Sony’s Marketing Tips for Self-Publishers

Joystiq links to a brief article on the importance of marketing your game when you self-publish:

Sony rep warns against poor marketing for self-published games

Chris Eden from Sony suggests marketing your game at least two months in advance of the release date. And where’s a good place to start talking up your opus? Why, the Sony message boards (natch).

The counterpoint to Chris’s suggestion is, of course, the idea that marketing your game too early raises audience expectations, which tend to snowball into this wad of messianic myths about your game that are impossible to fulfill. Duke Nukem Forever is the quintissential example of a game that was announced too early – ten years too early, in fact – until at this point it’s become a laughing stock, even as the game’s first trailers are debuting. Similarly, Ontario dev Silicon Knights’ Too Human was originally an N64 game , the development of which dragged on over a decade. The game demo at E3 was really choppy, prompting many journalists to grumble “all that wait, for what?” When Too Human finally hit store shelves, audiences and critics were nearly chomping at the bit to hate it.

Too Human

i’ve had this jazz on my face for ten years too long

Kahoots™, our fun crime-themed puzzle game modelled entirely in clay, was about 85% complete before we finally announced it in mid-March. That puts us in the general pre-release area that the Sony rep recommends. The great crew of folks who have signed up, and continue to sign up, for our Closed Public Beta, can expect a playable game from start to finish, with all fifty levels, six game types, and two game modes intact. (Hit the Boards to sign up!) The buff and shine are missing, though – namely, the music, sound effects and voice over are all absent, and the cut-scenes are only roughed-in.

We’re betting on the fact that it’s enough to test with. The big concern is that the game is FUN, and if the testers decide it’s decidedly UNFUN, we’ll go back to the drawing board to rip it apart and put it back together. But here’s hoping for a verdict of “FUN”. Fingers crossed.

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