just once. I home come back to do it again.

So if it isn't the good or bad in games that allow them to do well, what could it be. Why is it that some games do so well compared to others in the same or similar fields. Well to start with i want to say, advertising. Yup, as simple sounding as that is, it is not simple. In fact there are many aspects to advertising a game. From the posters and artwork you see, to screenshots and carefully leaked ideals of gameplay that the new game brings. some may say that advertising (and marketing) do not play a huge role in the selling of a game. I have to refute that idea right away. Why would a large publisher spend 2 million dollars advertising and promoting a game if it did not need to?

In the end a game must be seen by the potential buyer to actually get them to buy it.

Of course advertising a game that has a big 30 million dollar budget is a nescessity, as seen by the huge budgets i just mentioned. What would the sales be like of Darksiders for example if they had not spent so much on blanket advertising and marketing. Just getting that game to E3 must have cost a fortune, and in theory that is just an industry event (yeah right!).

Of course we have a microcosm in the Xblig area. Though all the devs know that visibility is still the key component in selling games, whether they be bad or not is less relevant. Having 10K downloads and selling just 5% is much better than 2K downloads and selling 20%. Of course i do believ something else...

Quality of presentation and gameplay, including music makes a better conversion rate.

This also includes crap games. It is possible to have a simple game that will do well because of it's presentation. I would offer up a particular Avatar game as evidence, but they have had plenty of press recently. The point is that it looks nice enough, the gameplay is ridiculously simple. Yet their conversion rate is high, and why not.

So what can Xbligs do to get the word out about their game? That is a good question and i have been working very very hard this year to try and get word out. I have failed, but i try. One recent group has apparently resorted to publicising their new application by ridiculing the Xblig community through Kotaku. this appears to be a brilliant move. Unfortuneatly i am not very good at that good cop bad cop and being the bad guy thing.

So far the only answer i have to the visibility is to have an Avatar in the title and game. so i will continue to play with them until i have a good game to put them in. I cannot just put them in for the sake of it, like a number of current Avatar games have.

Well thats all from me, Get a huge budget and maybe it will pay off, i have tried spending, but cannot seem to find the Xblig buyers.

Good luck to everyone else


1 comment:

  1. Hey mate.

    There has been very lot fates on several games on XBLIG so far in my opinion. Some were very bad(so they deserved to go down), but some of them were very good. As a consumer of XBLIG's only, Im wondered too, why some (good) games simply dont get the attention they deserve or where 5 star ratings on bad games coming from on the bad games.

    It seems to me, there is no way to totally control the market or the plattform it is nested in (dashboard). And there are lots of other sideffects...for example other retail games out there the same time your own game has been released, no points left in the accounts of possible buyers and perhaps some are just waiting for their monthly income payment.

    Without doubt, a stucked top-download list on the marketplace doesnt help to market a game. Im totally with you on this point, even as a consumer (but its my interest too to see more people playing XBLIG bc of highscore sharing or a competition on the leaderboards).

    At my work Ive noticed, there are three reasons why a customer calls you or not: First of all is qualified work followed up with a good comunication. Last reason wether a customer decide to order my service or not is the pricing (Im wondered too about this order sometimes). If those three point match the expectations of a possible customer, the job is mine. I dont know if it does match on XBLIG also, but I think, there is an equal mechanism on XBLIG at all. I just dont know how they are called exactly. Game quality? Gameplay? Pricing?
    To be able to name those points are the way to success imo-all the best on this task ;-)

    I think, easy games with easy gameplay could bring you a profit in a shorter time. But I still think there is definately an interestes on good (or better) games on XBLIG. Imagine a market with nearby all the same games (lets say all games consists out of avatars)...I would loose interest much faster, bc it would be just an avatar game marketplace to me. In one game youre holding a weapon in another its a golf club.

    I think its good to see several game models on XBLIG and I would appreciate it, to see you not walking the way others have choosen. The market could go to a very boring one once all games look like pretty much the same.

    At the ending of my post on your blog, I say: If I would be a developer, I would be very glad if even one person enjoyed my game. Isnt there anything better to know of?

    Greetings from Germany,