Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Small Developers, Big Games

I'd like to highlight one of the cool games I saw at GDC, which is coming out March 15th on the Playstation Network: Slam Bolt Scrappers from Firehose Games. It's a fine example of how a small team can turn out a fun game that's quite capable of keeping up with the big guys. It reminds me a lot of Super Smash Brothers, but Slam Bolt Scrappers has a co-op play mode as well as a competitive mode, and it has a nice strategic component as well. The combination means you'll be playing it for quite a while, especially with the fun animation and sounds. You can see for yourself with the trailer above; check out their website too.

When small teams can produce games of this quality and get them distributed via PSN or other major platforms, it's a great thing for the industry. The big challenge is marketing, and finding enough players. Fortunately, with digital distribution the game's lifespan is orders of magnitude better than what it would be as a boxed retail product. If this game was in GameStop, you'd have to get it in the first month after release because you'd likely never see it after that. Stores only stock the latest releases, unless it's one of a handful of best-sellers or a used title. Digitally distributed titles last as long as you care to keep putting effort into marketing them, and if it takes a few months to find an audience it doesn't hurt (except for a few months of nailbiting for the developers, that is).

If you've got a PS3, check out this game. It's fun, and it's a taste of the best part of the gaming industry.

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