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How To Sell Your Game

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#1 tangibleLime



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Posted 18 August 2005 - 03:55 PM

How to Sell Your Game
Written by Mike Deroche (roachofdeath)

So, you know you've made the game you will be able to sell right? Your going to be rich someday, right? Well, you probably won't be, but here's a start. Thsi guide will show you how to market and sell your games, to get at least some money for the hours you loggen programming your game.

The Plan
First you need to figure some things out for yourself.
1.) Who is my target market?
Is your game meant for kids? Adults? Teens?
2.) Where am I going to sell it?
Once you've figured out your target market, it's easier to chose where you are going to sell your product. For example, if your game is for children, ages 5 and lower, are you going to sell your game at a teen rap concert? No, of course not. You would sell it probably around a daycare center, or in the Kid's section of a department store.
3.) What's your price?
This also depends on your target market. Different age groups probably would pay more for a certain game then another age group would. Make sure the game costs more than your Individual Start-Up cost for a single unit. (see below in "Investing")
4.) What is your unit of time?
Are you going to be keeping your records in Monthy or Weekly format? This is importnant when calculating the end of the week (or month) loss, profit, and costs.
5.) How much do you estimate you will sell?
Before you go out and buy 300 CDRs, just take a guess on how much you will sell each month or week, whatever you chose in the steop above. Chose a number a little lower than you think. After all, you can always buy more, but you cant return them.

Start-Up Investment / Operating Costs
Ok, now that you know what you are planning to do, it's time to start doing it! This of course, is going to take some money. Money to make money, in otherwords.
1.) Standard Start-Up Investments
--- CDRs (Don't buy to many!)
--- CD Labeler (If wanted)
--- Jewel Cases for CDRs (if they didn't come with them)
2.) Standard Operating Costs
--- Rent (Where you are selling your product)
--- Website (for customer support)
--- Loans (did your parents loan you a few dollars here and there? Pay them back in peices, a percent at the end of every month/week (whatever you chose in your plan)

The Money
Ok, say you make a sale, and you make $10! Good for you! However, that entire $10 is not for you to keep. Remember the investments! You need to pay off the Start-Up Costs and the Operating Costs before you start making a profit. At the end of the week, calculate the money you spent with startup-costs and operating costs, and how much merchandise you sold, and how much money you received for the merchandise. Subtract the money you received from the costs, and see if you're at a loss or a profit! Now, after the first few days you can probably get an idea on how many people are going to buy your game, so now you know about how many CDRs to buy, so you're not wasting your money.

Is business slow? Maybe it's time for some marketing. Of course, TV and Radio ads would be too much of an expense, so stick with flyers and posters, and hang them up at local stores, post offices, churches, and other buildings. If your'e posting it in a non-local area, make sure you have a website and the website address is on the flyer, so customers can purchase a product online. A flyer should include your company name, address, telephone number, (fax if availible), website (if availible) and a slogan. If you don't have a slogan, get one, because it's what triggers brand recognition, as well as the logo does. So, be sure to have yoru company name, logo, and slogan. Brocures are also a great tool to use, but flyers will have a much better chance of visibility. Also, the best advertising there can be is completely free. It's called talking. Get people to talk about your games, and it can spread like wildfire... like a rumor in a highschool. If your customer service is great, and/or the game is great people will be more likely to reffer or talk about you, and spread the word about your company. Contests are also a good thing. A good advertising contest to hold is a refferal contest. Basicly, whoever reffers the most people to buy your product can win something. Possible one of the best contests I have seen was when CocaCola launched a contest in which you were spotted drinking CocaCola in public, you would have a chance to win somthing. Not only did CocaCola get tons of visibility with people walking all over the place with their product, but they had a base contest that made people buy more. This should give you a good idea on how to market and advertise.

Where to Sell?
Try to sell your game in somewhere that is free, unless of course nobody is ever there. The mall is a great population place, but it comes at a major price. Local stores, or flea markets are great places to sell (as said by Cynical). You can also sell games through your website. Be sure to charge Shipping and Hadleing, and keep a record of all of your sales.

Record Your Sales!
Recording your sales is a key point in making your selling successful. Use something with some catagories below. It is called double entry book-keeping.
Date, Customer Name, Sale Price, Game Sold, Cutomer E-Mail
You can of course, add your own catagories. These are just suggestions.

Well, I think I covered most of it, if I haven't just contact me and i'll add it in.

Rock on,

(I have a feeling I forgot somthing)

Edited by roachofdeath, 19 August 2005 - 01:01 PM.

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#2 mccow28


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Posted 18 August 2005 - 04:33 PM

Some good advice in there, for people who don't know anything about selling their games. Seems an awful lot like what I learned in my business class...

Regarding recording your sales, people might be reluctant to give you their e-mail, and some even their name. :blink: It could be an idea to have people sign up for a weekly newsletter, telling of new games/such. Although not a lot of people like that thing. Including myself.

Slogans are okay, not completely neccesary. I find most of them really annoying, actually.

Flea markets are a good idea, I've never actually thought about that. That wouldn't be a good place to sell shooters/action games though, seeing as most people there are over the age of 30. You could probably sell some casual games, such as card games or puzzle games, maybe the occasional educational game.

The part about word-of-mouth advertising is good. One time I tried it just to see if I could. I got people hyped about my Halo Mini game, handed out business cards and told people to 'Buy Halo Mini!'. Obviously, I wasn't gonna sell it [copywrite (how do you spell that, anyway?) problems]. Anyways, it seemed to work. Slightly later some people asked me 'What happened to Halo Mini?' and so forth.

My popularity rebounded later that year. :P

Edited by mccow28, 19 August 2005 - 04:18 AM.

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#3 NeoN


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Posted 19 August 2005 - 08:03 AM

1.) Who is my target market?
Is your game meant for kids? Adults? Teens?

Please do not mistake "market" for "target audience" or "stakeholders". These things are different to market as they are the people you intend to sell or distribute your games to. Target market here would be the "games market". Why I am saying this is because the majority of children under 18 implement other people's ideas and meanings in their own later to follow ideas and meanings rapidly. And you dont just teach kids wrong things.

Operating Costs

I'd also like to correct this. Set up costs, maintaining costs/fees and operating costs. After all, this is supposed to be the one shiny golden documentation right?

Is business slow? Maybe it's time for some marketing. Of course, TV and Radio ads would be too much of an expense, so stick with flyers and posters, and hang them up at local stores, post offices, churches, and other buildings.

Well I'd like to say that even posters and flyers are more expensive than web ads and they are really not the way to do it. Did Bungie deliver flyers when Halo was released? And posters are very expensive. Especially coloured ones. One single poster might cost you around $15 U.S.D

The rest is all good =)
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#4 tangibleLime



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Posted 19 August 2005 - 12:59 PM

1.) A lot of Adults of course don't buy games for themselves, they buy it for others (Kids, Teenagers)

2.) This isn't a Business Class, so i'm going to keep things simple, even though I should have make different catagories for the costs

3.) How much does a TV AD Normally cost? Usually around $200 to $1,500 (depending on the time slot, of course). And no, Bungie did not use posters, but guess what: He had a bizzilion dollars with Microsoft do do whatever the hell he wanted. For a small time kid trying to just sell a few games, stick with flyers.
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#5 hpapillon


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Posted 19 August 2005 - 02:22 PM

Do you have any experience of someone using flyers and doing well with them, or is this just a hypothesis of yours?

It's all well and good to make a "guide to selling games" but the most important question is, of course, has the person writing this "guide" sold them successfully? If not, where does the knowledge and judgments about what's "best" come from?

This is not an attack on you at all, just warning that there's the possibility of the problem with "copyright advice" on this forum - a lot of kids who DO NOT KNOW stating what they THINK the law is, and being totally wrong. If you've never sold a game using flyers, how do you know using flyers is a good thing to do?
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