I know a game developer who is in serious trouble…
Let’s call him James.
He spent 2 years toiling away on his game development project.
He finally released it on both Itch.io and GameJolt, and was surprised when it got mostly ignored.
Over the course of the past month, his game gotten a total of 10 plays.
He’s crushed, and is thinking about quitting the industry.
James isn’t alone. I’ve heard many similar stories from many similar developers.
When it comes to marketing your indie game, it’s important to work backwards from where your ideal customers are.
In game development, your customers are gamers in your given niche.
When it came to marketing SanctuaryRPG, I asked myself… where are roguelike gamers hanging out online?
So, I slowly built a community on reddit over six months time and that was the catalyst that got SanctuaryRPG over 500,000 downloads.
I love Reddit, but I wasn’t just trying to get traffic. I genuinely enjoyed reading stuff about roguelikes, and so I joined the community. I lurked for a good few months, learning the intricacies of the platform.
So, I’m asking you…
Where does your group of customers hang out?
If you’re looking for success, get active where your ideal customers are and start posting stuff!
One word of warning though… don’t just go spamming your links all over the place. Spamming links might actually work for the short term, but you’re just going to be considered spammy and get filtered out by people and/or algorithms eventually.
Don’t do this.
As far as finding your community? Well, some places online that are good can be…
1. Facebook groups
2. Various subreddits
3. Various gaming forums
4. The comments section on YouTube
Do at least ONE valuable thing every day to contribute to your chosen community, and don’t ask for anything in return.
Sound simple? It really is, but don’t be the person who only speaks up when they need something.
The trick to good game marketing is consistency and knowledge.
Find out where your audience hangs out online.
Then choose one or two communities to focus on, and take 15 minutes out of your busy day to visit that community.
Read those comments, and then contribute.
Share screenshots of your game, then ask for feedback.
Give people free copies of your game, then ask for feedback.
Figure out what they want first, THEN give your audience what they’re looking for.
You can’t force people to be interested.
You also can’t assume that you have exactly what they’re looking for — you can only give them what they actually want.
Ask your players directly, then give your audience exactly what they’re looking for.
Before you spend a billion hours fleshing out and adding content to your game, make sure that it’s something that your audience actually wants.