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Marketing Analysis

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I''m doing one for my game proposal and I can''t locate a place to get the figures (eg. units sold, sales dates, etc.) Can anyone point me to a place to find this information, specifically info on the shareware gaming market. Thank you.

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To my knowledge (as a former President of the Association of Shareware Professionals), there are no such figures for shareware games, since most of the developers'' companies are privately owned, and few private companies make their sales figures available publicly.


Steve Pavlina
Dexterity Software
www.dexterity.com

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Actually over the weekend I just wrote a new article about how to do basic shareware market research, but I granted the ASP an exclusive on it until August (for the ASP''s newsletter), after which point I''ll post it on our site at dexterity.com/articles.

The basic idea though is that you have to do indirect market research. Partly this means you need to get to know a lot of independent developers personally. Eventually you learn which ones are doing well and which aren''t getting many sales. You can also check download figures for various categories on the major download sites -- this gives you an indication of what people are downloading.

The key then is to target those areas that get lots of downloads (i.e. strong demand) but where the competition is weak and you know you can outdo them. This is why cloning is out -- most clones are actually worse than the game they clone, and eventually the genre becomes overcrowded with clones of clones of clones, and everyone splits a smaller and smaller pie except the very few truly exceptional games.

So, for instance, if you make a 3D FPS game, you''ll be listed alongside games like Quake III, Half Life, etc on the download sites. Can you outdo those games? But look at the top hits in the puzzle and card game categories... many indie developers can compete very well there.

I think that in many cases, if you choose the wrong type of game to develop, your sales are largely doomed no matter how much marketing you do. It''s pretty hard to sell a game that no one wants to own.


Steve Pavlina
Dexterity Software
www.dexterity.com

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