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The Marketing Guide for Game Developers

Illustrations by <a href="">Dom2D</a>
Illustrations by Dom2D
Welcome to “The Marketing Guide for Game Developers”.  The Guide is basically the classic marketing mix adapted to game development and therefore it is structured along the 4 Ps:
I. The Game Itself (=Product)
II. Communication/Promotion
III. Price
IV. Distribution
(furthermore there is also another section called V. Experiences with additional marketing related information)
A big update regarding this marketing guide is still in the works which will cover much more aspects (mainly strategic). More info about about it can be found here. A few recent articles and videos from 2018 can be found here.
Source of Images: The simple diagrams are made by myself and the fine Illustrations are made by Dom2D. Big thanks to him!


brainstorming I. THE GAME ITSELF

The game itself builds the foundation on which all the other marketing stuff is built upon.

Key Question:
Is the game interesting enough that those people who are into the genre (=target group) would like to play it?
Genre fans want to play “more from the same…but different”.


star 1. Core Quality of the Game

lightbulb 2. Differentiating Factors of the Game

tag 3. The Name of the Game

future-projects 4. Updates for the Game


A proper communication/promotion strategy increases the chances that the game gets relevant attention.

Key Question:
How is it possible to reach those people who probably like the game (=target group) and get them interested in the game? Thus when they see the game on the internet (websites, youtube, social media, digital stores…) or somewhere else (retail stores, events) they think: “Ooooh… that looks really interesting. I need to check that game out!”. A well made (gameplay heavy) trailer, proper GIFs and fine screenshots are key to achieve the desired reaction.


home 1. The Website

1.1 Website & Blog Creation (Domain, Hosting, Design)

1.2 List of Websites and Blogs from Game Developers

showreel 2. The Video

2.1 Screenrecording and Video Editing Software

2.2 Trailer Creation

2.3 GIF Creation

photography 3. The Screenshots

3.1 Screenshot Creation

order-check 4.The Press Kit

4.1 Content and Examples of Press Kits

pen 5. Contacting The Press

5.1 How To Contact Press

comment 6. The Blog

6.1 Blogging Software + Themes

6.2 Blogging Ideas for Game Developers

6.3 List of Websites and Blogs from Game Developers

email 7.The Newsletter

7.1 Newsletter Tools

7.2 List of Game Developers who use Newsletters

customers 8. Social Media

8.1 Social Media Stuff (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, YouTube, IndieDB…)

8.2 List of Forum Software

freelance 9. Game Jams

9.1 List of Game Jams

flag 10. Sales Promotion

10.1 Discounts

10.2 Cross Promotion

plus 11. Side Projects

11.1 List of Side Projects

ticket 12. Events & Festivals

12. List of Events & Festivals

advertising 13. Advertising

13.1 Advertising


A proper pricing strategy is needed which fits the game and is right for the target group.

Key Question:
Is the price reasonable and acceptable to those potential customers who are into the genre (=target group)?


invoice 1. Pricing Strategies

cost 2. Discount Strategies

product-box IV. DISTRIBUTION

Since the majority of games get bought from digital stores it is important to get relevant visibility there. (which is not easy due to various factors).

Key Question:
Is the game available at the store(s) that the customer visits and is it presented in a way that it looks appealing to the potential customer? (banner, reviews, trailer, screenshots, description, tags…)


calendar 1. Release Date

shipping 2. Direct Distribution

sitemap 3. Indirect Distribution


Things are changing fast in the games industry. Be sure to get new and relevant information from other developers in order to stay up to date.

1. Big List of Indie Game Marketing

2. Video Game Postmortems

4. Game Revenue and Sales

How indie games get discovered, evaluated and bought

the important aspect here is to have a game that is interesting enough (for those that are into the genre).
otherwise it stops right at the discovering phase…

Factors to consider when marketing an indie game


The diagram tries to explain which factors might influence the amount of sales.
(of course it is not perfect and therefore if you have ideas to improve it consider to contact me)

Game Itself: what is the overall quality of the game? how is its name? does it differentiate itself from other games from the same genre? is it updated with fresh content after release?
Communication: how well is the game presented/promoted? does the website/screenshots/trailer/gameplay videos etc. present the game well?
Distribution: is the game distributed well? is it easy to buy? is it available in the stores that the customer prefers?
Price: is the price of the game reasonable and accepted by those customers who are into the genre?

Press: is the game interesting enough for press/youtubers for coverage? does press/youtubers know about the game? is the game covered by press/youtubers? how well received is the game by press/youtubers?

Customers: is the game interesting enough for the customer who is into the genre? does the customer know about the game? is the game easy to buy? is the price accepted? does the customer like the game enough to recommend it to others? does the customer like the game enough to possibly buy the next game from the same developer?

Market: what does the market for the genre look like? how big is the demand for the genre? is the market saturated already?

Competition: How does the game look like compared to the best from the genre? Is the game of better quality than the genre kings or same quality or worse?

Other: stands for all other possible factors such as zeitgeist/trend, timing, new technology…

Amount of sales: all factors considered might influence the amount of sales… shorter explanation might be: eyeballs * conversion rate = amount of sales.