Advices on Pre Marketing for a game on steam

Hey Guys,

We are a team of 3 people working on an Hunting RPG for steam. We are getting closer to the completion of the project. I would like to know how should we approach about marketing/pre marketing and stuffs. Any advise would be of great help!

Marketing your game and generating “buzz” is a full-time job. If you are a group of game-developers you’ll should hire someone to do this at least 2 months before releasing your game on Steam. Making a game successful on Steam is not about the game itself, you can create a ****** game and still sell it millions of times - or you can do the opposite, create something awesome and have a dead game no-one cares about after 3 months. Without “buzz” noone generates “Reach” for your game, you want to have someone who constantly takes care of social media, important Twitch/YouTube channels and gaming web-sites to build up “Buzz” for your game. The more effort put into this, the more sales it generates on launch. If you don’t reach the critical amount after 1-2 weeks after Launch your game won’t last long enough.

After your release things are different. Every day after release someone releases a new game, a distraction from your game, and if those people shout louder your sales go down because someone new came out. That your sales go down after a while is normal for every game sold on Steam, but the trick or the true skill is to slow down that process as much as possible to receive the maximum amount of sales possible.

With each game you release on Steam things get a bit easier, because you then already have your network of Youtubers/Twitch Streamers and contacts within the gaming magazines. You still have to do the same amount of work but at least you don’t have to initiate contact anymore with a few 100 people.

Excellent post!

But the tricky question is, who should you hire, what should their background be, and how much should you pay them…

This is what a real publisher is there for. Now in case of Steam, Steam is supposed to be your publisher but since they manage so many games they do not really take care of your product as you are directly competing with the games on their platform - they are simply too big so you cannot really blame them for that.

I cannot talk for others but we usually offer indies to either

a) Buy their game before release for a fixed amount. Evaluate the game and try to measure it’s potential to come up with an offer, this is usually a lot lower than the predicted sales since the sales are 100% our risk.

b) Royalty based on sales, usually 15% for a period of 3 - 6 months pre/post launch. Where we just do the daily marketing/community management/PR activities while the game devs handle the sales process themself sending us the share on a monthly basis (excluding the first month since Steam does not pay you within the first 60 days)


c) (For smaller dev groups) Royalty based on sales but for the lifetime of the game, but also handling the sales process and listing the game on Steam. This makes sense if you live in the US or Europe and don’t have access to a tax-friendly corporate setup or simply don’t want to be bothered with that. For example Steam will automatically take the US Tax cut which can be either 30% or just 5%, depending on where your company resides and if there is a double taxation treaty with your country. The loss due to taxes can be quite high with the wrong setup - or even backfire later with tax issues when the corporate structure is not properly setup. So usually we try to convince smaller indie developers going with this scheme because the amount of money you safe by letting us handle the sales process actually higher than the royalty we charge. It’s a win-win situation here since the total tax paid is maybe 5-10% instead of 25% Private Tax on top of 25% corporate tax on top of 30% US Tax.

I know EA actually buys games off indi games from time to time as well so you could contact of course also one of the big ones out there for publishing the game. It all comes down to switching the priorities from actual development to selling the game.

where we can find some good a indie-friendly game publishers?