Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Businessweek Covers Games

Well, sort of... their cover story this last week was about apps, or as they spelled it, App$ (read the whole thing here). Though as usual, Businessweek manages to be a little unlcear on the concept; they use the term "apps" to refer to things like Facebook games and Yahoo widgets. But the interesting part is how they cover games as an important part of this phenomenon. Zynga's gone from 0 to $100 million in a couple of years, and it's profitable at that... selling stuff inside their games (like buying land inside Farmville).

It really highlights that the problem facing most of the game developers (and other app developers) is a marketing problem. Apple's App Store really sucks at helping you find what your interested in. Just for an example, check out the roleplaying section... it's crammed full of games that aren't RPGs at all (like innumerable clones of Facebook social games). Which makes finding what gamers classically think of as RPGs difficult. Some developers have taken to gaming the system (releasing new versions rapidly mostly to get listed in the new section, for instance) but the problem is bad and getting worse. Some solutions are evolving (like ngmoco's ingame ad network), but until the market matures marketing is a far more difficult problem for most developers than actually building their title. Usually because the have expertise in building titles, but none in marketing, for starters.

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