Wednesday 13 June 2012

Indie Exposure: The Realities of Free

It's been a while since the last Indie Exposure post, hasn't it? When I was planning to post this instalment, I was preparing Greedy Bankers: Bailout! for launch - that is, the free version of the game with expanded game modes for in-app purchases. I fully expected this to make a massive difference to the game's fortunes - specifically, enabling much better exposure.

Of course, as with the best laid plans, this strategy didn't go the way I expected. While I am receiving consistently higher downloads of the free version as I had been getting on the paid version, I was expecting the userbase to grow by significantly more than it actually did. I needed to do some thinking before I could wax lyrical about the exposure opportunities for free games. 

I'll begin with my starting logic: offering your game for free should make it more open to recommendation, and hence benefit your exposure. Let's think about why.

The Logic

Put yourself in your customers' shoes, or look at your own purchasing decisions. I presume I am not an atypical iOS user, and from my own experience even paying 69p for an app requires a big decision. After all, how many times do I want to spend 69p before I find something that I really enjoy? Unless I am cautious about my spending those 69p's could really add up!

When I buy a cup of coffee, I know exactly what I'm going to get and have a fairly accurate estimate of how much I'll enjoy it. So paying £1.80 for my medium Americano is not a big decision. With a game I have only the vaguest idea how much I'll enjoy it, even if I take time to read all the copy, see the reviews and look at the screenshots. In short, I'll be taking a risk

Saturday 2 June 2012

Speaking at Develop Brighton, 12 July 2012

Hi everyone! Just to let you know I'll be speaking at the Develop Conference in Brighton this July. I'll be giving a talk titled Indie Exposure: Tackling the Challenges, based on my recent blog series.
Breaking into the market as an indie developer takes more than just a great game, with publicity and exposure being major barriers to success. Drawing lessons from his Greedy Bankers series on iOS, one-man studio Alistair Aitcheson examines why visibility remains such a challenge, and explores ways to achieve it.

He’ll explore how freely-accessible marketplaces like the App Store are approached by consumers, the importance of a bold and remarkable USP, and how pricing and platform affect your ability to draw attention. He also examines the opportunities unique to indie developers, to take memorable design risks and to become identifiable personalities.
I'll be speaking as part of the Indie Dev Day on 12th July. Early bird tickets for the day are £75 before 13 July. I went to this day last year and found it both insightful and useful, and an affordable alternative to the full conference for smaller studios, so it's highly recommended! I'll be in Brighton for all three days of the conference this year, so if anyone else is going it'll be great to see you there.

The feedback I got from my Develop Liverpool talk was so encouraging, and thoroughly enjoyed giving my presentation. So I'm excited to be able to speak at the main event in Brighton this year!

The conference is also running an Indie Marketing Day on 11th of July, which has a very exciting lineup of talks, and is definitely work taking a look at.