Sep 21

To Hype or Not to Hype?

Tag: Business,Casual Games,Codeminion,SaqqarahMaciek @ 9:53 am

Adventurers JournalAs you might know we are already working on a new, unannounced game. Everything is going all right so far, but the progress seems slow as we have just begun and we are still in early preproduction. During the last couple of weeks we’ve been defining the minimal feature set for the game, designing prototypes and experimenting with various ideas trying to see what elements will make it to the final game. We also had an interesting discussion about whether we should hype the new game or keep a low profile during the development.

During the last 3 months of development of Saqqarah we decided to give it a shot and tried to hype the game a bit. During this time we released about 5 press releases, each with more materials and details about the coming game. We also put a lot of time and work into preparing a teaser trailer and we sent some newsletters with special Saqqarah teasing content, like the Adventurers Journal. Unfortunately the hype had minimal effect and it was even hard to notice any change in our website’s traffic. Of course in the end it is very difficult to check if the attempted hype had any effect because we have no way of knowing if our customers heard about Saqqarah before purchasing it.

The bottom line (at least according to our limited experience) is that hyping a casual downloadable game might not be a very good idea and the gains are not proportional to the expenses. It’s probably better to invest that time into polishing the game or simply promoting it after the launch.

Nevertheless with our next project we haven’t made our minds yet. The new game will be a bigger project than Saqqarah and we think that it might benefit from hype if it only got picked up. I personally would like to write about the development of this game on this blog as it will be very interesting from a design, technological and development point of view. But on the other hand we need to keep our best ideas secret, so that they don’t get borrowed before we launch the game.


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4 Responses to “To Hype or Not to Hype?”

  1. Roman says:

    Well, I still believe in hype, but it’s ain’t easy to do. I assume that your hype was focused around PC market and my believe is that unless you use better PR service it has minimal effect at all no matter what you write in your PR. On the other hand, Mac PR always brings a lot of new users to my website and I am sure that if you would do the same Hype for Mac channels it would do much better.

  2. Linda Emmart says:

    I don’t believe hype will sell a new game any better than just releasing it. I personally look for new games each day. I think Saqqarah is one of the best games I’ve played. I played through the original and bought the Monkey SaqPack. I am sorry to say I finished them both and am having withdrawals waiting for a new SaqPack to come out. I will be looking forward to any new games, especially if they’re better (?) than Saqqarah. Just keep them coming so we can continue to play without having these withdrawals! Thank you!

  3. Diane says:

    I too bought/saw Saqqarah through the Mac. site. Love the game, but haven’t finished (stuck on one game), also have Monkey SaqPack, but rely on your news letters to see more as I very really go looking for games. Certainly I look forward to hearing about your new game.

  4. Mabel says:

    Hi Maciej,
    I like the game Saqqarah too. Played a lot of casual games during my free time. I bumped into your website when I google on the keyword “casual game blog”. I was wondering if we could do link exchange? Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks.

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