During the last 5 years, the mobile games market has reached a new milestone, and has become a very desirable market to enter. Low-entry barriers coupled with potential pay-offs lured scores of small developers, who fueled the industry with fresh ideas and creative content. Then, smelling these untapped potential profits, major game developers and publishers also rushed to incorporate the mobile platform into their business models, and the playing field for independent game developers and small studios began to shrink. Now, small indies have to compete with AAA publishers for their place under the sun.
What does it mean to compete with AAA game publishers for a small indie studio? The fact that your game should be better is no longer the most important factor. The focus of the competition moved from quality to quantity, and now those who spend the most on marketing, PR, and user acquisition, are the real winners. I wouldn’t claim that this is the only formula that works in the industry these days, however, I feel this is the prevailing trend.
For a small studio or team of developers, competing with AAA companies isn’t a winning proposition. With a large company’s marketing and PR budgets and armies of experienced marketing professionals, the chances that a new indie game gets into the App Store’s top 50 are quite low.
I realized this while working with a PR agency, specializing in PR for video games. For about 2 years I received dozens of emails from small indie developers from Russia, Poland, Brazil, and India, and other countries asking about the price of our services. Most of them were not able to afford it, and had decided to go with their own marketing and PR efforts. Sometimes, I wondered if they were successful in launching their games, and what results they got. Being from Ukraine myself, I can imagine the difficulties of trying to break into the international market from a little office located somewhere in central Russia. Most of the time, developers don’t possess the most up-to date knowledge and don’t know the specifics of launching a game in the modern climate.
In February, an idea came to me. I thought: “Hey, why not give developers access to all marketing and PR tools, and put all the power in their hands directly?” And so, PRninja was born. This app was developed with loving care by utilizing extensive knowledge of public relations practices, and the video gaming industry.
In March, 2013, I presented PRninja to a few video game journalists and indie developers during GDC and Game Connection in San Francisco. To my pleasure, I received positive feedback and was on my way to improving the app according to the feedback I had gotten. Now, it is almost ready and should be on the App Store by June 19th.
PRninja will feature interactive checklists, helpful tracking tools, valuable lists and guidelines, marketing utilities for small teams, 2-, 4-, and 6-week launch campaigns, as well as tips and tricks on how to launch mobile games. Here are a few screenshots:
If anyone is interested in taking a look at the app before its release and giving some feedback, please leave your email address here or shoot me an email at: support at prninjaapp.com.