Less Space and Future for Indie Games on the Big Portals?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Tom Gilleland, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. Nexic

    Indie Author

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    But getting traffic is where the competition factor comes in. I'm not saying someone will be more likely to buy from a portal once they know about your site, what I'm saying is that getting them to see you in the first place is hard unless you are pitching something different. As somone else mentioned, portals bid up to 0.50c per click on AdWords forcing would be competitors to make similar bids, which they simply can't afford. Same goes for all kinds of advertising, a big portal is always going to be able to pay more per user than you because with such a large catalog of games it's likely that customers will buy more than one game. If you are selling something different from what they are, then you can advertise on different kinds of site or for different keywords that won't have the portal shadow cast over you.
     
  2. arcadetown

    Moderator Original Member

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    Hmmm... could have swore Cliff was already doing well enough. So the problem is?

    Just find something users want, make it good, and sales will follow. So what if it's a clone. Didn't Bezerker just say his direct sales of JofA were good? If you do clone, be sure it's inspired such as Jewel of Atlantis and market it using every angle possible. I've scratched my head at how some very uninspired clones did well elsewhere as most did weak here.
     
  3. Sillysoft

    Indie Author

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    I agree with you. I think that casual games have done a lot to simplify game interfaces so that they are much more accessible. Hardcore developers would do well to follow some of the casual practices. I'm trying to learn some of the lessons, and will soon release a much more casual version of Lux (which is very complicated by casual games standards).
     
  4. berserker

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    No that is not true. I've started the comany - rented office, bought computers, funiture, hired staff, etc. purely on Clash'N Slash revenues and CNS wasn't a hit on portals as you can see. The problem is that you don't want to listen what others keep telling you. I already told you that I've moved to puzzle games to diversify risks and make my customer base more versatile. Your response was something like "everyone is telling that, you cloneass". Currently we have two games in development - one is a shooter aimed at male demographics, another is puzzle aimed at female players. But I doubt you will understand me if I will tell that making business is fun too.
    ________
    Thc
     
    #44 berserker, Mar 20, 2006
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  5. Nauris

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    Actually, I believe that that`s when you buy indie, just using a "portal" channel. Those store brands are usually local farmers production that has managed to attract store`s interest and to sell it store has slapped on them its label.

    I have no point :)
     
  6. Savant

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    So you were building a successful business off of Clash'N Slash and decided to clone anyway to minimize risk? Argh!
     
  7. jankoM

    Indie Author

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    Savant , I am starting to feel sorry for you.
     
  8. Savant

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    Feel sorry for indie gaming. It's the one suffering.
     
  9. Ricardo C

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    Savant needs to get off his soapbox and actually make a game (that isn't a clone, like his previous one). Lead by example and assume the risks you want the "cloners" to take.
     
  10. jankoM

    Indie Author

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    EDIT: I removed it because I was pushing OT again, sorry Chris. I will stop doing this.
     
    #50 jankoM, Mar 20, 2006
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2006
  11. Chris Evans

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    Guys enough, I don't want to see this thread locked. If you're not going to add a meaningful response, don't hit the reply button.
     
  12. yanuart

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    well, I tried or still trying to experience all the business model available in this forsaken indie dev world. So far it's been quite a ride and I have to admit that I haven't achieve anything meaningful yet but if I keep trying .. and try everything that's available I know I'll hit the sweet spot someday.
    So in business terms. yeah.. I choose option #1-#8 cause I can't even program COBOL :D
     
  13. rioka

    rioka New Member

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    Replying to the first post in this thread:

    If portals are producing their own casual games, then wouldn't that be good for us indie's? Think about it. Casual gamers will become much like hardcore gamers tired of the same 'ol sequelitis games and eventually look for something new and fresh. With portals squeezing indie's out of the cloning arena, indies would be forced to do what they should be doing - making new types of casual games.

    And if the portals clone your game within 3 months, then fine - you've got 3 months ahead of them, your game's name is already out there, plus if you're smart, you're building your own brand name and traffic, making the next big game and remaining 3 steps ahead of them.

    Anyways, an idea on getting folks to your site once they downloaded your game from the portal:
    Create exclusive games and incentives only available at your site and not available at the portals. For example,
    -high score rankings,
    -tournaments (who says casual games can't have tournaments?),
    -new items (i.e. new Gem Shop jewelry, for example),
    -wallpapers (i.e. Bonnie's Bookstore artwork - hey, you paid for the art, use it to its full potential!),
    -mini-related games you can play online (preferably addictive)
     
  14. KNau

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    Nexic, that's very true. The solution is for us to stop using the same tools that the competitors are. It's like a small deck-building company buying a superbowl ad. It's just not going to work.

    On the other hand look at everyone's favorite blogger, Savant. His Alexa ranking (again, not a great indicator) is closing in on Shrapnel Games' ranking without having a single game on the site. Haters aside, if he released a game that lived up to the "originality rules" theme of the site he would have a sh*tload of downloads and probably sales. There are lots of ways to generate traffic that are not only cheaper but work better than google ads, linkshares and banner placements.

    No question it's harder than sending a game off to portal land - but over the long term I think it's a better solution. I still wouldn't rule out portals as a side market, though - their money is a good as anyone else's. I just wouldn't want to rely on it exclusively.
     
  15. KNau

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    The funny thing is I'm betting the portal internal development teams are already starting to bloat like their mainstream counterparts. Soon they're going to have teams of 20 guys producing one match-3 game and then when the balance sheet doesn't work out they'll blame piracy and raise prices.
     
  16. Game Designer

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    IMHO, cloning never really hurts original creators.

    For example, Diablo inspired tons of clones. Many of them were successful as well, but look at the business Diablo did. Also, none of the clones stopped Diablo II from doing great.

    Warcraft and Command & Conquer were also knocked off many times, but people flocked to the originals and their sequels.

    These games practically created the genre.

    So in reality, the clone makers are good for business for the truly original creator. While all your competitors are busy cloning, they are NOT developing original, unique, and genre-starting titles. They are always playing catch up and will never lead.

    So while Blizzard was working on Diablo, their competitors were busy writing clones of previous games (I would have to search for titles, but I would guess things like Duke Nukem)

    just my 2 cents..
    ________
    STARCRAFT 2 REPLAY
     
    #56 Game Designer, Mar 20, 2006
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  17. Savant

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    Talk to Raptisoft about that.

    Right, except that indie clones often come out the same month as the original. That doesn't happen with retail games that take 2+ years to develop.

    Which supports my whole "Do something innovative and profit will find you", but that never meets with much support so I won't say it.
     
  18. Game Designer

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    Another important point to add is that of selling to your previous customers. People who have already bought one product from you are gold as they are the most likely to buy another. You need to treat these people great.

    The portals do this, but it doesn't necessarily support you directly. As an indie, I think it would be best to find some method of driving YOUR customers back to YOU even though they bought from the portal. Of course the trick to this is to do it in a way that doesn't bother the portal.

    just my 2 cents

    Carl
    ________
    BUY SILVER SURFER VAPORIZER
     
    #58 Game Designer, Mar 20, 2006
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  19. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    The problem with KNau's description of the shareware model, while correct, is that it doesn't factor in the money. In order for the shareware model to work you have to be able to get enough downloads cheaply enough that your conversions can turn a profit. It may be ok for hobbyists to make a few bucks on the side by creating a game and selling 10-20 copies a month of the free traffic they can generate using a few gorilla marketing techniques, but if you put a small company that has a few people working on a title over several months that kind of thing won't generate enough revenue to make it worth your while. It's possible technically to advertise to get those downloads, and then sell directly, and make enough money that way, but in practice running a cost effective ad campaign is not easy.
     
  20. Ricardo C

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    Do something innovative and fun, and profit will find you. This was supposed to be an entertainment-based business, last time I checked.
     

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