Jan 28

Weekly Update #442: Marketing Woes

First of all, in case you haven’t seen it yet, we have just launched the Steam store page for GENBA no Kizuna a couple of days ago!
Along with it, we have also finally put up a trailer which should give you a good overview as to what you can expect from the game.
Be sure to check out the announcement post for more details and don’t forget to add GENBA to your wishlist! It’d help us out a lot!

Now, with all of that out of the way, let’s delve into today’s topic: why is launching the Steam store page such a big deal to begin with and why would we even do it, if it’s still gonna be a while until the actual release of the game?

Well, that’s how marketing strategies dictate it. In case you were unaware, the general advice is to launch the store page as soon as you can. According to Valve themselves, you should do it right when you have enough assets together to fulfill the requirements to get your store page up (so we’re actually super late with this).

The idea behind it is to get the word out right at the start of development and to gather as many wishlist entries as possible in order to boost your project’s visibility and ensure that, on release day, there are tons of people who’ll get notified and immediately buy it. After all, the more day one sales you’ll get, the better are your chances of also receiving a lot of reviews during the release week, which is pretty important to further boost the visibility of your game and not have it disappear into the algorithmic abyss of oblivion.

Personally, I’m not a fan of things working this way, because, in my eyes, you should only put up a store page if you’re very far into development and have a good idea of the release date or, better yet, got it set in stone. Like, two weeks or a month before release. Whenever I see a game put up a store page a year or more in advance, usually, by the time it finally comes out, I’ve lost interest in it, or my hype has at least died down and maybe even shifted towards something else, so that I’m not as eager anymore to get it.
I’ve waited that long, I can wait some more and don’t need to grab it day one.

Now, when something is freshly announced that gets me super excited, however, I obviously want to have it right away!
But apparently, I’m in the minority with that mindset…

Either way, my personal feelings on the matter are part of the reason why I didn’t bother thinking about it for so long, but towards the end of last year, I received a lot of marketing feedback, suggestions and advice from a number of sources and, all of a suddenly, I felt very nervous about being way too late with getting our store page up…

That’s why, during this past month, I primarily dedicated myself to changing that.

To be completely honest, I really hate the whole marketing side of things in general. Ideally, I’d like to solely focus on the actual game development process and just work on the script and assets all day. But alas, nothing’s gonna sell itself, which is especially true for rather niche things such as murder mystery visual novels. And if we do want to keep making more, never mind improve the quality and speed up the development process of future projects, we kinda need GENBA to bring in some money.

Not to mention, it would really suck if not that many people would end up playing it after all the time and effort we’ve put into it!

Of course, just getting up the Steam store page still isn’t enough. It’s an important step, but there are many more to take and I will have to deal with a lot of other marketing-related aspects. It’d be nice to just hire someone to push all of this onto, but for now, we’re still a tiny team and thus gotta tackle it by ourselves.

That said, for now, I will shift my focus back purely to the development side and continue finishing up the fourth chapter!
And I’m really excited about that, because again… that’s a lot more fun to me!

On that note, I’d like to get right back to work, so please enjoy the rest of your weekend and, until next Saturday, take care :3