Getting an indie game to be noticed by the larger population can be incredibly challenging. There are new games being released all the time and you cannot rely on having a good game to grab attention, although that certainly helps. The good news is that once you have mastered how to make one game popular, you can reuse the same strategy to get other future games to see the same levels of success. This guide has been put together to help you get your indie game noticed and make it popular.
Start with a Popular Game Concept
There is a good reason why you see a lot of similar games become popular at the same time. These games have a lot in common and when people are looking for something similar to play, they will gravitate towards games that are similar to those they are already playing. If you want to ensure the success of your indie game, you have to ensure it is a game that a lot of people will love to play. The familiarity that comes from playing similar games will help people gravitate towards your game.
So, where can you get ideas for which game concepts to put your efforts into? Start with App Stores. Both the Google and Apple App stores have rankings for the most popular games at this time. You can check which genres have performed well for some time so you do not fall into the trap of getting into a fad that will dissipate quickly before making you money.
Another place to find inspiration is to look at platforms that have a lot of traffic on them, like online casinos. With new casinos popping up all the time, this is a great niche to target. There is a huge inbuilt audience for casino games as well as thousands of games you can analyse to find the most popular games to analyse.
To make things easier, you can also play these games to find out how exactly they work and why they are so attractive. Some casinos offer deposit bonuses so you can play more games with a small initial investment. To find casinos that offer up to 200% of your initial deposit, you can check out the reviews on Online Casinos. OnlineCasinos also provides information on the latest and most popular casino games so you can have all the information you need on the games to play.
You can also check out gamer forums to see what people are getting excited about and what game genres are likely to blow up. These are good places to focus your efforts.
App Store Optimisation
Did you know that over 50% of all popular games are discovered through app store searches? Because this is where people are looking for games, you need to make sure you can be found there. Start by optimising your game name, keywords and descriptions. They add as many relevant keywords as possible to ensure you are being found not only via App Store searches, but also on the wider internet.
Also, do not forget to use the description and screenshots to highlight how your game is different from your competitors’ games. Some other things to keep in mind include choosing the best icon (A/B testing will help), filling all relevant fields completely, fixing any issues that come up, and replying to any messages from players promptly.
Do a Soft Launch
To further increase the chances of your game succeeding, do a soft launch. This is where you get a few select people to try the game to gauge their experiences. Once the feedback is in, you will know if the game is ready or if it needs to undergo a few iterations before it is released to millions of people. Once you have improved the game through feedback and engagement levels, you can consider doing another soft launch or a full launch depending on the success of the first soft launch.
Get a Great Trailer
Before you release the game, consider having a game trailer developed. Even though you are an indie developer, they will budget for a short trailer for your game. The game trailer is one of the best ways to get people’s attention. Your trailer should combine elements from the game, gameplay images and video, fast-paced animation, music and a very strong call to action.
Your trailer is the best tool to tell people what they need to know to get excited about your game in one to two minutes. When developing the trailer, you need to remember a few key things including:
- Keeping it short
- Capturing the audience’s attention within five seconds
- Adding great sound effects and effective music
- Using real footage
- Adding reviews from players and professionals
- …and, most importantly, adding a call to action.
Get the Game in Front of an Audience
Because you are an indie developer, you might not have the budget to market your game to a wide audience. However, there are a few things you can do to increase its reach. First, share your game trailer with as many people as you can and ask them to share it too.
Next, take advantage of influencer marketing. Find influencers and streamers who review indie games and ask them to play your game on their platforms. If they love the game, they are likely to recommend it and people will try the game because they trust the influencers and streamers.
Word of Mouth Will Be Key
About 80% of people will act on a recommendation from someone they trust. This is why word of mouth is such a strong marketing tool. It is therefore a good idea to ask players who love your game to share it with others who might like it. Also, try to think about incentives you can offer people for trying out your game and sharing it with their circle of friends.
Making a successful indie game is often challenging, but it can be done with a little organisation and perseverance. The tips discussed above should help in getting your game known and popular.