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  • 08/19/18 09:49 PM

    The Last "How To Write A Press Release" Post You'll Ever Need

    Business and Law
       (1 review)

    Aaron Marsden

    There are a lot of blog posts online teaching indie developers “how to write proper press releases for their new games,” and they all provide different (and sometimes conflicting) information. It’s confusing.

    So, for the past week, I’ve spent my afternoons taking notes on all the useful information within each one, reaching out to established game developers to get their advice on how to write killer game press releases, and talking with PR pros in both game development and outside marketing environments to gather the absolute best information possible on the subject.

    This post combines all my findings.

    By the end, you’ll never have to read another “how to write a press release” post again. Sound good?

    Let’s start with the basics:

    What is a press release?

    A press release is a 1-to-2-page piece of writing that announces new and exciting projects you’ve been working on.

    The purpose of the release is to inform journalists and media sources about your news so they can (hopefully) publish stories about your work. They’re usually written in the third person — in other words, they’re written as if a journalist is writing about your game when in reality it’s just your writing.

    ItsMe.gif

    Press releases are usually distributed through distribution tools or PR firms — but as an indie developer, they’re mainly used to help journalists solidify a story about your news when you pitch them over email. We’ll talk more pitching writers later, but for now, understand this:

    Getting press is a great way to drive traffic to your new projects and can save you thousands of dollars in advertising costs if done right, so press releases are important!

    When should you publish press releases?

    Press releases are typically published when you announce:

    • A new game
    • Game-changing new features or technology
    • Events
    • Partnerships (or other business-related news, like investments or grants (thanks Unreal))
    • New research
    • Awards
    • Or a resolution to a crisis (which hopefully isn’t your case)

    …and that’s it for the basics. Now let’s cover the steps for writing your release.

    Step 1: Find your angle

    Here’s a brutal truth:

    No one pays attention to news that isn’t new or interesting. This is especially true for journalists. So without an interesting “story angle” you can take when announcing your news, no one’s going to pay attention to yours either.

    Gabby DaRienzo, creator of A Mortician’s Tale and co-founder of Laundry Bear, said it best:

    Quote

    gabby.jpeg“Because the market is incredibly saturated with indies, developers need to think about marketability right when they START prototyping their games,” Gabby told me. “If you can’t think of a unique selling point that makes your game good and unique in comparison to other games, your PR efforts aren’t going to perform well.”

     

     

    How do you find that “unique selling point,” you ask?

    Lewis Denby, creator of the indie dev PR firm Game If You Are (this firm is great for indie devs — check it out!), recommends observing your original motivations for creating your game:

    Quote

    “Indie game developers are often driven by passion, so in many ways, it’s all about looking inwards and asking yourself why you were so keen to make this game,” Lewis told me. “What was missing from the video games market that you wanted to rectify? That’s the core of your unique selling point.”

     

    A great example of a USP (unique selling point) comes from Numinous Games, creator of Galaxies of Hope, who developed their game to help neuroendocrine tumor patients understand their diagnoses:

    USP.png

    Taken from an Apple App Store article written about Wahmann’s game.

    The combination of Numinous Game’s inspiration for creating the game (to help neuroendocrine tumor patients) along with their unique selling point (a game that teaches people about neuroendocrine tumors) makes for a killer story any games journalists would be happy to cover. THAT’s your goal.

     

    * * *

    After you’ve found your angle, it’s time to start the boring s**t.

     

    Step 2: Write your headline and subheadline.

    A good headline serves two purposes:

    1. It shows the reader what’s being announced immediately, clearly, and concisely…
    2. …and it entices the reader to read the subheadline or first paragraph.

    A simple formula to follow when writing headlines is “[x] does [y],” like in the following releases:

    Don’t bury any information here, but don’t make it too boring either. No one wants to read a press release titled “Game Studio releases New Game.” Strike a balance between conciseness and charm and your headline will do just fine.

     

        Tip: Great headlines are always written under 18 words.

     

    Subheadline

    The purpose of your subheadline is to expand on the headline if it’s not enough to fully capture your reader’s attention. It serves as an extra “attention grabber” that boosts your readers into the heart of your release.

    In Numinous Games’ case, the headline and subheadline of their press release could look something like:

    Headline: “Numinous Games releases Galaxies of Hope for Neuroendocrine Cancer Sufferers”
    Subheadline: “Game aims to help NET patients understand and cope with their diagnoses”

    I’d read it.

     

    Step 3: Write the first paragraph

    The first paragraph is the most important part of your press release. Although the headline/subheadline captures your reader’s attention, the first paragraph is what locks them into the piece and keeps them there for the rest of the way.

    Your first paragraph should answer the all-important “5 W’s”: who, what, when, where, and why.

    1. Who’s the press release about? (This will be your company)
    2. What’s happening? (This will be your announcement)
    3. When will it happen? (The date of your announcement)
    4. Where is it happening? (ex. What platforms is your game releasing on, where is your event occurring, etc.)
    5. Why is it important?

    Coschedule, a marketing application, provides this useful template in their blog post for writing effective first paragraphs:

    [WHO: COMPANY] today announced it will [WHAT] at [WHERE] on [WHEN]. The [EVENT/ANNOUNCEMENT] will provide [BENEFIT] for [AUDIENCE].

    Here’s a great example from E-Home Entertainment, the developer of a new game, Gene Rain:

    first_paragraph.png

    Ignore the grammatical errors in the second sentence for now.

     

    I’ll say it again: be sure you’re providing the most important information up-front. No burying.

        (also, stay away from cliches — everyone has “the best game” or “the most exciting gameplay.”)

     

    Step 4: The second paragraph

    The purpose of the second paragraph is to elaborate more on your game and why it’s important to you and to your players. A great way to do this is with a personal quote.

    As an indie dev, personal quotes allow you to dive deeper into your USP— what compelled you to create your game in the first place? What problem does it solve and how do you hope it helps your players? That’s the information your quote should contain.

    Quote

     

    In the App Store article I referenced earlier, Amy Green of Numinous Games provides a great quote where she talks about the game’s purpose of sharing stories from other tumor patients:

    second_paragraph.png

     

    Notice how Amy’s quote fits perfectly into the context of her game’s story — this is exactly how you should format yours. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for journalists to write stories about you, and allowing them to grab a relevant quote straight from your press release without an interview is a great way to do that.

     

    Note: In your actual press release, your quote should be a bit longer than Amy’s and should be written in third person. I don’t have the original press release for their game, but if I were to guess, the quote was written something like: “Our goal with Galaxies of Hope was not only to share Maryann’s personal story with NET, but also to help other patients,” said Amy Green of Numinous Games. “It meant so much to tell our own story through this medium that we started thinking about how we could share the stories of others.”

     

    Step 5: The third paragraph

    (Don’t worry, we’re almost done.)

    The third paragraph completes your story. This is usually where you’ll write about the nitty-gritty details of your game:

    Quote
     

     

    When writing your third paragraph, ask yourself: “What’s interesting about my game from a player’s perspective? What makes it enjoyable? What could I say to get potential players excited?”

    That’s what you should describe here.

    I really love Magicka’s third (and fourth) paragraphs in their press release for their PvP mode. Notice how they’ve divulged just enough information to excite their players on the new mode:

    third_paragraph.png

    (Their tone is killer, too.)

     

    Step 6 (Optional): Key, bulleted features

    If your game has some interesting features that wouldn’t fit into your above paragraphs but still deserve a spot in the press, a common practice is to list them near the bottom of your release.

    Here’s another example from Magicka:

    step6.png

    Just be sure not to go overboard — only include things you think your players (or journalists) would find value from.

     

    Step 7 (Optional): Technical details.

    If your game is resource-heavy, it’s a good idea to throw your system requirements here.

     

    Step 8: Call to action

    By now, your potential players have read your release and are pumped to jump into your game.

    Now they just need to know where to play it.

    A CTA (call to action) is a short action statement at the bottom of your release that drives traffic to your Steam page or website. Think of it as the “final push” your readers need to take action on your announcement.

     

    The key here is to make your CTA actionable. A simple link to your page or a “click here to buy” isn’t enough — you must make it enticing. If you were releasing a VR war game, for instance, you could write something like:

    Quote

    “It’s time to arm up and immerse yourself in the battle. Purchase [game title] on Steam for 20% off until [promotion end].”

        Tip: If your Steam store page is super long, consider using a bit.ly link to shorten it up.

     

    Step 9: Link to your press kit.

    If you aren’t already aware, a press kit is:

    Quote
     

     

    Press kits make it super easy for journalists to grab videos and gifs of your game to use in their articles.

    Quote

    RedVonix.jpegKeep things simple and to the point, don’t ask things of people (and absolutely never make demands), and make sure you supply easily accessible media.”RedVonix , creator of A Purrtato Tail

    2

     

    I highly suggest checking out the Mortician’s Tale kit on Laundry Bear’s website if you’re making your kit for the first time. It has pretty much everything an effective kit needs, so feel free to copy its base elements.

    (Thanks again Gabby!)

     

    Step 10: Contact information.

    If a journalist were to reach out to you for more information, where would you send them? It’s usually formatted like so:

    • Name
    • Company Name
    • Phone Number
    • Email

    This information can go both at the top of the page, as well as near the bottom like on this release (we’ll format this in a second).

     

    Step 11: Add the final touches

    Almost done. Now you just need to add some extra information to make your press release an actual press release:

    • A “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” tag with the date of your release. This will go to the right of your contact information.

    forImmediateRelease.png

    • City, state, and location information. This will go directly before your first paragraph.

    CityStateLocation.png

    • An image, video, or gif showing off your game. This can go directly above or after your headline and subheadline.

     

    And BOOM — you‘re done!

    At the end of the process, your release should look something like this:

    Example press release: "Launch Date Set for Magika PVP Mode"

     

    Although Magicka’s release is really good, there are a few things I’d change about it:

    • There’s no “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.” This may confuse journalists.
    • There’s no quote from the developers. This makes it feel impersonal.
    • Their CTA is pretty bad (“Find out more here”).

    …but other than that, it’s a great reference point you can use when writing your own release.

     

    Extras

    When should you post your release?

    Sometimes the timing of your release is as simple as “whenever your game is ready.” But other times, especially in Tim Ruswick’s case, putting thought into the timing of your release can be crucial to its success:

    Quote

    tim.pngOne of the most overlooked things for getting journalists and consumers to pay attention to your game is not what you say, but WHEN you say it,” Tim told me. “I’m working on a game called Philophobia: The Fear of Love . It’s a game where love is literal Hell, born out of a breakup, where all of the enemies are demonic hearts. There are plenty of things I could say to sell the game to gamers and press…but WHEN I said it was very important. I got 150,000 + people to see my game by posting about it on Valentines day. Because it’s timely, and it’s relevant to what journalists are looking to cover right then.”

    2

    Keep this in mind with context to your game.

     

    Where should you send your release?

    Most companies simply post their press releases on their website, announce it on social media, put it through a PR distributor like PRNewswire, and wait for journalists to pick it up. But that won’t work for indie devs.

    When you’re starting out you don’t have enough of a media presence to simply post your press release, and on a tight budget, paying big bucks for PR tools isn’t viable. That means you’ll have to manually send your release to journalists.

    So before you post your press release, go on some of the popular gaming news sites like Kotaku, Polygon, or PC Gamer and gather a list of journalists (and their emails) who’ve written about games similar to yours. Then, once you’re ready to release, send them an email with a pitch for your story.

        I just made that process sound way more simple than it actually is, so I recommend using this guide for reaching out to journalists.

    * * *

     

    That’s it!

    By now, you should have enough information to write effective press releases without having to read another “how to write a press release” post.

    But here’s the thing:

    Getting press is only one way to market your game, and by no means is it the end-all-be-all. Continuing your marketing efforts is crucial to your success.

    That’s why I put together a complete guide on how you can promote your game with Twitch influencers — it covers everything from finding the right influencers, to reaching out, to setting up deals, to verifying content, and much more. You can read that here.

     

    Note: This post was originally posted on the author's Medium blog, and is reproduced here with kind permission.  Aaron recommends PowerSpike's Game Marketing Advice Newsletter, sent every Monday.

    [Wayback Machine Archive]



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      Another aspect of traditional marketing is media buying and ad placement. Publishers will often have teams that can plan social media and display ads to reach key audiences. Media Buying can be done with any level of budget and digital ads often have immediate measures of success whether you are looking to build awareness of your game or increase downloads or sales.  
      Influencer Outreach
      The goal is for influential Twitch streamers and YouTube content creators will talk about your game to their audiences. This is a major driver for sales, where a few large influencers can sway a product from “unknown” status to trending title. For example, One Hand Clapping is a game that was created by USC students which was then picked up by YouTubers PewDiePie, Markiplier, and JackSepticEye that received millions of views and have translated to over 75,000 downloads on itch.io Similar to media, publishers will have established relationships with influencers. Some publishers create exclusive influencer programs, where influencers can get special perks from that publisher. Akupara Games has recently started our influencer program – which allows us to thank these influencers with early access to our games, and opportunities for in-game avatars or voice-overs.
       
      Trailers
      A trailer is a great way to showcase the gameplay, or tease content of your game in a short and engaging video. Publishers often have video editors who can create top-notch trailers, or they can advise your team to create these materials. They know what makes a successful trailer and can guide steps like storyboarding and editing. There are articles based on the top game trailers that come out every year such as Gaming Trend’s Best Game Trailers of E3 2018. Akupara Games loves making buzzworthy trailers using everything from gameplay footage, to animation, and even live actors like in the trailer for The Metronomicon.  
      Community
      Social media and community management are important aspects of any successful game launch. A publisher can help you determine which social platforms your game studio and title should be present on and which kind of content you should be showcasing on each of the channels.
       
      Community Management
      A publisher can teach you how to properly engage with your community to retain users. Often this means promptly answering questions and providing regular updates about the game. A publisher is able to leverage their existing communities and introduce them to your title, which will further grow your audience. The more engagement there is about your game, the more visible it is to others outside of your community as well.  
      Social Media
      Social media can be a tough medium to navigate through. It is a valuable tool for digital marketing since you can reach hundreds if not thousands of people if a post goes viral, but it also can be a platform for negative sentiment that you have to manage. Proper knowledge of what is appropriate to post on each platform, valuable and engaging content, and responding can elevate the visibility of a game.
      Facebook prefers users to stay on their platforms and users tend to enjoy video and photo over text content. This is where big announcements should be made. Instagram is a large hub for photos and great to show off concept art, development, and screenshots. Twitter is where updates big and small should be made. It is also the best platform to directly engage with users on. With social media, it is important to note that it should not be just about advertising your game for sales, but a big emphasis should be on building and engaging your audience and answering questions or comments to develop a better sense of community.

       
      Events
      Game trade shows, conventions, and events are a great way to bring awareness to your game, but you need a proper plan in place. Often the major takeaways of conventions are receiving player feedback, bringing press by to see the game in person, and building your mailing list. A good publisher will book you a solid press schedule, and set up ways to grow your mailing list – with easy signups and giveaways which will incentivize attendees. Events can be expensive if representing a single title, but often publishers will have pre-existing space that they will use to showcase your title A publisher can also take care of the booth set up, getting the swag manufactured, and arrange for the development team’s accommodations including flight, hotel, badges, and meals. Presentation is everything, and your publisher should try to find ways to best showcase your title, to be attractive to attendees walking by. Recently we showcased Desert Child on a custom-built arcade machine at E3. This allowed us with a relatively small budget to still create a unique presentation which stood out. The Walking Dead at E3 had zombie actors that effectively spooked a lot of people walking by, which was great for the awareness of the booth as well as social media buzz of people taking pictures and videos with the zombies.
       
      When a Publisher Isn’t the Right Fit
      Retaining full revenue, creative control, and IP ownership is a huge perk for not having a publisher. These are the most common reasons you wouldn’t want to use a publisher and would be better off yourself.
       
      Your Team has the Necessary Skills
      The point when you don’t need a publisher is when you’re able to accomplish what they can offer on your own. To successfully pull off self-publishing, you should be set up with the following:
      A large and engaged audience – which may come from conventions, past games you’ve developed, or even came naturally from social posts you make. You want to make sure you have a following already to make sure your game is as visible as possible. Social posts you create get picked up, shared, and talked about frequently. Established press and influencer connections, or large press and influencers that approach you on their own to write about your game. You will want to be able to reach out and follow up frequently. It is also a good idea to meet in person when possible to keep a strong relationship.  
      Your Team has the Necessary Financing
      An alternative would be if you have the financial backing to where you could partner with teams to fill in the gaps for the services you can’t provide. Common services you can partner with for would be:
      Marketing Porting Localization QA  
      Of course, if you go through the entire pitch process and do not find a publisher that is the right fit for you, that doesn’t mean your game won’t succeed. Often a game with a small release on one platform can gain momentum and become more attractive to publishers later.
       
      Stay tuned for our next article on game publishing – “How do You Find the Best Game Publisher for Yourself?”
      If you have any lingering questions, or feel I missed something, let us know on our social media @AkuparaGames on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Discord!
       
      ---
      Akupara Games is an indie game studio based in Los Angeles, California. Composed of veterans of the game industry, Akupara Games focuses their energy and resources as an "indie for indies" studio by providing premier support to other indie studios through development, publishing, porting, and advising. Their mission statement ensures that each project receives a unique experience and personalized support.
      Website | Discord
       
      Note: This article was originally posted on the Akupara Games website, and is reproduced here with the kind permission of the author.
       
       
    • By Akupara Games
      Publishing 101 | Publishing 102 | Publishing 103
       
      New year, new advice! My name is David Logan, CEO of Akupara Games, and I’d like to start the year with some more insider details on game publishing. Last year, I wrote the first entry for a series of articles to help guide developers throughout the decisions surrounding publishers and the release of their games. If you haven’t read that yet, I highly recommend you do so before continuing on.
      You’ve decided “Yeah, a publisher is a great fit for our project,” but now you’re interested in how exactly you decide which publisher is best for you. In this article, I will be detailing the tactics you should use while you are on the search for the best publisher. It’s time to roll up your sleeves, crack open a notebook, and throw down with some homework.
       
      Research
      First and foremost, you need to know your options and who you can consider as a publisher. Each publisher is a snowflake, most beautiful, and each different in their own ways. Let’s discuss how to go about finding the right one.
       
      Talk to Developers
      The most helpful tactic is to talk to other developers who have worked with publishers Ask about their experiences and try to get the most candid and honest feedback about working with the very publishers you may be considering Discuss the actual people involved in producing the games as mileage will vary with different producers from the same publisher Ask for recommendations It helps for other developers to understand where you are coming from and what you need/want for your project
       
      Read Online
      A useful and easy tactic if you can’t get in contact with fellow developers Find testimonials of clients who have worked with the publishers to make a better educated decision Set time aside to search for any available information and read the websites of potential publishers Resources to find Publishers: SteamSpy Free and Paid services available Steam only AppAnnie Paid service Mobile only Indie-Friendly Publishers by Eugene Kisterev PC & Console focused Indie-Friendly Publishers by gambrinous Video Game Publishers by Wikipedia Mobile Game Publishers by Hady ElHady Mobile only Mobile Game Publishers by Ane Fallarme Mobile only  
      Meeting Publishers
      Consider taking some time to go to conventions and networking events to meet publishers in person. It’s a great way to get face-to-face time with lots of publishers at once, and find those who are actively seeking new projects Great for not just meeting publishers, but other developers, investors, and press Going to live events can be expensive, but worthwhile if you maximize your time there. Book as many meetings as you can beforehand, so you have a full schedule. Don’t expect just to meet lots of connections on the spot This strategy allows you to talk about your game and showcase it to others to get some feedback for that extra polish you’ll want when you finally approach a publisher Resources to check out: Video Game Business and Marketing Microconference April 15, 2019 Online video call matchmaking services Without you needing to travel, they take the same idea of meeting lots of new connections at conferences and bring them to you digitally MeetToMatch – The San Francisco Edition 2019 March 20-22, 2019 Meet those in the industry located in San Francisco GDC March 18-22, 2019 Game Connection March 18-22, 2019 Can schedule meetings to sign deals  
      Game Performance
      While shopping for a publisher, look at the performance of the games worked on by your candidates Scores aren’t necessarily indicative of the publisher’s efforts or contribution to the project, so you’ll want to see the marketing efforts put into promotion Take into account the times the game was marketed to you – if you were the correct demographic Note any unique or interesting promotional tactics that may have been utilized Consider the buzz and hype generated by the game as a sign of the marketing efforts from the publisher; big points for press coverage on popular gaming sites Extra points for getting the game featured articles and interviews Consider if the game was featured in digital storefronts Look into what services the publisher provided post-launch Are they still providing additional content for the titles? Are problems and bugs stated in reviews being addressed? Will the publisher be supportive in live-ops and be involved with community management? Generally, most successful publishers will fall into this category because the game will fail if they don’t support live-ops and post-launch content
      Post-launch of the popular title Stardew Valley, former publisher Chucklefish was responsible for implementing the multiplayer update to the game while the developer focused on creating for the game’s first major content update.
       
      Preparing Questions
      By now, you’ve talked to all your friends and connections. You’ve done hours of research on the Internet about your options. Maybe you’ve narrowed down a list of publishers you’d like to talk to and you have your spreadsheet of notes ready. You want to be prepared, so you brush up on what services you might want from a publisher. It’s time to reach out to these publishers and chat. However, before you do that, have some questions in your mind to ask during these conversations. Listed below are some questions you may want to ask:
       
      Communication
      What time zone are you in? What channels of contact do you use? How often can I expect to be in contact with you during the campaign? Release/Sales/Revenue
      How long will you support our title post-launch? What are your relationships like with distributors such as Steam/Xbox/Switch/Apple? Who handles post launch merchandise DMCAs, trademarks, and copyright? Conventions
      Which conventions do you go to? Do you cover the cost of the travel, hotel, booth, and swag for conventions? Who will be showcasing at conventions – the publisher, developer, or both? Translation & Porting
      Do you support multi-platform releases? Who handles porting to other platforms? Which languages will you support for our title?  
      Specialties 
      While looking around for that publisher just-for-you, pay attention to the specialties of the publishers; not every publisher will be the right fit for you. It will be most conducive and helpful to your working relationship if the publisher is well-equipped to publish to your needs. Here are some things you’ll want to consider:
       
      Platforms
      Keep this question in mind as you search around – is your game designed for a desktop, console, or a mobile release? Maybe all three? I don’t recommend bringing your mobile-only game to a publisher who has no experience in helping to release a mobile game Vice versa, a publisher that has exclusively released mobile games may not be able to help you release your game on every current console
      Glu Mobile is a platform-focused publisher for mobile gaming. They have an extensive library of mobile-only games based on existing IPs and games partnered with celebrities/influencers.
       
      Monetization Models
      With big differences and theories behind the different monetization models, you need to pick a publisher that knows how to release a game based on the monetization model of your game Audiences won’t be happy if a title is released that deviates from the publisher’s typical model. Imagine trying to sell an up-front cost premium game with a publisher, when they’ve conditioned their audience with only free-to-play titles A publisher who has only released premium games may have minimal knowledge on  how to bring users to and market a title that has in-app purchases, or a subscription based model
      Though not an indie game, Nintendo’s Super Mario Run provides a wonderful example of how a monetization strategy can alienate or confuse your market that is accustomed to freemium models or premium games at a lower price point.
       
      Genres & Niches
      Similar to thinking about the platform needs of your game, consider the history and experience of publishers and if they align with your genre and niche needs Publishers will have developed an audience with their users, so it’s helpful if your game aligns with the rest of their catalogue Not all publishers will have the knowledge, resources, or tools to market all types of games E.g. A publisher with a large library of fighting games may not necessarily know how to bring out the best of your horror or first-person shooter game
      Nightdive Studios has built up a reputation for themselves for bringing back lost games that are no longer available by acquiring the rights to re-release, remaster, and update them for modern platforms. Their audiences can expect to see older games like those of the System Shock series of the 1990’s, which have greatly influenced the horror and first-person shooter genre.
       
      Other Games Released
      Being able to look at their catalog of other games, you will have a good sign of what their successes are like Their other games will individually have their own following of players, so this is something that can used to your advantage Similar to genre, publishers should have dedicated efforts to creating a community among their player base that will allow for a good starting point in releasing a new title
      A great contribution to Overcooked’s exposure was at E3 2016 when publisher Team17 placed the game’s booth next to their most anticipated title of the convention – Yooka-Laylee. Everyone came to see the game everyone knew about, but were easily pulled in to see the game no one knew about.
       
      Single vs. Multiplayer
      As with many of the previous points, does the publisher you’d like to work with have the experience to release your game if it’s multiplayer, especially online multiplayer? Multiplayer games require maintaining and engaging with a community of players more frequently and consistently Single player games may have bug fixes and occasional DLC added, but multiplayer games will require live-ops support, long after launch  
      Stream-ability
      Some publishers care about whether a game is consumable for streaming With the increasing presence of online influencers, the success of games are often affected by streaming influencers Does the publisher advise on integration with streaming, and make an effort to have their developers create plugins or extensions that work with Twitch or Mixer?
      In the release of tinyBuild’s game, Punch Club, this publisher capitalized on Twitch and its chat function to give users a task: beat the game before it can be released. Coupled with a concurrent stream to race to the end, Punch Club secured featuring on Twitch.
       
      Development – Their Involvement
      You know best about your game and the team behind it; it’s vital for you to be aware and upfront about what you can and can’t successfully handle on your own in development. If you must outsource development needs to a publisher, you will definitely need to look into publishers who are able to offer you those skills whether through their own team or hiring the right people for you.
       
      Publisher is Hands-On with Development
      This is a great option if you are a small team full of talent, but you may be missing some key elements If this is your first foray into the industry, you may want to consider a publisher who can assist with advising and shaping your game A strong publisher will have a toolbox of knowledge, resources, and contacts to ensure the success of your product A hands-on publisher may work very closely with you along the way in how they see it necessary, offering suggestions or changes Perhaps you are set on the programming of the game, but only have placeholder art assets, and need a visual facelift From art, to programming, to sound, to almost anything in development, the right publisher will be able to fill in the gaps in your team
      In our own case, Akupara Games was responsible for the programming overhaul, addressing existing bugs, porting to mobile devices, and recomposing and recording all of the audio for Keep in Mind: Remastered.
       
      Publisher is Hands-Off with Development
      For a developer that feels comfortable with where their game is at, but just needs the support of a publisher to take the game to market, this is just as practical The publisher will still provide standard support and marketing efforts to get your game’s name out there This allows for the developer to maintain the most creative integrity This is great for those who are very sure of their creation and would not want external influence  
      Approach
      Not every publisher works the same way. Just like how not every developer needs the same things from a publisher. Consider what methods a publisher may use in your campaign to help inform your decision.
      Custom Campaigns
      One-of-a-kind campaign that is unique and tailored to what makes your game stand out You can expect efforts to pay back in dividends as publishers may offer up some out-of-the-box ideas that will have people talking about your game The downside is these often take chances, which may not always pan out Standard Campaigns
      Looking through a publisher’s portfolio of titles and their associated campaigns, you may feel that nothing seems like it deviated from one another However, this may be a useful indication of what you can exactly expect with your campaign You’ll be hard-pressed to find a developer who goes out of their way to seek out a publisher who will only do a standard campaign. However, as the developer, this is something you will need to weigh the importance of.
       
      Long-Term Relationship
      This section is really case-by-case for you developers out there. You will need to ask yourself if you’re looking for a publisher that is strictly business, or one which you can see developing a good long-term relationship in the future that may extend outside of just business and work. Do you want your publisher to see you as just a client, or do you want something that goes the extra mile? Perhaps if you’re lucky, you will find that special publisher that you will keep coming back to, project after project. Let’s talk about how to build a strong relationship.

      Publisher Raw Fury has built up a working partnership and relationship with the developer Noio since 2015 to release three games in the Kingdom series together.
       
      People
      Start off by finding a publisher who has a team of people that you get along with During initial conversations, examine what it feels like when you talk with each other Consider if you would feel comfortable candidly bringing up any concerns you may have Personality Traits
      Do your personality traits complement one another? Think about your communication styles Finding a publisher is like dating. Both parties must be willing to communicate and work together to raise the baby that is the game Offer a problem you may have and see if you agree with their response  
      Financing
      At last, we’ve arrived at one of the final things you’ll need to consider while you’re talking to your potential publishers. Money. This can be the game changer or even deal breaker. What is the role that money will be playing in the production of your game? Do you need it? If so, where is it coming from? Here are some things to think about in terms of financing in talks with a publisher.

       
      Provision
      Will the publisher offer financing? Financing can alleviate a lot of developer concerns, and help developers devote more full-time work to the game If you feel a publisher is a good fit and they don’t provide financing, but you still require it, consider other routes outside of a publisher for financing If they won’t be providing any financing, it is a fair question to ask them for any advice on how to acquire what you need In fact, while a publisher may not provide financing, they may be able to provide the resources and services you need to acquire them Should You Accept?
      Consider the downside of accepting financing A publisher requires a larger revenue, often with a recoup up front If you need a little more information on this topic, definitely take the time to check out my first article in the series, where it outlines and expands on financing.
       
      Conclusion
      We’ve covered the jumping off points for thinking about your game from a business standpoint, so now it’s time for you to start working towards finding the best publisher for you.
      Hopefully after this you’ll be able to identify a list of publishers who could fit your needs!
      In our final article in our game publishing series, we’ll talk about actually pitching your game to publishers in – “What Publishers Look for in Games”.
      If you have any questions after reading this, or feel something is missing, let us know on social media @AkuparaGames on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Discord.
       
      ---
      Akupara Games is an indie game studio based in Los Angeles, California. Composed of veterans of the game industry, Akupara Games focuses their energy and resources as an "indie for indies" studio by providing premier support to other indie studios through development, publishing, porting, and advising. Their mission statement ensures that each project receives a unique experience and personalized support.
      Website | Discord
       
      Note: This article was originally posted on the Akupara Games website, and is reproduced here with the kind permission of the author.
    • By Quin
      Hi there i was just wondering if any of you make games as freelancer on upwork , fiverr etc . For me personally i tried upwork and after sending out 30 prposals i got one reply back and that  was for 80$ only for a whole game after that its been really dry and i have noticed that on these sites people tend to bid really low when it becomes useless to bid on the projects because its not even worth it for the money.So is it something i am doing wrong ? or is it just how game dev freelancing is? Also the only place where i find unity 3D jobs are on upwork and as i said its damn slow.

    • By 4P|Marc
      4Players launches Next-Generation Player Engagement Platform SCILL™:
      SCILL™ Play open beta for Android and iOS now available
       
      Hamburg, 2nd July 2019 - 4Players GmbH, a subsidiary of Marquard Media Group, has launched the open beta test of the SCILL™ Play app for Android and iOS.
      SCILL™ is an innovative second screen engagement platform that allows developers, publishers as well as players to increase the entertainment value of games sustainably and significantly. SCILL™ Play is fully customizable and lets players actively decide which goals they want to achieve next - regardless of the requirements of the existing game design. Successfully completed challenges can be rewarded with experience points, SCILL™ Coins and great prizes.
      SCILL™ Play offers beginners and hardcore players an interactive opportunity to challenge themselves and experience familiar games with new motivation. In addition, the platform offers publishers a real alternative to developing their own challenges or additional content, such as reward systems or battle passes, and thus has a positive effect on the development effort and time requirements. 
      "After an intensive development period and positive feedback during the closed test phase, we are very excited about making SCILL™ Play accessible to a broad audience during our Open Beta," says Marc Berekoven, Head of Business Development and Product Manager of the SCILL™ platform. "SCILL™ Play offers players the opportunity to experience their favorite games in a completely new way. In addition to personal challenges and rewards, the app now also has new community features: Among other things, users can form or join alliances to overcome challenges together with other players. This makes the gaming experience even more collaborative and dynamic. We look forward to the feedback from players, developers and publishers, which will help us to further improve SCILL™ Play and adapt it to the wishes of our users".
       More information and download links are available at https://www.scillgame.com.






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