As part of an in-depth postmortem
for indie XBLA title Go! Go! Break Steady
, ex-EA developer and Little Boy Games founder Ahmed Usman Khalid emphasizes the importance of developing and investing in a marketing plan when releasing XBLA games to build up hype and ensure name recognition.
"We completely underestimated the marketing effort required for a successful XBLA title," says Khalid.
He explained: "One of the most attractive reasons for us to develop for XBLA was that we wouldn't need a publisher or major marketing, as the game would always be available online and would be able to garner enough sales for us to make up our investment."
When Khalid and Little Boy Games first began development for Xbox Live Arcade, there were fewer than ten titles available for the service. When Go! Go! Break Steady
finally hit the marketplace in July 2008, however, the breakdancing-themed puzzle game was the 150th title on XBLA and was released alongside Capcom's remake of arcade classic 1942
The developer had next to no hype leading up to Go! Go! Break Steady
and very little post-release hype due to lack of marketing. "Researching this more, we realized that this seems to be the bane of all indie developers."
Khalid added, "Although we found someone to help us with the PR work close to the release date, in retrospect it would have been prudent to show more of the game earlier so consumers would at least recognize the name when they see it on XBLA."
Khalid's comments came as part of a larger postmortem
on Go! Go! Break Steady
, discussing the challenges and successes with the XBLA indie rhythm games's development.