When it comes to releasing a game a lot of emphasis seems to be on making it big in America. Which is strange, as that is not the biggest part of the market. We think of making money by selling copies or in-game items, what if there is another way?
The Biggest Market for Games
The three top app markets are in Asia. To be specific, we are talking China, Japan and South Korea. This shouldn’t really be surprising but when we have become so blinkered to aim for western countries, it blocks out the obvious. With the populations of these countries and how popular gaming is in them, they could easily be the leading market for all types of games.
If you do wish to target this large portion of the market, you have to be mindful of a few things. Firstly if you are not fluent in a language you wish to publish your game in, do not use an online translator. Get someone who is native to that language and you will avoid embarrassing translation errors. This can also help translate any linguistic jokes that may not work with a direct translation.
Culture is different in different countries, surprisingly enough! This means you have to consider the culture difference. It is not only culture but every country will have areas of their past they are not proud of. It is best to steer clear of those types of subject.
If you can bypass the obstacles and get your game into one of these countries, you have drastically increased the size of your market. It will be hard work but arguably it is worth doing.
What If My Game Has a Very Specific Target Audience?
Sometimes, a game will only appeal to a small portion of gamers. This can mean not many copies sell and that can deter developers from considering making these games. Though there might be a solution on the horizon. Hatch is a game streaming system currently being tested. Not streaming as in Twitch though more Spotify style steaming.
This software allows players to game without having to download the game. This enables them to have a vast library of games to play on their mobile phone. As a gamer this idea is great. No need to worry about storage or paying for a game that you might not like. You play anything you want and have it all in one easy to access area.
What about developers though? Well this system has a unique method of payment. Instead of payment based on how many times the game has been “bought” you will be paid based on how long the game is played. If you have a game that will appeal to a very niche market but the players will play for hours you could earn more than a popular game that many people only play once for five minutes.
Hatch has not yet been released but this could be the new way to market your game.
What About a New Genre?
For the last year a new style of game has been emerging, the chat games. My previous experience with these had been short puzzles or something repetitive like scoring hoops. This genre is starting to burst into to life though and has really flipped my opinion on them. With their current rise in popularity this might be the bandwagon to jump on.
A lot of people have Facebook and I mean a lot! A chat game is available to all these people, people who wouldn’t be on Steam or own a console. This platform gives you access to people who don’t even know they are gamers yet. This might be the market your game needs, something simple and easily accessible to a multitude of people.
It is always worth considering the popularity of a market at the time of your release so you can get your game in a space that will receive a lot of attention. You can not just release a game and expect a player to find it, you must place it in the best place for it to get seen.
It All Comes Down to Publicity, Darling!
No matter where you put a game the most important thing is publicity. Get people to notice your game on their social media or email and that will tempt them to have a look. Do not be shy to self promote, even if it is to an audience you don’t think would be interested. They may see it and pass on information to friends and family who are interested.
Any article that I tweet about on my personal twitter receives more views than ones that I don’t mention. Get your idea out there and market it to everybody. Do not limit yourself as that will just limit the attention your game receives.