First thing? Get your game on Steam. However, just getting your Steam simply isn’t enough—each and every year, over 2,000 games are released on Steam. It is always a struggle to stand out and survive in this vast market, but we hope these tips will help you get a bit closer in this endeavor.
Find a niche
You aren’t going to stand out if you rehash the same, overdone material. You need to find a niche, a type of genre or game type that hasn’t been worked with much in a while, and expand into it. By doing so, you are granted more than an eager audience and a lack of competition—you make a name for yourself. Before starting development, explore ideas in the Steam market. Do some research; know what’s been done to death and what needs a bit more exploring.
Spread the word way before release
I cannot emphasize this enough—start marketing and spreading the word about your game a while before release date. You need to solidify your game’s online presence and make sure you’re getting media coverage. You’ll need to talk about your game—make a blog or a website, or just talk to people. Don’t try to hype your game right before release, because hype takes a while to build up. If you don’t start soon, your game won’t have many hits on its launch date and your efforts will be for nothing.
Explore regional markets
Not everyone speaks English, so an English-only game is going to skip over a large number of profitable regional markets. Dub your game in other languages to aim for these potential markets; in doing so, you greatly increase your fan base and your potential for profit. Perform research on various regional markets and find out how you can appeal to them.
Know how to price
Raising the price of your Steam game never goes well. Steam users will be angry, and this will be a devastating blow to your profits. Therefore, never set your base price too low at the start (anything below $1.99), or you’ll miss out on profits from the start. You can always discount your game later on, but you can never raise the price. Therefore, know how to price effectively—make sure you’re not driving away potential players, but also ensure that you’re not lowballing yourself.
Keep improving your game
Constant improvement of your game is one of the best things you can do for it. Implement user feedback, update your game, add mods and new content. Supporting your game like this greatly increases its visibility and also appeals to your current fan base. Don’t let your fans think that you’re an unresponsive, unsympathetic developer. Don’t let your fans think that your game is “dead”. Keep improving and supporting your game, and the profits are sure to come in steadily.
Most successful indie games have followed one or more of these tips—these tips are merely characteristics of the successful indie games. The Steam game market isn’t easy to survive in as an indie developer, but these tips will surely help you get a bit closer to your goals.
Special thanks to our team for authoring this article.
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