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How to Not Market Your Game – actionable insights into hell

How to Not Market Your Game? That’s a question you should ask yourself too. Here’s why!

Ahoy hoy!  You know, I want to help all you courageous indie game developers with the biggest caveat you often ignore.  Marketing!  Yes, it’s the word that makes you say ah fuck why do I have to do that shit for?!  I know dick all about fucking marketing!  That’s okay I’m going to help…you cranky son of a bitch.  Yes, I can assist you with this business quagmire as I possess a degree in marketing…no really, I’m not being sarcastic.

But as I began to assemble my thoughts I was slapped with a stunning realization.  There are 7,390,684 blogs on how to market a game.  In between their hot and heavy porn sessions, anyone can dry off their sweaty palms and Google the subject.  I strongly felt I could take this subject into new awesome territory.  So I decided to warn you about what NOT to do while marketing your game.  Remember when people zig, cut off their fingers so you can zag without those asshats copying.


Your Game is A ‘Blank’ Killer

You know what one of my all-time favorite game franchises is?  The Legend of Zelda.  You know how I feel when someone shows me a game shouting “it’s a Zelda Killer”?  Like punching them in their stupid fucking face!  Nothing would please me more than meeting and beating the pylon who first came up with this conceited shit.  How dumb do you have to be to convince yourself you can kill good game design?!!!

Never eeeeeeever market your game as franchise killer.  That’s you demeaning everything your audience loves about the games they play.  Belittling what people adore won’t attract them to buying your game anymore then when the femnists told men to watch the new Ghostbusters or they’re sexist.  Four women and a giant Mangina director telling me I’m a lady hater for not giving them $16.50 to see their cinematic puke does not a good marketing strategy make.

Self-proclaimed game killers are generally replicating what’s already being done while saying that it’s so much better.  And making such a ballsy claim never pays off.  Show me one franchise that successfully killed another.  Don’t say Sonic because Mario never killed him….Sega executed that murder all on their own.  This leads me to another marketing tactic that puts blood in my stool…


My Game is Like this Game

No it’s not you fucking tool!  Your survival horror game is not like Resident Evil.  Your action exploration game is not like Uncharted.  Your penis is not like Ron Jeremy’s.  We’re gamers and we’re intelligent.  You can’t fool us into thinking your five-man team can prepare a triple A steak, let alone a triple A game.

People like originality not the same shit replaying itself.  If you’re trying to market your game like another game, especially a successful one, your game is on the train to Atari Auschwitz!  Do not get greenlit.  Do not collect integrity.  It will never live up to the hype to the title you stupidly compared it to.  And don’t get me started on my game is like Metroidvania.


No Marketing at All

Here’s a fucking genius move you may want to avoid.  Don’t laugh, these bitches be lazy.  Releasing your game without any form of marketing AND expecting it to rain golden showers (of gold coins you sick freak!) is utter lunacy.  Can the unthinkable strike?  Sure!  The odds are 5,909,578 to 1, but lightning can definitely strike you right in the crotch popping your pouches…or if you’re a girl, scrambling your eggs.  Your game however…not a choir boy’s chance in a cathedral.

I understand there’s the odd story where someone releases a title and it becomes a hit overnight.  But ask yourself this: how often does that happen?  We’re so obsessed with these Cinderella fairy tales that we’ve convinced ourselves we can be the next Disney princess.  That’s not called marketing strategy, that’s called dumb luck.

How you should approach this situation is to think of yourself as the ugliest girl in school.  The only way you’re going to get a sexy stud inside you is by flashing your junk to every guy you see.  That’s how your marketing campaign should operate.  Knock on every door possible until someone answers and sell your body…er…yourself.  And you don’t stop with one.  Whore yourself out to whomever you can until you’re the official town slut.  Don’t worry.  Marketing AIDS is a myth perpetrated by the Left.


Lying About Games Features/Tone

A buck naked Mr. T randomly drop kicking you in the head can only leave you in a state of FUBAR.  Physically it hurts like a motherfucker.  Psychologically you have trouble piecing together what the hell just happened…..or if it even happened at all.  That image can scar you for life, but nothing is more mentally damaging than a game falsely advertised.

Peter Molyneux is a famous example of a designer whose promises transform into jackshit.  Take his game Fable from 2004.  Like the pied piper, Peter played his flute of deception leading us to believe that Fable would include having kids and a story campaign spanning your character’s life.  None of this made it to the final version but EVERYONE remembers who this asshole is.  And don’t get me started on project Milo.  If this guy were Pinocchio the ladies in all the land would want to sit on his face.

Here’s another great example of stretching the truth:

Lying bad stinks, and bad marketing sticks.  You can’t wash the blood off your hands if you lie even once to the gaming community.

Lame Ass Website

Oh wait I can hear you talking to me now:

No one visits game company sites Herbie.  My target market, if you remember, is gamers.  They get their game news from sites like IGN or Kotaku.  Why even bother misusing good time and money on a site when I can focus on Twitter and Facebook?  I can’t believe I wasted precious minutes reading this article.  I thought you understood marketing.

Well you have a good point there.  I’m really sorry that I wasted your time and misled you.  I mean if gamers don’t visit your site who would?  Oh I know!


Why?  Because they need proper information to help pitch your game!  These people will check the integrity of your site to see if you’re reputable or hocking heaps of garbage.  You need a proper press kit in order for game sites to feature you.  Poorly written game description?  Zero coverage!  Uninteresting screenshots?  Zero coverage!  No press kit at all?  You guessed it!  ZERO MOTHERFUCKING COVERAGE!!!


Writing an Interview to Yourself

As ludicrous as this sounds people will do this.  Someone running a website will be looking for game developers to blog for their site.  Some will write about their experiences, some a tutorial, several will pen a post mortem.  Then there will be that odd lame fuck duck that will script an interview where we’re supposed to be retarded enough in thinking it was between two parties.

How do you spot a fake interview?  Here’s a check list to go from:

  1. The interviewer’s fucking grade two writing style will exactly match the interviewee’s pompous answers
  2. The interviewer never asks anything controversial while acting like they need to perform intense oral sex on the interviewee
  3. The interviewer will consistently praise each answer the interviewee gives even when they’re fucking generic
  4. The interviewer finishes about how much they can’t wait to play the game even when it looks like rotting dog shit.

Writing an interview to yourself is like masturbating in the Wal-Mart parking lot.  Everyone can see how much you love yourself and they can’t stand the sight of it.  Sadly, you can only be arrested for one of these disgusting perverted acts.


No Deep Linking

We live in an A.D.D. age.  I know its pretty damn sad but people want their shit yesterday.  We take on debt to buy stuff we want today.  We need apps to calculate our mortgages instead of using our brain and paper.  We use Tinder to get laid because we’re too lazy to work for 90 minutes at the bar.  Yes, I wish it could change too but you won’t win being an idealist about the situation.  You gotta accept it and embrace it.

Providing links that directly lead to where your target market wants to go will increase awareness for your game.  Putting a link to your main trailer on the pinned tweet of your twitter page will increase views.  Putting a link to your website at the end of your YouTube trailer will generate more visits.  You don’t want to rely on Google searches alone.  No one seeks what they don’t know about (ancient Chinese proverb).


Robot Messages/Emails

Letters like this suck like fuck:

Subject: New Indie Game Knights of the Round Table 

Hello ANDREA ANDERSON.  I’ve been reading a lot of your site INDIE GAMING FEVER and I really like what you write.  The article 10 THINGS GAMERS DO OFTEN BY ANDREA ANDERSON really said a lot about the game industry to me.

Currently we have a game we want you to feature called KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE which is a medieval RPG based on King Arthur’s Knights.  It has basic RPG elements such as stat building and a deep story.  It’s like Final Fantasy but with knights.

Thanks in advance for covering us.  I know you’re as excited as we are about our upcoming title.


Ryan Gossling

Letters like this rock the block:

Subject: If You Don’t Open This Email Your Computer Will Explode in 5 Seconds!!!

Phew!  That was a close call Andrea!  Are you sitting down right now enjoying your morning beer?  Great!  Have I got a game for you!

Ever wanted to know what it was like being King Arthur?  Ever wanted to experience riding across Camelot horse blazing, cutting down all your foes?  Well in our new game Knights of the Round you can play as King Arthur or all 12 knights of the round table.  Each has a deep and engaging story with different abilities.  It’s like playing 12 different RPG’s for the price of one!  How awesome is that?

We really hope you feature us in Indie Game Fever.  Here is our press kit with a trailer, screenshots, and game description if you do <insert link here>.

Many Thanks,

Ryan Gossling

(The better looking one)

See the difference!  Don’t mass produce landfills of generic emails.  Write one at a time and for fuck sakes be authentic!



You’re most likely a game developer if you’re reading this (duh!) and as such you’re probably a shitty marketer.  And if that’s the case (yes it’s definitely the case if you’ve read this far) you will make a lot of marketing errors along the way.  If it’s too much for you there is the possible option of taking on a publisher to take care of this important task.  They may get a piece of the profits but it’s one less headache and can turn 100 downloads into 100,000.

Don’t give up hope because no one was born to be awesome except me.  See I got my marketing degree in 2006.  I’ve got my finger on the pulse of what’s going down dawg!  I learned how to plan marketing campaigns consisting of multi-million dollar budgets using television ads, coupons, billboards, direct mail, magazine ads, and business cards.  All that Procter and Gamble shit may seem old school but social media didn’t exist when I went to school and….uh…..AH FUCK!!!


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