There are tons of articles on how to get your game out there and reach the biggest spread possible, so I`m gonna keep this short and walk you through our process. We`re starting at the moment, where you and your team have selected a release day. This is very important, but keep it realistic. I`m in the lucky position that at this particular moment, I can draw back from coding and let the others finish up. My focus now is on Marketing. The main question always remains the same, no matter how many games you`ve already published: How do we reach the highest download numbers possible?

So, how to start? Preparation is key, sketch out a marketing plan. This consists of a lot of aspects:

It may not sound like the most important thing, but at this point you should ask your graphic designer to get you some „Coming Soon“ banners for your website, twitter, facebook, youtube and so on. Share them, ask your friends to share them and keep pushing them.
Another great thing to do if you already have a polished apk, would be to send them to bloggers, newspapers, to get some pre-published reviews. I mean, how awesome would that be, if people were actually looking forward to finally being able to download your app? Just never give up, I myself had to write tons of mails, just to get a couple of answers and a handfull of yes`es. You might have to start small, ask your blogger friends to write an article or go to websites, where they will feature your game no matter how good or bad it is. You might not get tons of downloads, but it`s a good start. With Fairy King, we had a couple of smaller interviews before getting some attention from the big local newspaper. Once we got there though, people started to mail ME to ask for a TV interview, when previously they wouldn`t even answer my mails. But now, we`re talking about the time when your game is already out there. Let`s stay a moment longer in the pre-published phase:

So, we`re digging out our list of contacts with the goal to get them excited for our game. Prepare a nice mail, link your website, let them beta test if possible and attach a pdf with information about you and your team. Be professional and they just might take you more seriously. Don`t limit yourself to your nation, I can`t stress enough how important it is to think big.

It`s always nice to establish a second network of game developers and alpha testers apart from your press contacts. There are tons of possibilites to get one via Twitter or Reddit. There are even niet lists of people willing to alpha test your app, so you`ll get a nice bug report. Don`t underestimate this, you need to test your game throughly, not just by you and your team. Let fresh people take a look at it, watch them and adjust your balancing. Get the best product ready you possibly can.

What else? Well, it might sound like a little trouble, but it really helps to print some flyers and distribute them in your work place, in universities and –if allowed- public places. Give them to your friends to help spread them as wide as possible. Of course this is does cost a bit, but it gets you started with your first 100+ installs. So for now, ask your designer to create some nice art work in the correct(!) sizes. Get them printed and ready for distribution on release date.

When you`re in charge of marketing, don`t forget to get some translations of your store description. Do NOT use google translate, that`s just really bad. I`m sure you know what I`m talking about. Ask your friends to get some decent french, german, russian, chinese, spanish, … versions of your app. This is not to be underestimated! We`ve had lots of downloads from french speakers, because we really focused on making it easy for them to understand what our game is about.

Also, don`t limit yourselves to the android / windows / iOs Store. There`s so much more out there. Imagine just how many more people live in Asia. Get a good translation and really take some time in your schedule to register on those websites. I never said this would be easy, but definitely worth your effort.

Release Party
Another thing we did, was throwing a release party. At first, we were just gonna invite some friends and clink glasses. On second thought, we decided to invite the press too. I mean, why not? Even though none of them came, they all wished us a great party and success with our game. The fact that they answered was pretty awesome, it made things a lot easier to get in contact with them again afterwards for some reviews.

This is all about learning. Try some things just for the heck of it. Think big, because it might get you somewhere you would never have dreamed of.
These are only a couple of important aspects, if I forgot something really important, throw me a mail. I`ll be excited to hear from you and your experience.

Have fun, Béatrice