So to our second set of factors, this time there are 9 to make a total of 17. Feel free to add any more you can think of in the comments.
Age rating. Fundamental really. Don’t get caught obviously trying to attract customers who are too young to buy the game. It is a bit like cigarette adverts next to schools. Society does not approve.
Availability of assets. Videos, demos, renders, interviews etc. The more of these you have the better, you cannot have too much. You don’t get five magazine front covers (As Colin McRae 2 did) without the right assets. This means you have to get on very well with development so that they understand the value in doing the work to create them. Also hold people’s hands with tact when they are doing interviews. Don’t over-brief them. But encourage them to stay on message.
The platform and marketing peculiarities of that platform. Every platform is different to market for. You must take into account technical peculiarities as well as customer demographics and attitudes. Also your relationship with the platform holder and what you can do for each other.
Whether it is a sequel. And how well the previous iteration did. Games can succeed after a long hibernation, Prince of Persia did. The danger with sequels is to be complacent, think that it has all done before, rely on the brand and just market by rote. This isn’t the best way to look after your IP so you must be vigilant not to fall into the trap.
Whether it has a licensing ties in. This can be a massive help or a real pain. Some license holders tie your hands so tight that you can’t market effectively. Others do everything in their power to make your game a success. A lot of this is down to personal relationships with the license holder. So work on your interpersonal skills.
Celebrity possibilities. As an industry we are nowhere on this. OK magazine doesn’t ask David Beckham what his current favourite game is. We should use celebrities more because people relate to people and that empathy makes marketing so much easier and more powerful. One thing to beware of is that celebrities have very limited time so you have to plan with great care to get the most out of what you have. For instance using that time up making them travel is just plain stupid. You go to them.
Does it have muliplayer and/or online capabilities. These completely change the dynamics of a game in the market so they should completely change the way you do your marketing. Online elements mean you can really add power to your online marketing. Your community people can go to town on this.
How does it integrate with and use Live, Home and Steam. These are becoming key, critical factors in the market. They are things that your customer should be told and which may even find you customers. You need to make sure that your presence on these sites is optimised for marketing as well as game playing reasons.
Budget. Saving the biggest one till last. The answer is always “more”.
Finally all you have to do is to repeat all 17 factors for every market you sell the game in.