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Six Ways to Squeeze More Revenue From Your Game

If you are a small development studio (or even a publisher) you need to be able to squeeze every dime from each of your projects. Here are six ways to increase discoverability and ROI.

Jay Powell, Blogger

July 15, 2014

3 Min Read

Jay realized he probably wasn't the best "employee" any longer after leading his first start up for three years so he decided to do it again.  He founded The Powell Group in 2010 and the team has grown steadily since. If it has to do with a contract, he and his team can probably help at www.powellgroupconsulting.com

Competition is high, margins are low, and discoverability is abysmal in today's game market. If you are a small development studio (or even a publisher) you need to be able to squeeze every dime from each of your projects. Just releasing to Steam and/or the iTunes app store won't cut it anymore. Here are six ways to increase your ROI and look great in the process.

1. Maximize your distribution

The simplest solution is to make sure you are selling on as many stores as possible. For PC, Mac, and Linux games you need to have the following covered:

For Android games you have a much wider selection of distribution points as well. You need to make sure your game is sold not only on Google Play and Amazon but on as many of the other major stores as possible. Here's a starter list:

If the port process looks to be worth the return on investment it is much easier to move your game to consoles via digital distribution now. Microsoft and Sony are the obvious choices but don't discount consoles such as Ouya, Kindle Fire, and the upcoming Steam Boxes.

2. Bundles

Bundle sites are a great new option as well. The industry leader is Humble Bundle but there are other options such as:

3. Subscription boxes

Have you heard of Birch Box? This company has over 800,000 subscribers (double what they had in 2013) and they've shipped over 9 million of their beauty and grooming sample boxes. This is the latest craze and there are several game companies that operate in a similar fashion. In no particular order:

4. Promotion and giveaway sites

Sites like Free Key Fridays may not generate tons of revenue for a developer (the keys are free) but they are great for promotion and getting your name out there.

5. Breathe new life into it

There are two companies in particular who specialize in digital recycling.  Ok, I just made that phrase up… but that’s what it is.  Both Nightdive Studios and DotEMU specialize in finding new opportunities for beloved classic videogames, whether its a new platform for an existing game or a complete rework for modern systems.

6. Think even further outside the box

Vlambeer, creators of Ridiculous Fishing and Nuclear Throne, sent the media into a frenzy when they linked their Twitch account to their online store. No one had seen anything like this before and as you can tell from the headline, the presumption was that Twitch was now selling games. They weren't: It was the product of Vlambeer trying something new. And it worked!  


Regardless of platform, genre, demographic, etc. It's important to maximize every dollar you've spent in development when you're ready to take your game to the world. Try some of these methods and find out what works best for you.

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About the Author(s)

Jay Powell


Jay Powell, an agent at Octagon Entertainment, received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In his four years at Octagon, Jay has arranged numerous deals across the globe that involved PC, Gamecube, Playstation 2, and Xbox games. Jay has also proven a key evaluator of projects, having secured some of Octagon's most successful games. Contact him at [email protected].

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