Last Thursday, January 25, we attended a meeting that Valve organized with Spanish developers in Madrid. The goal was to explain and resolve doubts about the tools Steam makes available to distributors and developers to manage the games they publish on the platform. Steam is currently available in 26 languages, is distributed across 390 content servers around the world and accepts 38 different currencies. Over the past two years, diversity in content offering has reported to the platform an increase of 26 million users and the number of games released has doubled to $100,000 in sales in the first month alone.
From valve, a number of general tips were offered to make effective publications and increase the chances of success of our project:
It is recommended to have good planning regarding the release of our video game. Not only take into account the previous movements but also the subsequent ones. Making a good market study and giving visibility on social networks are good examples of this.
2. Pre-launch management
Before the game is published, we recommend making use of a tool that has the platform, through which you can place the launch of your game as “Coming Soon”. Thanks to this tool and the customization options of the page, we will be able to make ourselves known before launch, thus having a base of potential buyers who will be able to follow the news of our project as well as be notified on the day of launch.
It’s critical to create and interact with a fan community. Approaching the potential audience of the game and knowing what they expect from our project will help us achieve a more mature product. Likewise, we can make use of download keys to promote and boost the number of users, but make good use of them to avoid a possible devaluation of the game. Unlike consoles, being able to update the game when needed, without any filtering, will help solve possible errors with an immediacy that will certainly reduce the potential negative impact on the user community.
4. Audiovisual reinforcement
It will help us a lot to create a trailer that concisely and directly exposes the key points of our video game, without creating false expectations that can negatively impact our rating within the platform.
5. Quality feedback
Another recommendation is to teach our game to people who are totally honest. It is important to know how to find these people capable of gutting and criticizing our work constructively so that they give us a feedback that will undoubtedly be very valuable when it comes to finishing or improving our video game.
Localization is a factor that can determine the commercial success of a video game based on how many languages it is translated into and whether that selection is appropriate for the product. Despite the distribution of the community by language, the economic impact of the localization behaves quite differently. For example, the sales impact of translating a game into English is 200% more sales than if we didn’t. It should also be said that this is not an exact rule, as each market has different cultures, different ways of understanding entertainment and specific tastes. Thus, translating a First-Person Shooter into Japanese may not be as decisive as it would be with a JRPG.
When it comes to mobile-to-PC game ports, you should also consider key elements such as resolution due to differences in screen formats used on one platform and another. Another key element is input as it must be fine spinning to re-implement the control scheme by making the user feel natural with the controllers. Finally, we should reflect on the business model, as some models, such as free-to-play on mobiles, are meaningless in PC games where there are longer gaming sessions. An example of this is the tendency of some studios to select the premium model on PC, rather than the original Free To Play mobile.
8. Mentoring Program
The mentor program consists of the discovery of new video games through recommendations of prescribers with recognized fame in the video game sector (YouTubers, streamers, journalists…). Users can discover niche games thanks to mentors, which sweetens the commitment to less commercial or crowded video game formulas and genres. In the latest update you can check the social networks (YouTube, Twitter etc.) of the mentors to, for example, see what type of user follows their activity and if it is the ideal mentor to advertise our game.
Events are yet another opportunity to try to increase the visibility of our video game as the company makes available to developers an easy way to communicate events to the community of each game, such as live streams, updates of great content, contests and tournaments…
10. User analysis
Its purpose is to show feedback from users who acquired a title so that the community has enough information before purchasing it. In turn, it is vital information for the study because it captures the experiences of its players and allows us to become aware of which parts work and please our audience and what are the critical trends about the product. All this information allows us to modify the product to the taste of the community seeking to minimize criticism and improve the final product as long as proper monitoring is performed.