Episode 22 – Conquering Digital Events: Proven Tactics for Grabbing Attention and Gaining Fans at Steam Fests and Digital Showcases

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Episode Summary

In the ever-evolving landscape of game development and marketing, the significance of showcasing your game effectively cannot be overstated. Whether you’re an indie developer looking to make a mark or a seasoned studio aiming to optimise your event presence, understanding the nuances of both digital and physical showcases is crucial. This episode of The Games PR Podcast offers actionable insights and strategies to maximise your presence at digital events and Steam Festivals.

The gaming industry has seen a significant shift towards digital events, especially in the wake of the pandemic. Digital showcases have emerged as a cost-effective and logistically easier alternative to traditional in-person events. One of the primary advantages of digital showcases is the flexibility they offer. Unlike physical events, where the setup is static, digital events allow for real-time adjustments. You can A/B test different assets, track engagement metrics more effectively, and make necessary changes on the fly. This level of adaptability is invaluable in ensuring that your game gets the attention it deserves.

However, digital events come with their own set of challenges. Tracking engagement and return on investment (ROI) can be more straightforward in a digital format, but the lack of physical interaction can sometimes make it harder to create a lasting impression. That’s why it’s essential to leverage every tool at your disposal, from compelling demos to strategic influencer collaborations. Platforms like Steam Next Fest offer a unique opportunity for indie developers to showcase their games to a broad audience with minimal investment. Timing your launch, creating engaging assets, and collaborating with influencers can significantly boost your visibility and impact during such events.

In this episode, we also explored the financial dynamics of major digital events like Summer Games Fest and niche events like Wholesome Direct. The costs associated with major showcases can be astronomical, with some events charging up to $250,000 per minute for trailer slots. However, these events also offer unparalleled reach, with millions of viewers tuning in. For indie developers with limited budgets, niche events like Wholesome Direct can be a more viable option. These events may have a smaller audience, but they often attract highly engaged viewers who are genuinely interested in discovering new games.

One crucial aspect of event planning that often gets overlooked is the concept of “aftercare.” Once the event is over, maintaining the momentum and capitalising on the exposure is vital for long-term success. This involves strategic follow-ups, leveraging the feedback received during the event, and continuously engaging with your audience. Whether it’s through social media updates, email newsletters, or additional demos, keeping the buzz alive is essential to ensure sustained interest in your game.

The strategies discussed in this episode offer a comprehensive guide to mastering game showcases, from leveraging the flexibility of digital showcases to optimising the logistics of physical events. So, tune in, take notes, and get ready to transform your game showcase into a resounding success!

Content Hub


[00:00:00] Intro: Welcome to the Games PR Podcast, your regular dose of video game PR goodness. Sit down, and relax, as our team of experts and special guests share tips and tricks to help you level up your PR game 

[00:00:16] Jack: Welcome to The Games PR Podcast. This is episode 22. Somehow we’ve made it this far round of applause, everyone. We’ve not been canceled just yet. well done. Moving adaption coming in soon. We’ve got 20 odd episodes in plenty of material, but right now it is nice and toasty here as we record it’s summer, which means it’s the perfect time to talk about summer games fest and all the showcases we’ve just seen with a bit of analysis and really talk about what we’ve learned.

What developers should know about these, where they can go. we’ve got some great stats coming up later. joined [00:01:00] today by my trusty teammates, as always, Amy and Tom.

Welcome aboard. 

[00:01:08] Tom: Hello. 

[00:01:08] Amie: Very nice to be here 

[00:01:11] Tom: It is very sunny. Too sunny. I did not expect it. I know it was summer games fest recently but it was like during the summer games fest and like the summer of gaming it was really cold. And now that’s all over and now we’re in the actual summer’s cooking up.

It is way too warm 

[00:01:31] Jack: It’s cold. So everyone has to stay in and watch these now it’s warm. 

[00:01:36] Tom: Then we can’t actually have the time to play the games because we’re we’re just staying outside So we say i’m definitely not doing that, but I have brought myself a nice icy glass of water with me today.

[00:01:49] Jack: Shout out to the hydro homie community on reddit long term fans might go talking about events.

 our focus today is mainly on digital events, [00:02:00] and that’s why we have the event expert Amy on board so we can discuss the differences. Between approaching a digital event and the approaches to a physical event. they sound obvious, but there are some minute differences that it’s worth exploring.

we’re also going to cover a couple of different types of showcases and a wrap up of what comes next. Did it go well? Did it not go well? What should your plan be for moving forwards after your showcase? So that’s the plan for today. So without further ado, I think we should jump right in.

[00:02:39] Tom: I think that’s a good place to start. I think the first thing we really want to look at is something that’s really come on a lot since, like 2020 and the fact that there wasn’t the Australian government. opportunity for in person events is these digital events. And obviously as we said at the start, the [00:03:00] biggest, we’ve had that period now of two or three weeks that used to be where E3 sat, where it’s kind of morphed into this fully digital, two or three weeks that kind of starts with, summer games fest.

And then. you have the Xbox showcase and the PlayStation showcase and so on and so forth, and there’s lots of smaller ones in there as well. I think probably the best place for us to start then is by comparing those more traditional, events and opportunity to showcase games with the digital ones probably the best place to go straight away is When we think of the advantages that digital events have over traditional in person Showcases, I’d like to know what you two would immediately Think of when, we ask 

[00:03:51] Jack: For me, I think we’re going to be along the same lines here.

Amy. We’re thinking about planning with a In person showcase it might be that [00:04:00] you’re going to a completely different country and you’ve got to ship certain things with you So you’ve got to make sure you have everything you need right? Whereas a digital showcase you can be making changes to those assets during the showcase if needed You have aspects of being able to maybe a b test and see You which key art is getting better impressions or perhaps you have a couple different types of trailers in a way that you just can’t replicate that on a show floor 

[00:04:28] Amie: Oh, but I have to ship that. Can I have that? is it going to fit in that hallway? Sometimes I think a little bit too much. when you couple that with the cost of some of these physical events, the price you pay for the show floor, the space around it, all the design elements and production elements that go with that, I think, A lot of people are looking at digital events now because they’re an easier return on investment or like easier to track in terms of metrics and things like that.

Whereas on a show floor, it’s very difficult to, [00:05:00] sort of track like how many people saw my game, are people wishlisting it, how do I know? Like those are like, I think it isn’t on top of like, you know, the cost of it is like another consideration, for sure. 

[00:05:11] Tom: It’s a word that we see a lot and I always feel like it’s a very corporate thing to say, but a digital event democratizes that opportunity to be able to showcase something.

 if you’re developing a game in a country where there’s just not really that network to have these opportunities to go to events, if you’re in Europe or the U S especially, those are probably the two places where it’s quite easy to find physical events and you have the biggest events on the calendar are in those continents.

So if you want to attend those events, it comes back to the cost, but that huge outlay, whereas there’s, and we’ll discuss this later, but a lot of these showcases, there can be costs with them. There’s also that just general opportunity [00:06:00] that wherever you are, you can partake in them.

You can have an active part in them. And the overall investment Is a lot lower and that makes it a much smaller risk. And I think we all understand that some, developers, they might have small budgets, don’t have a lot of funding, the lower that risk can be, the lower that entry cost can be, the better the chance you have of getting a return on the investment.

whether that is sales, whether that is, just general attention to the game or wish lists or anything like that. and I think you cannot underestimate, how valuable, and how important that can be. 

[00:06:43] Amie: they both have a place, don’t they? Like they have their, and it’s really good.

I’m very thankful, like, we’ve done an episode on events before, but still now we’re seeing interest. for events still, like, you know, we’re getting Gamescoms and GDCs back to [00:07:00] close to, pre COVID numbers and now E3’s gone and now, it’s interesting that people are finding other things to fill this time with because people are still expecting this E3 sort and we’ve kind of had it, sort of.

But yeah, sorry, going back to what I said, I think in terms of like, Tom, what you said about risk, sometimes like taking a digital route, maybe the best option because not just for the exact reasons you just said, but also like there is as well, as you said, a time and a place for both events.

But in terms of like, Steam are doing so many more, and there are other platforms doing this kind of stuff, but Steam is, is doing these really, really good, like, niche online events, where it’s like, Cozy Games, Steam Fest, or like, you know, like, really going into, like, the niche, just to be able to cover the sheer amount.

of announcements and launches like going on in that in that time period and doing it like summer games fest [00:08:00] specifically doing it at this time of the year i think it really nicely sort of like kicks off the physical ones that are yet to come like in the year because as there was as i said there’s that gap so now we’ve got like that middle sort of that middle part of the year nicely sort of like tied off now But, and I know it’s something we’re going to come on to a little bit later in the episode, but again, online presence isn’t always, as cost effective as, as what it may be.

[00:08:25] Tom: We’ve got a unique metric that we can discuss later. but mentioned Steam there and I think it’s probably a good time. To, move on to that and obviously within the last couple of weeks, we’re recording this, near the end of June.

We’ve had another, Steam NexFest and I think NexFest is probably hard, on the PC front, because it’s not a Nintendo Steam Nexus because Steam’s PC. There’s not a better opportunity for independent [00:09:00] developers and independent studios to showcase.

next fest, for anyone who doesn’t know what next fest is, next fest is a festival that steam does where essentially you have the opportunity to release a demo for your game and then it’s this one week celebration where there’s hundreds of demos for people to Engage with, and it’s something where unlike any other time of the year, there is an acute focus from players, from the media on demos.

so it’s a very unique opportunity to, get your demo out there. And all you need to enter next fest is a steam page and to be able to make a demo. So if we go back to the cost effectiveness again, and the investment, there’s. Really little to no investment you need to do next best.

So it’s a really friendly option. So I guess that kind of general idea of what next best [00:10:00] is. with that being said, if you’re a developer approaching next best and you want to take part in it, what are some of the most effective ways, what can you do on your side to maximize your opportunities for success?

[00:10:15] Jack: Well, first off the bat, I would really recommend you look at the calendar because the small print with Steam Next Fest is officially you can only enter one Next Fest. You need to decide if it’s the right time because there’s a risk that you might choose one too early and you can’t get everything ready and you almost waste your spot.

So make sure you are ready for next best, and it’s definitely something you want to take advantage of before you, you jump in. So I’d say that’s first and foremost. Once you are. Going right. I’m going to do next best. You will need to start thinking of more than your usual assets. steam gives developers the chance to [00:11:00] stream their game steam broadcasts on the store page to.

Boost that visibility to players. So it might be a case of having some artwork either side of your screen, or potentially even collaborating with an influencer if you want them to host the stream, almost like a playthrough, or maybe you want the dev team or yourself to play it.

So think about those aspects. It’s not just the usual Steam store copy. It’s the art, it’s the broadcast, you know, Steam will offer developers a slot. So you have to think possibly time zones. If you have a particular target region you want to target, perhaps you need to time it for those and just have a look at what else is around and try and get that good slot.

[00:11:53] Tom: And I think all of that sounds like a lot, but [00:12:00] really isn’t. You just kind of have to sit down and commit a little bit of time to it. I think something else to consider as well is, and it’s the wider point of with, you know, with what we do, we see it so much, but I think even as players, we see it is there are so many games coming out now.

This last Next Fest in June, that was a couple of weeks ago, as we’re recording this, there was over 1, 800 demos there. Which is a lot, you know, that’s not, rocket science that that’s a lot of demos for people to get through.

And there’s always going to be some games that quickly become more popular. There’s going to be games that come into next fest that are already, you know, trending or doing really well, and people are going to gravitate towards them. Even if you’ve got a game which is a bit more of a slow burner, it’s very narratively heavy, or it’s a much slower [00:13:00] experience, 

It’s almost worth having a demo for next fest you’re vying for people’s time and especially journalists, if you’re trying to get their attention, they might go through the pages on steam during next fest, pick out 50 games, download all the demos.

And they’ll be going through them, quickly, thinking of, you know, which ones do I like, which ones do I want to write about in those, like, lists style content that we see a lot. So if you can have a demo that, you know, quickly grabs people, and has like a really interesting slice of, vertical content. A vertical slice of gameplay.

I think as obvious as that is, I’m basically saying have a demo, which is good, but I think it’s more than that. It’s like have a demo, which is conscious of the fact that people are going to be playing these demos on a really strict time limit. I feel like Amy’s got something to say on this.

So, I’ll pass the baton. 

[00:13:59] Amie: I was just thinking, [00:14:00] on the subject of the genre of game, that if you’re putting one out. during Steam Next Fest. If it’s got a long sort of roadmap ahead of it before it’s launched, for example, and it’s coming to early access and you’re trying to draw those wish lists soon.

What can also be really beneficial and helpful when building your page, if you imagine all those journalists, If we’re talking about media here specifically, you know, combing through these 1800 demos and picking out what they want to choose or not, you’ve got to make your page stand out and you’ve also got to provide as much good, useful information as you possibly can, so someone can take that sort of three to five second glance and go, yes, do the developers care about this?

Oh, okay, cool. Because there’s a six month development plan or a roadmap ahead that I can look at, and then it’s going to mean this. So the more you can give to your readers of like, you know, this is a game that we’re developing seriously, and we are really putting our efforts into this.

And this is what it’s going to look like. That can really. Add to, the confidence in what not just journalists, but also consumers think as well when they look at that page too. So it’s just as [00:15:00] important, you know, you’re not just doing it for you.

You’re not just getting the game out there. You’re delivering a promise to people that you are making this thing that you are. so show that and reflect that when you’re doing so 

[00:15:11] Jack: it goes back to physical events in that if someone comes to the booth is playing the game, they’re likely gonna be talking to you as a dev team as they’re playing in a way that you might not get that with the online.

While people are looking at the demo covers that off because there’s a risk that they see that demo completely out of context and they have an impression. Maybe they think, oh, that’s too short because again, it’s a demo. If you haven’t given any idea of how long the planned game is and things like that.

So you are almost demoing. you’re demoing the entire thing, not just how it plays. You’re demoing yourself as a developer. It comes down to more than just a playable demo with some artwork that catches attention. 

[00:15:53] Tom: I think to go back to what you said about confidence, I think it’s one of the reasons why.

In terms of like, [00:16:00] when we talk about strategy for approaching something like next fest with, clients that we work with, we always say to them, you want the next fest that you enter to be realistically, you want it to be the last one before your game comes out. Because again, to come back to the confidence, because then at that point, you’re kind of presenting ideally the most complete version of what your game is.

As Jack said, when we first started talking about this, since 2022, they changed how next best works. You’re going to get one opportunity to partake in it. afterwards it’s just a case of, well, sorry, you’ve already done it, so other games have to have the chance. if you’re making something, and then the first chance you get, six months into development, you put it into NexFest, and then people are playing it, it’s not unfair for people to be like, well, this feels like really early, or like, this doesn’t feel complete, and then that turns them off it.

And then in [00:17:00] two years time, your game might be a hundred times better, but you’ve already missed the boat to have the chance of promotion at NexFest, and it’s such a valuable opportunity because of the lack of cost involved. if you want to do NexFest, make sure you wait till you’re three months out from release or, you’re really close to launching the game.

you’ve got a lot of confidence that what you’re showing people is near enough, the final product and something that they can add to the wishlist. And then it comes out and it’s like, Oh yeah, well that really does reflect what it was, a polished demo of a really good game. 

[00:17:39] Jack: So to play Devil’s Advocate here, Tom, or the Wrestling Heel as I wear my John Cena t shirt, should devs be thinking, if I release my demo on NextFest and then my game a month or two later, that doesn’t give them potentially time to go through the player feedback from the NextFest?

The [00:18:00] other element to these online showcases Is being able to get player feedback again in a way that is just on a larger scale than being at a physical event with Steam. Next Best you can get a sense of how people reacted, and again, it depends on your timeline, but it might give you some time to make changes based on player feedback.

If something was particularly liked or particularly disliked 

[00:18:27] Tom: Yeah, I mean, it’s a really good point and I think it’s that case by case basis, isn’t it? I mean, I think it’s important for everyone to know that NexFest is kind of the primary demo festival on Steam, but there is nothing, as Amy touched on earlier, stopping you from bringing a new demo to Any of the festivals that Steam does, You know, they do Cozy Festivals, Survival Crafting Festivals, FPS Festivals, They do so many now, [00:19:00] and they’re all opportunities for you to, I mean, you could even argue that you might do Next Fest, And then you might think, right, there’s probably still A year of development here, but there might be two if you’re making an fps game.

You might have two more fps focused, events on steam where you can put your demo out to A crowd of people who are more finely tuned into who are going to buy your game. 

[00:19:27] Jack: The more niche genres as well 

[00:19:30] Amie: But it’s good because they touch on trends.

It’s like, you know, the cozy games trend has just, just keeps going up. People are still looking for that now. People are still looking for those very peaceful or like shorter experiences and stuff like that. But yeah, crikey. I feel like there’s, there’s an event for everyone, like every type of game. 

these days. And, and again, I think it’s something that we’re going to perhaps touch on a little bit, later, but I know that you guys have dug out some stats [00:20:00] just to give people an idea of some of the audiences, that even these like, arguably like, niche er, just questioned if that was a word then, these slightly more niche er, so, it is now, we’ve made it one on the podcast, niche er.

I’d have to like sneak an X in there somewhere, like a silent X, just to get the points. I don’t even know how much an ex worth is in Scrabble. 

[00:20:24] Tom: If you were playing Scrabble and you were like, you put it down and you were looking around at people and you’re like, is that a word?

No, we’ll let you off. Yeah, it’s definitely a word. but yeah, I mean, and you’ve done another good job, but I think segueing us, onto, showcases because as much as there are these, so I think just to kind of, we have like the The, the steam kind of like demo events, which are these opportunities that they don’t really have like these kind of big budget two hour live streams that go along with it.

And you’ve got, you know, [00:21:00] Jeff Keighley in his suit and tie and he name drops Kajima about 50 times. you’ve got interviews with Timothy Shalameh and whatnot. you’ve got like the steam and the demo stuff, which isn’t that, and then you have. The showcases, which are where it’s more kind of a, you know, the, Oh, I think, you know, Nintendo not known for doing much innovation, but they kind of innovated on this format of abandoning E3 in 2013 and saying, Hey, we’re just going to stream for 45 minutes and show a load of trailers and, now we have.

The showcase. so I think probably the elephant in the room with, big showcase such as Summer Games Fest, is how much does it cost? and there was quite a big, like three or four weeks ago, there was quite a few stories about how much, so I don’t know if anyone wants to quote the figures that those news stories [00:22:00] said, but, yeah, I think that’s probably a good place for us to start.

[00:22:03] Jack: For the low, low price. An estimated 250, 000 was the price being moved around that a one minute video trailer, Summer Games Fest would cost. Steam Next Fest is very indie focused, whereas the Summer Games Fest, again, being that.

E3 substitute as it were, which is where such high prices are being thrown around. 

[00:22:41] Tom: I think it’s worth saying though, and I just, sorry, I was just typing then to double check because I wanted to make sure I got the right numbers on this. So that obviously, I think that is very expensive. But then what we have to consider is the fact that, so this year’s Summer Games Fest had a peak [00:23:00] viewer count of just over 1.

6 million people. Which is, you know, it is a lot of eyes. it costs a lot of money though, but I guess that’s the kind of offset. Realistically though, I don’t think we need to have the conversation about the fact that that amount of money is out of most people’s budgets. and. I’d argue it’s probably not the best use of that, because I just don’t, I don’t think it is, 

[00:23:33] Amie: but if you were to put some of these numbers into a more understandable or relatable way, if I were to put either one of you on the spot 

[00:23:41] Tom: What could you be leading on to here 

[00:23:43] Jack: I was gonna say to people when they see those numbers, you need to calm down. yes, it’s a big number, but, we were interested in possibly applying some different math to this. the main cultural event of the summer is still ongoing, [00:24:00] not the Olympics, not the European championships, not the Copa America.

It is the ERA’s tour which according to reports now surpassed a billion us dollars in revenue. So we were thinking possibly for an easier comparison, let’s look at for a minute of a trailer at Summer Games Fest. If Taylor Swift was developing a game, how many could she afford, theoretically?

I’m glad someone asked. Tom has crashed the numbers on this. 

[00:24:31] Tom: They’ve been hard at work putting all the numbers to give the people what they want. So, Taylor Swift would be able to, back to back, without stopping, she could afford 3. 5 days worth of Summer Games Fest trailers. At 250, 000 per minute. 

[00:24:52] Amie: I wonder if they’d give her a discount, you know?

If she was spending that kind of money, if they’d give her a discount. 

[00:24:56] Tom: Like a 2003 phone contract, thinking about minutes again. [00:25:00] That’s not something I’ve thought about in a long time. 

How many minutes do you have, Taylor? 2 thousand, is apparently the number. But I mean, that’s a lot of money. I don’t think we really need to discuss that. There’s a reason why these showcases of that level are dominated by massive companies, and it’s because it’s out of reach for most people.

I think it’s worth noting that Even Summer Games Fest, most of these showcases do have really limited free entry spots for smaller teams and smaller developers. obviously that’s something, it’s like gold dust, so it’s not easy to access, but it is something that’s there. I think probably something we can look at, which is much more affordable, is these more smaller and, Not necessarily niche, but more targeted events or events that, a community led or creator led even.

and we also have, data for those to kind of give you an idea. I think [00:26:00] possibly the most interesting is the wholesome direct, which as we’ve touched on before, cozy gaming is such a huge, vertical nowadays. And that is. probably the best, if you have a cozy game, that’s probably the best kind of avenue for you to go down.

And last year’s Wholesome Direct, had the average views just under 100, 000. which is obviously, 16 times less than, the Summer Games Fest. But if you’ve got a game that fits in there, you’re probably hitting 100, 000 people who are likely to be somewhat interested in what you have to offer.

[00:26:42] Amie: No, as opposed to the 1. 

[00:26:44] Tom: 6 million who were Desperate for God knows God of War or whatever Sony are making next. 

[00:26:56] Jack: The PlayStation showcase is interesting because, the [00:27:00] games that came out of that, there were some rather unexpected, some hidden gems that appeared out of that.

And I think that is. Again, for our people who work on a console thing here, I might feel that they’re screwed because they don’t have 250 grand and they are developing on the wrong machine. It’s not the case. we saw Ballad of Antara get a lot of talk out of the PlayStation showcase, and that is not made by a traditional AAA Western dev.

So. Again, if your trailer is eye catching enough and your game is genuinely interesting and you decide you want to go with one of these showcases, if you are developing on console, back your game, put it out there. If it’s eye catching enough, Ballad of Antara, Infinity Nikki.

Got a lot of attention because it stood out and while it was something different, it [00:28:00] wasn’t a, Oh, this is Bethesda. This is EA or whatever. It was someone new at the table. 

[00:28:06] Amie: It was a really nice surprise to see it actually, and, yeah, I think, you know, people in the games industry, like, I don’t want to say that we only see one track or like one thing, but sometimes when you’re so in something, or like you’re so particularly in love with a genre or whatever it is, that you don’t often, look at other trailers and go, Oh, I wasn’t expecting that.

But if you would, I’ve expected like a, an adventure sort of like dress up game, come out of state of play. No, that was like not on the bingo card in the slightest. So, yeah, really interesting to see, those two anyway, especially like, yeah, completely unanticipated. 

As Tom rightly said, you’re not only like the more specific showcases, like the wholesome directs or the cozy games, whatever it is, you are hitting all of those people that you want to get eyes on your game. There was like the element of surprise from just some, as Jack said, a developer that, you [00:29:00] know, isn’t as prolific or maybe as well known as like your biggest studios, 

Like I know it wasn’t part of like summer games fest, but I think of a game like Rusty’s retirement, that’s like so idle and so small and so indie, but so, so cool. And so different that I think, yeah, it’s, it’s interesting to see what has taken state of play sort of like by storm this year versus. Like, other years.

That’s a Trends episode. That’s another episode we can talk about. 

[00:29:23] Tom: I think we can segue back by just you know, I think, seeing some people this year saying, oh, it’s, it’s a quiet year. It’s not a quiet year. You’re just not looking in the right place.

I think we see, we see so many of the, you know, the Gorilla Collective’s another one. I don’t think something that can reach like 100, 000 people is small per se, but there are so many that, you know, there’s too many to name, but there’s lots of indie focused showcases and like Gorilla and Wholesome are kind of on the bigger scale of those ones, to be honest.

But there’s so [00:30:00] many, smaller showcases where. they might get a few thousand people who are there watching, but it’s like what we said before, those are the people who are directly invested in the independent scene, those are the people who are more likely to engage with what 

You’re offering because they’re not being clouded by the massive, triple A’s that they are looking elsewhere. I think again, a bigger example, it’s like when Nintendo do that in the world showcases, and they always trend with much lower viewing numbers than the big directs.

And that’s because a lot of people won’t tune in. Because they’re not going to see Mario, Zelda, Metroid, so on and so forth. But, those people who are watching those showcases are the ones, again, who are directly interested in the smaller market. And those are the people you need to be targeting. I can’t remember the exact data, but [00:31:00] there’s been various points this year where it’s like, 80 percent of players.

Play games that are over five years old and it’s basically the live service games, which is Fortnite, PUBG Destiny 2. 

[00:31:17] Amie: Thanks for the shout 

[00:31:18] Tom: Final shape And you know like FIFA and those like massive games and that’s like four and five players So I don’t think it’s about Ignoring those people, but I think you kind of have to as we said before like the summer games fest It’s very expensive, but that’s because the reach is huge.

But of those 1. 6 million people how many Are going to be invested in? A really small game from like a first time developer. 

[00:31:50] Amie: And it could be from like, these could be people that could also have interest in other genres. So like on a physical event and a digital event side, [00:32:00] you have that benefit of being able to reach people who you may not necessarily be able to get in front of.

Like, and that’s another sort of beauty. you have people walking past your stand at Gamescom or wherever and they go, Oh, that looks really cool, but I don’t play it. I don’t play souls games or I don’t play RPGs or whatever the case may be, yeah, I think it’s quite a huge opportunity actually, like whether you’re choosing a smaller showcase or whether with a booth you’ve got a completely different potential audience that you had no idea would be interested in an element of your game or your game entirely.

[00:32:30] Tom: I think on the subject of opportunity we’ll segue towards where we want to finish today’s episode and that’s by what I’ve lovingly dubbed in our little briefing like planning sheet as the aftercare. if you’re going out and it’s a sunny day, you put your sunscreen on, you put your sun cream lotion on before you go out.

you’ve got great assets. You’ve got someone who’s going to stream the game for you. You’ve got [00:33:00] a great demo to showcase and your store copies looking good.

And then, you go outside, you enjoy your day at the beach. It’s nice and sunny. That’s you there, you’re getting your wish lists during NexFest, or, you take your game to Wholesome Direct, and you’ve got all the people who are going That looks cosy, I wanna play that.

But then afterwards you get home, and you’re probably gonna have to put some aloe vera on. And that’s your aftercare. And that’s what makes sure that your day goes really well and that you don’t get burnt. 

[00:33:32] Jack: I wondered where you were going with that. this is why I’m usually in charge of the segues.

[00:33:36] Tom: it makes sense, it’s a good segue. How do you take advantage of all the hard work and the attention that you’ve gained? Because if you’re not careful you might get loads of followers and loads of buzz about your game.

If you have no aftercare, it will mean nothing. Absolutely. 

[00:33:54] Jack: To go back to Taylor, is it over now? No. 

[00:33:57] Tom: We are I just want to be clear. We 

[00:33:59] Amie: are not sponsored We [00:34:00] wish we I should have asked her, 

[00:34:02] Tom: I should have asked her in Edinburgh.

[00:34:04] Jack: Do you want to come on the 

[00:34:04] Tom: pod? 

[00:34:06] Jack: I’ll ask, the next one. there’s also the missed negativity here. If it didn’t all go to plan, again, it’s not the end of the world. We’ve seen, especially this month and the past few, with the way the media landscape is, more than ever, increasingly fewer writers, publications, being forced to pick and choose different things, covering.

So, even if you didn’t manage to get on any Steam Next Fest coverage, it’s not the end of the world. Again, there are many different avenues you can go down. You can turn it to your advantage.

So again, not the end of the world. There are so many games and a lot of them just didn’t manage to get coverage. Or if a publication did, it may have even been just a summary of what they saw because they didn’t have time to actually play the demos. Because of [00:35:00] how overworked the writers are. Game Journalist Survey there, so you can find out more.

[00:35:05] Tom: I do think it’s something we do speak about a lot. You know, if you take part in, a couple of steam festivals and then you take part in next fast and, maybe you work to appear in a couple of showcases, a couple of smaller ones, and there’s people who have viewed those.

And I mean, often by being part of these showcases, you will naturally pick up coverage because as you’ve said, Jack, that’s something where often that will get spoken about as a whole entity. So that’s something in car anyway, but If you’re actively working and you’re actually getting the game out there, you’re never wasting your time Because you’re just adding more and more for people who finally when they do discover it to go back to and to look at if players can see and the media can see and journalists can see that.

Oh, they were it You know, I’ve missed this before, but look, they were in the Guerrilla Collective, [00:36:00] and, oh, they had a, you know, they were at NextFest, and they’ve got the demo still there, and, oh, there was a few people speaking about it. It just adds to the legitimacy of, of what you’re working with.

[00:36:11] Jack: For some devs to keep the demo up of the next fest, again, depends on you as the dev and what your plans are, but you might want to keep it there. even games that are out, we’ll have an available demo. It might just become that, or you might want to take it down and have.

Sold it as a Next Fest is a limited time thing only, we have one client who is leaving the demo up and the focus is on the, you know, giving a taste of what’s in the game, but those features that will be at full launch are only available. So it’s the incentive to hand out those keys. And be like, you know, you can test out a demo, but if you come via us for an early copy, when you’re pitching it out to influencers and media, this is what you get as an add on.

So it’s [00:37:00] making your media strategy and your influencer strategy work just as much as your natural getting those audiences in. And one last thing on influencers, as of it, there is a very strong chance because Influences create content as well, just like journalists on next best. And there’s a very strong chance across the next few weeks.

We’ll see those go up because they had to play a billion odd games during next fest and they’ve had to then edit their videos. So just cause next best is finished. Doesn’t mean the coverage is entirely finished. influences work to different schedules. if been talking to influencers or you perhaps get lucky enough for some organic pickup, do keep a lookout and perhaps if you see something, you can try and replicate that next year.

If you see an influencer do a list of what they play during next fest and you’re thinking my game is like that, or I know they’ll like my game. Get in touch when it comes to the next next best beforehand to give them better time. And again, keep your eyes open. There’s lots of different avenues [00:38:00] out for exploring different bits of next best coverage.

[00:38:04] Tom: That’s a very positive note to end things I feel. yeah, I agree. I think these are all like learning opportunities and I just think really important to take advantage of them, I think it’s easy to, I know we joked about it, but I think it’s easy to look at like the summer games fest stuff and be like scared by that.

And think I’ve seen developers who are following Twitter be like, how on earth can we compete when that’s like the level? I think, you kind of have to. Look at it as positively as you can and think well, there’s still loads of opportunities. it is hard but I think there’s plenty of ways for you to engage people there’s so many of these events that Might not get wide pick up and you won’t see journalists live tweet in them it’s because they don’t have the capacity or they might not know about them one of the best things about digital events now is that [00:39:00] you can entirely skip the pipeline of developer journalist player You now have these opportunities now where if you can be part of a showcase or an event to 5, 000 people, you’re reaching out to them directly, and even if it doesn’t get covered by the, games media, that’s still 5, 000 people who have seen it, and they’re the ones who, while they’re watching it, might go, that looks cool, open up Steam, wishlist, so, yeah, I think. 

[00:39:30] Amie: it’s also like, and I know you said this was your final point, but maybe this is the final, final, final point.

[00:39:35] Tom: P. S. 

[00:39:36] Amie: I think it’s the fact that we’re seeing more digital events is obviously a sign that there are way more people making games. there are some really good success stories out there, but I also don’t want people to be frightened. even if it’s a slightly tamer slash smaller event, like a pocket game, it connects or a WASD don’t always have to be at physical events [00:40:00] the benefits of events.

there are so many people that, would want to avoid those busy crowds or, may suffer with anxiety. the prospect of going to anywhere like that is just incredibly overwhelming. It’s very tiring. So. It’s fantastic that we now have access to these many types of digital events.

you don’t just have one shot, there are opportunities at every turn, it’s just knowing where to look and hopefully we’ve given you a few pointers in those directions. 

[00:40:26] Jack: Again, we’ll get onto the plugs later, but thing we tend to do is when we’re sending our daily newsletter of all the roundup of the Industry stories, we have an events calendar as part of that, where we’re pointing out what events are ongoing and coming up.

So go subscribe to that and you can have a look at what’s coming up. I think absolutely these events can coexist where you can have perhaps early in the year, you go to GDC and then come summer, your next best demo, or you’re part of a [00:41:00] showcase. That way you’ve done physical and online, or if London with WASD, there’s so many different events that again, if it works for you and your project, you can do both, or you can do one if you are keen for more BGM goodness, be sure to follow us on social media.

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