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  • Promoting Your Indie Game: Online Tools And Links

    [09.10.19]
    - Thomas Reisenegger
  •  Promoting your game is HARD work and even harder if you do it all by yourself as an indie.

    While there is no magic formula, AI, or magic AI that does the job for you, there are a couple of handy tools and links that can make the whole process a lot easier.

    So I thought it might be handy to put together a list of my favourite online tools and links for promoting games. I used all of them while running the PR & Marketing agency Future Friends Games and working on dozens of indie games over the past 2 years.

    If there is anything missing on the list that might be useful to others, please let me know on Twitter @olimaI plan to update this list regularly.

    Steam Tools

    ICO Steam Newsletter / See the most successful Steam games each week

    It's pretty common knowledge by now that there are between 1 and 2 million new Steam games released every day.

    Despite that, in my experience, not many people know what is actually popular on Steam (AAA games aside). There is often a big disconnect between the indie games that are (relatively) well-known on social media and covered by press/influencers, and ones that actually do well on Steam. After all, the algorithm largely dictates the successes on the platform, and doesn't always agree with what is perceived as popular on the PR side of things.

    Besides having a close eye on the Steam topseller charts, the free ICO Steam newsletter is one of the few (and free) tools to get a feeling of what new games are actually selling on Steam.

    The newsletter arrives weekly and lists all newly released games by the number of user reviews - a pretty good indicator of games sales (multiplying the number of user reviews by 80 is a pretty good rough guide to a ballpark sales figure for most games). We made it a habit in the team to check out the more surprising top games each week, to see what we could learn from their store pages and launch tactics.

    Steam.db / Get player numbers, price info and more

    There are a couple of sites that pull data from steam these days but Steamdb is my favourite and free to use, with no login required.

    Besides a ton of extra info it it also combines data from Steamcharts.com(shows numbers of active players per game) and Steamspy (estimates number of owners for each game) and gives you a super comprehensive overview of each game.

    Note that all these data points require practice and knowledge to read them correctly, so it's worth doing your homework on these and not jumping to wild conclusions based on outliers. But they can be super helpful to see how other games are doing.

    Augmented Steam / Get player numbers, extra info etc. directly on Steam store pages

    Even more convenient than Steamdb to get a quick impression of a game's commercial performance is the free Chrome plugin Augmented Steam.

    Once installed, you can see some figures from Steamcharts & Steamspy for each game page you look at, as well as Opencritic reviews and historic sales information for each title which means you get a ton of extra useful info when viewing Steam store pages. This only works in the browser - not in the Steam client itself. Highly recommended!

    Steam Tags Query / Find the best Steam tags for your game

    Figuring out the right Steam tags to make your game show up in the "more games like this" section of other relevant and popular titles can a great sales and wishlist driver if done right and with a bit of luck.

    If you're not sure which tags work best for you, the free tool Steam Tags Query is very handy: You simply add the Steam pages of games you want to be associated with and the tool gives you the tags with the most overlap between the titles.

    I would still recommend fine turning the results but the handy tool gives you a super easy start and often helps me remember tags I would usually forget.

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