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Marketing & Sales for Video Games and Game Jam Kickoff - May 14 @ 2PM ET - Live from Epic HQ

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    [LIVESTREAM] Marketing & Sales for Video Games and Game Jam Kickoff - May 14 @ 2PM ET - Live from Epic HQ

    WHAT
    Getting ready to ship and looking for advice to spread the news? Wondering what you can be doing now to get yourself noticed? Sr. Marketing Manager Dana Cowley returns to the livestream (we know you've all missed her!) along with Head of Licensing, Americas Joe Kreiner and Marketing Manager Amber Sharif to talk about game sales, business negotiations, advertising, and how to market your team and game.

    WHEN
    Thursday, May. 14 @ 2PM ET - [Countdown]

    WHERE
    www.twitch.tv/unrealengine

    WHO
    Chance Ivey - Community Manager - @iveytron
    Dana Cowley - Sr. Marketing Manager - @danacowley
    Joe Kreiner - Head of Licensing, America - @joekreiner
    Amber Sharif - Marketing Manager

    Questions? Let's hear 'em

    Edit: The YouTube archive is now available here

    Last edited by Chance Ivey; 05-17-2015, 10:32 AM.
    Let's Connect [Twitter]

    #2
    I don't think that countdown link is accurate, at least not for me. It's counting up instead of down.
    5 days
    143 hours
    8580 minutes
    514817 seconds

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Tekoppar View Post
      I don't think that countdown link is accurate, at least not for me. It's counting up instead of down.
      5 days
      143 hours
      8580 minutes
      514817 seconds
      I have no clue what you're talking about...
      Let's Connect [Twitter]

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the catch, @Tekoppar.

        Look forward to seeing everyone soon!

        Cheers,
        Dana

        Comment


          #5
          Oh that's sneaky Chance.

          [QUESTION] When should you start marketing your project? I've heard people say anywhere from the moment you've got a project to when you have a demo or a trailer to show off.
          Last edited by Tekoppar; 05-13-2015, 01:13 PM.

          Comment


            #6
            Hi Chance / Dana,
            Sounds interesting... Are you open to accepting questions...?

            #1. Market Flooding:
            The good news is UE4 is free / The bad news is UE4 is free... With the democratization of game engines like UE4 / Unity, the games market stands to become flooded with 'low-hanging-fruit' from India to China and other developing countries. This onslaught may be accompanied by extra-loud-digital-marketing and perhaps even more manipulation of Voting / Ratings systems to artificially boost sales (Flappy birds). Does Epic offer any strategies to tackle all of this noise?

            #2. Procedural Everything leaves more time for Marketing:
            Games that have unique selling points may rise above the noise, for example games that utilize Procedural Game Design like No Man's Sky etc. Does Epic see the merits of Procedural Everything for small teams trying to compete with larger studios? Because if Indie Teams can build quality games quicker, there's more time leftover for marketing... But we'd need to see more Procedural elements in UE4 like Dynamic Landscaping etc. What's the odds of that happening?
            Last edited by ClavosTech; 05-13-2015, 02:03 PM.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Tekoppar View Post
              Oh that's sneaky Chance.

              [QUESTION] When should you start marketing your project? I've heard people say anywhere from the moment you've got a project to when you have a demo or a trailer to show off.
              This is a very good question.

              [Question] What's the best way to balance self promotions and marketing tactics without exposing too much of our games or events that take place in the game. As indies we are at a huge disadvantage and in order to get followers and people interested in our game we have to consistently be promoting new development of the games progress, features, events etc. Being transparent during development is good but it can also be harmful.

              Comment


                #8
                I would say there are a ton of quality motion graphics artists / video production people here. If you need some help with creating marketing videos, reach out in the help wanted.

                A website that I found extremely useful is http://www.videocopilot.net
                WIP: Science Project - A collection of middle school through advanced college level science theory and formula-based functions for use in your own projects
                World Machine to UE4 Export Macro
                WM Folder Generator - Creates a folder that you name with HeightMap, NormalMap, SplatMap, and Tile sub-folders

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hey everyone, please keep the questions coming.

                  It helps to see them here first so we can start teeing up recommendations ahead of time and more thoughtfully consider the challenges you're facing.

                  We'll cover as much as we can on the stream tomorrow. Happy to go over an hour!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    How to market to people without direct buying power?

                    For example, a kickstarter or steam campaign might be virtually useless if a game appeals to elementary or middle school crowds. Larger companies that have a proven history, capital and cash flow can reach out to TV, cartoon networks, etc. that connect with the younger crowd. But on a bootstrap budget, this seems unrealistic.

                    It's not uncommon for indie devs to build games for their kids or nieces/nephews, but have difficulty with game exposure beyond word of mouth or local communities.
                    Earthborn Interactive | Flutter Bombs | MageWorks

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Chance / Dana
                      Thanks for responding to the question about "noise".... Any chance I can get Epic's thoughts about this too:-

                      #2. Procedural Everything leaves more time for Marketing:
                      Games that have unique selling points may rise above the noise, for example games that utilize Procedural Game Design like No Man's Sky etc. Does Epic see the merits of Procedural Everything for small teams trying to compete with larger studios? Because if Indie Teams can build quality games quicker, there's more time leftover for marketing... But we'd need to see more Procedural elements in UE4 like Dynamic Landscaping etc. What's the odds of that happening?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Here are my notes from before the stream, steam of consciousness style:

                        Start smart
                        ----------------
                        Incorporate early
                        Memorable name
                        - "Not 3 16 year olds in a garage" or "Wekindasuck.com"
                        - Epic Mega Games! (It was just Tim!)
                        Clean, simple logo
                        - Think about one color printing
                        - Being easily sized
                        - Have a vector version that can be modified for print, web, etc.
                        - Should not look like a Heavy Metal band logo from 80's (it was cool when you were 14)
                        - Focus test it with friends and family!
                        Have a business plan EARLY
                        - understand the $ needed to go to market (dev cost + PR + marketing + operations)
                        - budget for marketing
                        - Don't "hope it works out", cause it won't

                        Marketing 101
                        ----------------------
                        Community, Community, Community
                        Forums, Twitter, Twitch, Youtube, Facebook, etc
                        - go where your community is! do everything, see what gets the best response
                        Instagram is taking off, some folks are experimenting with Snapchat and Periscope
                        Build a game personality, or in marketing speak "A Brand"
                        - Talk about what that means
                        Look at what other successful indies have done
                        - Torn Banner, Tripwire, Coffee Stain
                        Identify your most active community members
                        - consider hiring them, or giving special access

                        Finish Smart
                        -------------------
                        Target the best platform for your kind of title
                        - console is an open market (no barriers!), not enough content right now!
                        - mobile scary
                        - Steam crowded, but rewarding
                        Kickstarter is a great marketing tool. Terrible funding source.
                        - If your Kickstarter fails, it should tell you the market doesn't want your game. (Yes, it's that brutal.)
                        - If any of your are out there with the sole plan of using Kickstarter to fund the entire dev budget of your title - there is a high likelyhood of failure.
                        - If I don't know you, or your IP - Kickstarter probably not a good idea.
                        Steam Early Access can be a great way to earn a little $ to bridge the gap to launch. It also can be a great marketing tool.
                        Treat both of the above as product launch - with huge effort in marketing/awareness/push
                        Lean on partners for help! Epic, nVidia, ID@Xbox, Sony, Apple, Google, Amazon, Logitech, Razor all have opportunities to leverage for marketing/tradeshow presence/contests/etc
                        - Sony is being particularly friendly to indie devs! PS Plus opportunities!
                        Go to tradeshows. Raises visibility + gets you in front of the press. PAX, Indiecade, etc. Yes, it's expensive.
                        Youtube/Twitch reviewers(players?) are worth their weight in gold, try to get one excited about your game.
                        Focus on a platform at launch, but if success - have a plan to port to everything else. Build a long term income stream to fund future activities
                        Have a plan for post launch regular, frequent updates. Each update = more sales.
                        Watch your metrics.
                        - A slow rise in # of players is actually good, will hit momentum at some point. (SMITE is a great example.)
                        - Know when to walk away.
                        There are some small publishers that can help with marketing/PR (and some funds). 505 Games, VS. Evil, Sierra Online, etc. May be right for you, may not.

                        Making the game is the easy part. Don't discount good marketing/PR/biz dev!

                        Joe Kreiner
                        Engine Licensing for the Americas
                        Epic Games
                        joe.kreiner@epicgames.com
                        @joekreiner

                        Comment

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