The Gamification of Buying Games
If you’re a PC gamer, you’re most likely familiar with Steam sales, hunting and waiting for the best price on a video game can be addicting, and is almost a game in itself. As a result, we’ve seen many companies jump on the trend recently - providing their own sales platforms - such as daily/weekly deal website Humble Bundle (who donates a portion of sales to charity) and even deal comparison website IsThereAnyDeal.
GOG is another platform that’s aiming for video game sales gamification, but they’re doing something different by not attempting to beat the competition out with lower prices. Instead, they’re focused on “Insomnia Sales” - where only one game is on sale at any given time.
When asked more about the gamification of video games,
GOG VP of North America, Guillaume Rambourg said “What worries me is that in the long run, this could somehow kill the passion of gamers for games. People will stop having an emotional relationship with games, or a feeling of ownership. Maybe they will turn from gamers to consumers [which is what we don’t want]”.
You can read more insight on game sales gamification here on GamesIndustry.
Marketing in the Video Game Industry
Marketing is just as important as development when it comes to a successful video game launch. Unfortunately, the topic is often misunderstood to many people - what is marketing? Is it just another form of blatant advertising to the masses, done by a bunch of snobby salesman?
Not quite. Marketing as a whole, is the profession of creating value for your customers, your collaborators, and your company, through a variety of strategized and creative methods. Without an effective marketing strategy, getting your video game traction in the current competitive market is extremely difficult.
If you’re looking to get a competitive edge on the market, here are 3 don'ts of video game marketing for starters:
- Don’t jump on the bandwagon and make the same video game as everyone else to make a quick buck (i.e. Flappy Bird and its many iteration). Be unique. In the long run, your game will be more sustainable this way - especially since you’ll have more creative marketing angles.
- Don’t target your video game at everyone. Blasting it out to every reporter and consumer is not only intrusive, but also ineffective. Instead, focus on niche target audiences specific to your game - then reach out to them or set specific advertising campaigns for a more effective ROI. You can’t please everyone, so focus on those that you can. Later on, you can expand your target audience.
- Don’t completely make decisions based on focus groups, ait can stifle innovation. This means don’t be the video game that takes in every single suggestion and modifies your game or marketing strategy accordingly - listen to everyone, but make decisions that will improve the bigger picture. Remember, you can’t please everyone.
Justin Fischer, Co-Founder of Clockwork Otter, recently wrote a great article detailing more on what marketing is and how it can be applied to video games on GamaSutra. You can read it here.