If you’re an independent game developer, then I’m sure you’ll agree that trying to get your mobile game reviewed can be a major challenge.
Perhaps you’ve tried many times to approach mobile game review sites and failed? We’ve all been there.
With some of the leading mobile gaming sites receiving thousands of review requests each year it’s even more essential, you ensure that you give yourself every possible advantage to try and secure a review of your mobile game. This is especially for independent developers who are up against the top mobile games that have large PR teams behind them.
Don’t worry because help is at hand
If you haven’t read our FREE App Reviewer Survey, then we thoroughly recommend you do because it’s packed full of valuable insights that come straight from 70 experienced app reviewers that we interviewed.
Whether you’re developing iOS or Android games, here are some of the main insights from the survey.
Tip 1: Be clear and concise
If you’re going to approach a journalist to review your game, then you have a small amount of time to grab their attention.
Just to put things into perspective, some journalists receive up to 50 game review requests a day – that’s a staggering 13,000 requests a year!
But that’s not all…
Unfortunately over 40% of respondents in our survey said that fewer than one in ten of the pitches they receive end up getting reviewed.
This means that 70% of journalists who responded published reviews on less than 30% of occasions – giving the average app a less than one-in-three chance of getting coverage.
According to our survey, the second biggest reason that journalists reject apps for review (at just over 40%) was that the sender had an ‘inability to explain concisely the app’s features in the pitch email’.
So here’s how you overcome this hurdle…
You should be able to state clearly what your app is, what is does and try to say what makes it different from all the others, in a relatively short space.
Remember, an app reviewer will likely see hundreds of apps and be able to automatically benchmark yours against others that they have used or played with. If you can’t explicitly say in a couple of sentences why you think they should give it a look versus all the other ones, then you seriously need to rethink your approach.
Tip 2: If you want to have your app reviewed then you need to be relevant
We can’t stress enough how important it is for you to send the correct pitch to the right journalist.
In our survey, almost 60% of the respondents said that the main reason they reject an app for review is simply that it’s not relevant for their audience.
Here’s a big NO NO…
There’s no point in sending out a mass email addressed to the wrong person or ‘to whom it may concern’ and then offering an iOS app for review to an Android site. This kind of mass spamming and irrelevance gets you nowhere. Better to focus on 50 of the best sites, sending personalised and tailored emails and get it right than sending out 500 generic emails in a kind of scattergun approach.
It’s much better if you focus on 50 of the best sites, sending personalised and tailored emails and get it right than sending out 500 generic emails in a kind of scattergun approach.
Tip 3: Be genuine
Journalists are, more often than not, real people who just like you to approach them in a friendly and straightforward manner.
You don’t need to be wacky, pretentious or ‘out there’ for them to respond to you.
Most important of all…
Just be yourself, write a clear and concise email (as said above) and you will significantly increase your chances of them responding.
Tip 4: Provide excellent visuals, even a video if you can
Journalists have a tiny amount of time to make a decision, and the best chance you have of helping them out is to send them some great screenshots from your game. Our survey results show the importance of screenshots to the reviewer when submitting your game for review:
You should preferably embed the screenshots in the body of the mail and perhaps put a link to a Dropbox or Google Drive folder with more shots in it.
Adding attachments to your mail may cause your mail to head straight into their spam folder.
If you’re able to make one, then a video can also be a massive help in securing a review for your game. There’s no need for anything too amazing or flashy, but a 30-60 second video on YouTube can really assist them to see what your app is about and if it’s worth reviewing.
Remember to flash up some key features on the screen to guide the viewer as to the app’s unique selling points.
Tip 5: Be helpful towards the app reviewer
Remember, it’s up to you to give the journalist what they need to get them nearer to the point of reviewing your app.
If you have an iOS app, then you may also choose to give them a promo code with the message so they can just get the app and try it.
It’s also important to remember…
You might want to limit allocating promo codes to the top 20 reviewers as you will have a limited amount that you can use.
Tip 6: Make sure that your game is really great
Quality is the #1 thing we tell people all the time above anything else.
High-quality apps shine through and do more than anything else. Your app has to look great, work well and do something well or genuinely new.
If you’ve not sought independent feedback on your app before launching it, then we recommend that you do because sometimes you’re just far too close to it to see the wood for the trees.
Tip 7: You need to be patient to secure a review of your game
Journalists don’t like to be bugged, badgered or chased. If you send a mail and don’t hear back then leave it.
Above all else…
The media hate to receive multiple emails regarding your app. Journalists either want to know more/review your app or will simply not saying anything. They don’t have time to issue polite apologies and rejections.
So there you have it. There’s no secret sauce to succeeding with the media when it comes to getting your game reviewed.
As long as you have something that is genuinely unique that you can explain clearly and sensibly to the journalist, accompanied by some great visuals, then you should give yourself the best possible chance of getting your mobile game reviewed. Whether you get a good review or score after that is an entirely different matter.
Download your free copy of the App Reviewer Survey here