Culture & SocietyBecoming a #Gamedev

A Real Game Developer isn’t in it for the Money!

(That's B.S. Here's why.)

This is not a clickbait title. This is an actual DM I received on Twitter.

This statement was a reply (ostensibly from a game developer?) to an auto-DM I created to welcome my new followers. I have mixed feelings about auto DMs myself. Many followers find them spammy, and they are. But as a marketer, I often dance the line between spam and good publicity and find auto DMs to be generally helpful if politely written.

This particular auto-DM started with, “Are you a game developer?” and proceeded to invite my new follower to visit my Patreon page. Basically, I introduced myself and invited the new follower to visit my page where all my game developer marketing articles live. My Patreon page is intended to be a place where game developer could share my knowledge of marketing to help them expand audience, increase sales and make mo’ money. Everything there is free (as of this writing, May 2017.)

But of course, a real game developer isn’t in it for the money! (?!)

MFW I’m encouraged to work for passion instead of money

I’m not a developer. But I am a creator. And this premise smells like a fresh load of bantha poodoo.

A real game developer need not do what he or she does simply to make some cash. There are plenty of good hobbyists out there that love developing games in their free time. But my response to my follower that day – in my opinion – addressed this thing pretty succinctly. I said something like,

It’s the fans that want the developer to get rich. So they can keep making great games, so we can keep having fun playing those games!

And that’s pretty much how I feel. If you can make me a great game, then do it! If you want five or ten dollars or whatever, then here ya go! Only don’t let your pride stand in the way of a career doing what you love!

You can make games for a living! You SHOULD make games for a living!

If you possess the will, the talent and the discipline to create a good game, then you are more amazing than you know! And if you invest your time wisely, you can get a nice big audience who will not only buy your game, they may just make you rich. I mean, probably not. But dream big, right?

Additionally, if you are willing to invest a little bit of your money in a decent PR Agency, you can save hundreds of marketing hours and spend them on development instead. A good game marketing or PR Agency can take your game and put it in front of hundreds, thousands, or perhaps even millions of eyeballs as you’re gearing up for release day.

A good PR Agency will also maintain a curated list of content creators and targeted consumers. That means your game will be distributed to Let’s Players, streamers, bloggers, social media influencers, big-boy sites like Kotaku and Rock Paper Shotgun, and your GIFs, images, trailers, gameplay videos and more will be on display for general game consumers.

Imagine trying to do all that yourself, while finishing your game at the same time.

If you want to make money as a game developer get on the bus now!

Be a game developer! Make money!

Sorry, I got excited. Let’s get to the point:

Don’t sell yourself short. Making games is very, very difficult. In a global context, hardly anybody has the knowledge, skill and discipline to do it. And to do it in your free time, and do it well, despite family, work and social obligations, means you are probably a bloody genius and you need to make games for a living! And not to get rich. Not for greed. Do it because you owe it to the gaming populace that craves quality games!

If you want to learn more about how to generate an audience (and therefore revenue) for your indie games, check out my other articles. I’m an editor on IndieWatch, a creator on Patreon and I’ve got plenty of information I think might help you on your way. It’s dangerous to go alone.


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Steven Long

Steve is an IndieWatch O.G. He has long supplied marketing information for the aspiring developer. More recently he has been creating content for retrogaming enthusiasts on his YouTube channel. Find him on Twitter @Longie_long and at Patreon.

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