With less than a week until we release our first game 'Grow Big (or Go Home)' on Itch.io and Steam, we've been hard at work making tweaks and finishing touches to the experience. We've been busy with playtests too, but with this blog post we want to talk a bit about the marketing and PR stuff, most of which we've done ourselves and have been ramping up a lot in the past few weeks.
We say mostly as, out of sheer chance, we were contacted by the PR company SuperIndie Games, which is headed by someone who taught 2 of us games marketing while we were studying Game Development in UPC Barcelona. Up until that point, we had been using the games-marketing skills and structures which we were taught (by him) in university, but one of the biggest assets that he had compared to us (apart from much more experience) was the contact details of over 20,000 gaming influencers (including reviewers, YouTubers, and Twitch steamers). He was more than happy to help us out and so far, the response has been pretty incredible for us!
Beforehand, we had received just a handful (less than 10) of responses based on our group emails sent from our company Gmail (which, as we later found out, were going straight into people's spam folder due to us not using an external group email client). We could only do so much by sharing on Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook - especially without annoying people on those platforms (too much anyway) - and our hours of work had limited success.
After the first group email was sent out by SuperIndie Games, we got lots of responses over the following few days. The numbers have just continued to grow and we've now gotten requests for keys from almost 50 gaming influencers with a combined reach of almost *2 million subscribers* (and that's just on YouTube).
Even more rewarding for us than these individual responses is the many articles which have already been written about Grow Big, coming from a wide array of countries like Germany, Spain, France, Mexico, and Russia, really underpinning the global reach that our game has achieved (if even in a tiny way), instead of it mostly being limited to people we all personally know and friends of friends. We wanted to highlight below just some of the articles that have been written about us:
In a perfect world, our game would speak for itself and all potential fans would be introduced to the game organically, but the reality is that Grow Big is fighting for at least a moment of potential customers' attention in a sea of indie and larger upcoming and already released games - according to the most up-to-date figures I could find, 30,000 full games have already been released on Steam, and that number continues to balloon. In this situation, having the assistance of someone with the skills and contacts has proven to be essential, if you have any money to spare.
'Grow Big (or Go Home)' is still yet to release, and so we still don't know for sure how it will do when it launches, but what we can be sure of is that however many sales we get, it will be many times more than if we hadn't enlisted the help of SuperIndie Games or some other games marketing/PR firm with the necessary contacts.