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Mode 7's Taylor: Indie Game Marketing Is Absolutely Essential

In the latest Gamasutra feature, Paul Taylor, managing director for indie studio Mode 7 Games (Frozen Synapse) explains how marketing is essential for indie
In the latest Gamasutra feature, Paul Taylor, managing director for indie studio Mode 7 Games (Frozen Synapse) explains how marketing is essential for indie developers, and offers tips on how to get the word out. "Obscurity is literally the worst thing that can possibly happen to you and your game," he says. "Notoriety is better. Public hatred is arguably better. Seriously. At least people remember Limbo of the Lost." According to Taylor, some of the methods used to market a small indie game include setting up a website or a blog to disseminate information about the game, or any venue that makes sense. "The most important thing isn't that you have coverage over every communication method, however. It's that you use your chosen ones well," he says. Taylor gives several suggestions about marketing an indie game, from the press release for the official announcement, to phoning up and bugging games journalists, to videos, open betas, and general pre-release hyping. "One thing which many indies don't do is advertise heavily pre-release. If you have the budget for this, I'd seriously recommend looking into it, and this could work well when coupled with pre-orders," Taylor says. He adds that promotion doesn't stop at the release of the game. "The most important thing you can do post-release is keep going: I'd say it's where other elements of the marketing mix come to the fore rather than PR, but you must use any PR opportunities you can generate." Properly marketing an indie game can have great payoffs, but Taylor, who happily mentioned his own studio's game Frozen Synapse, admits it won't be easy. "Marketing anything takes a lot of time and effort. Most small indies skew their efforts far too far towards production and away from marketing: this is one of the reasons why so few are a genuine commercial success, and why many high-quality games generate minimal revenue," he says. The full Gamasutra feature goes much more in-depth on the methods of promoting an indie game, and is a must-read for small developers who want to spread the good word (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).

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