Everyone knows the traditional practice of becoming a game developer. It means sending your resume off to all the big companies, crossing your fingers that you’re selected, and then perhaps only developing other people’s ideas for games.
However, indie game development is leading to more accessible opportunities for anyone to get into the industry. Now, you don’t need to work at Nintendo or Naughty Dog to create to be successful.
But what does the future of indie game development look like across the industry, and is it a good time for people to jump into the marketplace?
While everyone has different levels of success at indie development, Playphone reviews some of the reasons why there is such a promising future in this space.
The Appeal of Indie Game Development
We are living in a time in which most people don’t remember a world without video games. Many people have been playing all their lives and have grown up imagining their own ideas purchased and downloaded by other users. Game development companies might not have employment opportunities for all of these future developers, but there’s no stopping an individual from making it happen on their own.
Many point to the internet as the great equalizer. People from around the world don’t need to be the lucky ones to work for one of the handfuls of large companies. With a computer and the right equipment, anyone can create their pieces.
You don’t even need a degree to start designing; that’s what web tutorials are for. And with billions of players, there’s plenty of demand to go around, allowing for plenty of supply.
How to Release Products to Players
So you have a product for people to play. How do you find players and sell to them?
This is where platforms like Playphone come in, which allow you to release your game professionally and reach a larger audience without the help of a development company.
Each platform will have unique requirements. For example, you may need to put up a fee per product. Or you may need to be a member of their platform like with the Apple Store. However, you don’t need to limit yourself to producing on platforms. You can also create and work to sell your designs to a company. Companies are aware of how much that indie developers have to offer. That’s why the Switch is open to indie developers.
Marketing an Indie Game
How much people earn from their game varies widely. From people earning a full-time income to those who treat it as a passion project and just make extra spending money, many factors will influence how much you can make. But marketing a game well is essential to get people playing your product and definitely to make any money.
You don’t need to invest a lot of money into marketing. There are many free ways to market your content. Of course, paying for some kind of marketing may result in better results. It comes down to what your goals are and what you’re willing to invest.
Wondering what it takes to market your product? Here’s what you should know.
Social Media Influence and Twitch
Twitch has capitalized on video game fans. It has become such a large influence that other platforms like YouTube are trying to get in on online play. And with millions of people tuning in, it’s easy to see that there’s a large market to tap into.
Perhaps one of the best ways to have your product seen is by having a popular streamer play your game. Whether you work out a deal with a smaller streamer or pay a large streamer, having your game seen by even a few hundred people with their favorite streamer playing can be a great boost.
Tap into Communities
One of the best marketing strategies that’s completely free is word of mouth. When someone has a positive experience, they want to share. And when you hear something from a family member or friend, you’re more likely to believe them than any ad.
Make sure you tell your social circles. And when you’ve told them, seek out new ones! Find forums, discord servers, and more. You don’t need to spam feeds. But if you find communities that you think would truly love your game, share that it is available. People who like something similar are more likely to enjoy your game.
Conclusion — The Future of Indie Game Developers
The internet has leveled the playing field for people across industries. Developers are free to create and sell their games on gaming platforms without working their way up through a company. Whether you’re looking into indie game development as a way to make money, or just for fun and experience, we know the indie world is full of possibilities. Keep in mind that you won’t just be on the development end as an indie developer. It will take some marketing savvy, persistence, and networking to get people playing and enjoying your game. But with persistence, a great product, and some luck, you can have thousands of people enjoying your work.