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If you had a game in beta state and wanted to make some money, which would you choose

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by msurma, Aug 11, 2018 at 11:11 AM.

  1. msurma

    msurma

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    Hey, guys (and girls). If you had a game in beta state and wanted to make some money, which would you choose:

    a) publish on steam in early access

    b) sell (maybe preorder?) on your own webpage

    regards,
    Mariusz
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2018 at 8:24 PM
  2. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    Make sure its in beta and not early alpha. It can be hard to look objectively at your games state. We failed at this at released way too early to EA. If you are really ready for EA i think steam is the way to go. But you need to have a community first. Have you made PR for your game on reddit etc?
     
    frosted likes this.
  3. msurma

    msurma

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    @AndersMalmgren thanks for response :)
    My game is not yet ready for EA; I am just trying to make some kind of plan for future. Community thing is worrying me most though. I am very bad at this... I am wondering whether selling cheap beta version of a game well in advance could be helpfull to actully make a project more visible???
     
  4. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    No. Every day there are hundreds of games releasing to Steam and thousands to the mobile platforms. Without marketing the game will simply be buried when you release it. If you want to have any chance at success that isn't complete luck you will need to market beforehand or hire someone else to do it like a publisher.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018 at 2:14 PM
    Billy4184 likes this.
  5. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Games usually live and die in the weeks/months after release. Releasing a beta at a low price point, in my opinion, would cement in people's minds a particular idea about your game that you probably don't want. Media will probably not cover it twice.

    In a crappy market, don't race to the bottom (or even pretend to in order to get people's attention). Compete on diligence and quality and build your brand that way. If no one will pay attention to you on that basis, and you've really done a good job, it's simply not worth being in that market at all.
     
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  6. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    I like the way Niche did it.
    1. Distribute free copies to YouTubers with competitions and incentives to increase public knowledge of the game
    2. Launch in early access with a higher price then the game will have at launch. This keeps your early access community down to those who want to participate in the development.
    3. Full launch at normal price.
    But honestly, if you are in the stage of 'need cash fast to keep eating', I would go for an entirely different strategy. If you've got a game to beta state, you have marketable skills as a freelancer. Or you could simply take on a day job. If you have a track record of successful games you could apply for a grant or loan.
     
    Martin_H likes this.
  7. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    Selling it on your own website is only viable if you can drive a lot of traffic to your own website. Selling through Steam will nearly always be vastly more successful.

    Advantages of Steam:
    1) Trusted by gamers, so they are willing to buy through Steam.
    2) Has great updating solution already built in, so it only pushes the updated part to users.
    3) Usually provides significantly more traffic than a usual game website.
     
    Kiwasi likes this.
  8. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    Youtubers dont play your game for free this days, atleast not the ones with any followers. Funny thing is, most of them do not mentioned they got paid to play them. Which goes against the law, atleast here in the EU
     
  9. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    There is a flag they should be setting saying it is sponsored. Reputable infulencers do.
     
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  10. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    A number of YouTubers have begun showing "This video was sponsored by X" at the start of their videos too.
     
  11. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Can't afford to pay youtubers at all. Don't really see why we are supporting that unhealthy for developer industry.
     
  12. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    Just remember that your Early Access release is your official release. No one will care months or years later when your game transitions from EA to full release. It won't be thought of as a new game at that point, just an old game that got its latest patch.
     
  13. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    Ugh... so, I don’t like anything about the whole thing. Not a fan of the content, don’t like supporting or encouraging it. That said... the roi is very high, better in many ways than traditional advertising, and the quality of users acquired though influencer campaigns is high as well. I really don’t like it, but I accept that it works.
     
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  14. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    We did one, where the influencer did this crazy 10 minute short film where they acted out one of games, with full costumes and props, and even imitated the cartoony style runs and movements in our game. It was actually pretty cool, and it was all their idea and work. It gained some virality and was a great investment. Most are just "let's play" type things, and those aren't fancy or anything, but they do bring in the numbers.
     
  15. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    That is why I mentioned incentivising it.

    YouTube is a complex space, the same way game dev is. There are plenty of small YouTubers out there who will play your game just for the donation of a steam key. The biggest ones will play your game if you pay or otherwise incentivise. Those in the middle will play your game off their own back if it proves popular and promises to bring in views.

    YouTube is a marketing avenue that shouldn't be ignored.
     
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  16. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    It looks to me this is the sort of thing I would need to enlist the help of a publisher with. There is absolutely no chance I can spare time from game development to research, enlist, create a schedule that aligns well with release, afford it, manage it...

    So these are things for a good ROI, I would need to invest in a publisher to support. This cuts into development.

    I would love to but it's very difficult still.
     
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  17. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    Too true. I would have bet money that this type of thing was pointless, and I wouldn’t have clue where to even start. Most of our team is probably about the same. We only became aware of it when we brought on a marketing specialist who had the time and knowledge to dedicate to the effort. It’s a lot of specific knowledge that isn’t in my wheelhouse (or a lot of developers).
     
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  18. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    There are plenty of agencies that work between YouTubers (and other influencers) and companies. YouTube is a space that most businesses don't understand. But by the same token, most YouTubers don't understand business space either. Game development is probably closer to YouTube production then most traditional businesses, but its still a different space.
     
  19. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    In other words, nobody understands anything. :)
     
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  20. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    I can tell you many of the big influencers do not honer that, for example we contacted one of the bigger VR influencers, they responded that they had a big waiting list but that I could sponsor them to get first in the list. And that channel never displays anything that they are sponsored.

    edit: Also they didnt gave me a quote but wanted me to give say a number, very unprofessional. Its always the contractor that should give a price
     
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  21. moonjump

    moonjump

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    Some do. And there is money to be made by anyone who does know in an area where most do not. Perhaps that is why influencer prices seem so high at the moment.
     
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  22. Stese

    Stese

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    I think it's more 'no one understands everything' to be fair.
     
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  23. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    I think it's "hundreds of thousands of people try to make it on youtube and by a selection process so complex it can only be practically be described as random do some get chosen over others. Then, from there, money creates more money, so easily that it's almost foolproof. Ironically, as the money grows, so does the money-makers ego, and they attribute their money-making power not to the intrinsic nature of money and capitalistic markets, but to some special god-like power they possess -- some deep understanding, blah blah blah."

    There is no complex secrets in either the case of youtube or traditional business. The same values that carried your family into existence from tadpoles in a primordial swamp are the same values that define success today. Observation, adaptability, persistence.
     
  24. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

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    And besides knowledge, a loooot of grunt work over the years, because all the influencers have in common is they're so incredibly consistent. Uploading every single day, year after year showing up with their face and their voice, starting out with no budget and no one's help, and very little chance of success. That is extremely valuable.

    If we wanted to do that, we'd have to quit game development, so probably the answer is try to get a publisher or someone who did that long term hard work, so we can focus on the game. That's why I like the Asset Store, I do virtually no marketing, apparently Asset Store shuffles content so every now and then everyone gets exposure, other stores just pushes old content further back and after 2 weeks it's forgotten.. unless you got that marketing budget under your sleeve. The more I think about it, the more I would like a game store that works similarly to the Asset Store, if it worked similarly, I don't think I'd need Steam at all.
     
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  25. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    This kind of demonstrates my earlier point about not understanding each other.

    Influencers are not professionals. That's exactly the point of using them. They reach markets that professional advertising doesn't. They get to audiences that switch off when they see a polished program.

    As to the price, that's very situation dependent. Its very hard for an influencer to judge their value to a brand, and vice versa. Prices range from "I'll give you free product samples" to "I'll fund your entire operation for a year". Knowing who you are dealing with and which end of the spectrum they fall onto helps influencers to choose if they want to work with you.

    Influencers are also not contractors. If you want a contractor, go to an advertising agency. Influencers don't work for you, they work for their viewers. Their primary role is to create engaging content for their viewers. If a sponsorship deal happens to line up with their viewers interests, they will be interested. Otherwise it really doesn't matter how much money you offer.
     
  26. BrandyStarbrite

    BrandyStarbrite

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    Interesting.
    Didn't microsoft do something like that with Sea of Thieves?
     
  27. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    If you charge for your service your are both a professional and a contractor. By definition.
     
  28. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Don't play the semantics game with me. You know exactly what I was saying.
     
  29. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    I'm not, they are making money of it, the largest influencers which I talk about here has it as their main and only income
     
  30. QFSW

    QFSW

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    No not really, their main income is the videos, the viewers. you are not their main income by any means
     
  31. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    They get paid to make videos and publish those, they are professionals. On paper, in reality they don't know the meaning of the word.