So you’ve finished that new game, congratulations! Before you think about what’s next, maybe you should first consider what to do before you actually click that “publish” button?
(Question number 1) How was your soft launch? Did you even consider soft launching first?
If you’ve already done internal beta, a public soft launch will allow you to gather feedback from players outside your circle. We all want to hear unbiased opinions about our game and this is a good chance to collect them. Soft launching also allows you to tweak your game’s economy and balance further, this time, to a bigger and more “unbiased” audience.
(Question number 2) Did you use analytics?
Analytics plays an important part in understanding our players and in effect, allows us developers to tweak our game accordingly. Find out why your players quit the game or where they get stuck. Did they even bother reading your tutorial? Which in-app items are more popular? Both Google Play and iTunes provide basic analytics but if you prefer a more robust and deeper one, consider using a 3rd party analytics service like Firebase or Facebook. Evaluate all the 3rd party analytics service and pick one that provides the data you need. For example, having Facebook analytics is especially helpful if you’re planning to do user acquisition via Facebook.
(Question number 3) Did you do App Store Optimization (ASO)?
ASO involves tweaking your game’s app store metadata–description, keywords, app icon, screenshots, etc. Let’s face it, doing user acquisition these days is pretty expensive. ASO will help you compete for app store search rankings and visibility for a much cheaper cost than paying for ads just to get users to download your new game. And it will be alot cheaper if you do ASO yourself! It’s a different beast though and requires a bit of your time but all worth it if you can make it work.
(Question number 4) Did you make a trailer/app preview?
When iOS11 comes out, app videos will play a huge role in getting users to download your new game. Same with Google, not only do players get to check out your trailer but you can also take advantage of Youtube to make your new game viral.
(Question number 5) Did you prepare a presskit page?
A presskit page will make it easy if not automate your press release distribution. Make a simple webpage about your game, describe the highlights and showcase your game’s screenshots and trailer. Dopresskit.com by Vlambeer is a simple presskit page maker tool which is pretty easy to use and utilized by most developers worldwide.
(Question number 6) Did you schedule a global launch date?
Having a specific launch date before you actually release your game is so much better than hitting that publish button now and crossing your fingers. Choose a launch date and build buzz as you approach that date. This will also give you ample time to reach out and provide early copies of your game to press and influencers. Who knows, they might just like your new game and write an article about it, right?
There’s actually more you can do but these are some of the basic things you might want to consider first. Please note that most of the suggestions above are only applicable to mobile games, because that’s where we at Popsicle Games specialize on. Best of luck on that game launch!