Marketing influences game revenue three times more than high scores

Research by EEDAR has shown that a high marketing spend increases gross revenue three times more than high review scores.

The perception that high scores are crucial to sales is a myth, said EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich speaking at the Montreal International Games Summit, and developers should realise the cold fact that a poor quality game shipped with a big marketing spend will sell much better than a great game with little financial support behind it.

You can make the greatest game and it won’t even matter. I know that’s discouraging to developers at first but it’s very true.

Looking at all games released between 2007 and the end of 2008, and comparing as many different configurations as possible – single format exclusives, handheld releases, Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii only – the research came to the same conclusion; marketing is more important than game quality.

You can read the entire speech at but what I would like to know is: do this apply to Flash games too?

First, let me say “marketing” is something different than just sending some emails to portal owners or submitting the game everywhere… it means using cash to make people know about your game.

I’ll talk later about cash, now I’ll focus on submitting the game everywhere… all in all submission takes time, so you are going to spend time to submit your game or to pay cash to someone willing to spend his time to submit your game everywhere.

Christmas Couples really sucks, but I submitted it everywhere, and was one of the first games to include the MindJolt API. With its 17,596,730 views it was an incredible success.

BallBalance was released a couple of months later, was featured on NewGrounds so I let the viral distribution do the bulk work for me… it got “only” 6,198,007 views, than it’s about 1/3 of Christmas Couples views.

Let’s suppose both games have the same ECPM, we can say marketing made me earn three times more than quality.

But in Flash games there is an income source that does not exists in PC/Console games, excluding some minor cases… sponsorships.

BallBalance was sponsored by Kongregate and AddictingGames and that’s where quality won over marketing.

Surely quality AND marketing would perform even better, but the entire point of this post is focused on spending less resources on quality and more on marketing.

Pay to be featured

Now, let’s talk about cash. Normally Flash game developers don’t pay to have their games featured. So the question is:

Would you pay to get featured on NewGrounds? I would.

Would you pay to get reviewed on JayIsGames? I would.

And the list could be much longer… obviously NG and JIG won’t feature lame jigsaw games because they would lose credibility, but let’s say I made a good game, and I would try to “help” it by “suggesting” some important sites to feature it… I really would.

And if you think this is not the right kind to make marketing… never mind… I would buy a review (or a featured spot) on important portals even if something says it was a paid submission, as long as the game is listed among other “free” games.

Do you?

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