One of the best ways to get the gaming press – be that traditional or enthusiast – to pay more attention to your game is to let them play it. Previews, reviews, Let’s Play videos and livestreams all depend on this.
The issue is that, with so many outlets now considering themselves part of the gaming press – from the long-running websites and magazines to new video channels – there are countless journalists to be sending your game to; something that can be a time-consuming process.
The rise of digital games on mobile, console and PC has made this easier for today’s new and smaller developers, but you still need the right channels through which to distribute your code.
CONDUIT OF CODE
One option is a PR agency such as Indigo Pearl, which has worked with Devolver, Bossa Studios, Positech Games and one-man success story Mike Bithell. But even the agency recognises that this might not be plausible for some devs.
“We realised quickly that while a lot of indies couldn’t afford to hire a PR agency, they still needed to get their code into the hands of the press, influencers and community to give them the best chance at discovery,” explains director Caroline Miller.
Indigo Pearl’s solution is DigitalXtra.net.The comapny started life as a traditional PR agency back in 2000. While known for its agency work, the firm is also responsible for PressXtra.net – a department that builds and manages press websites for some of the world’s biggest publishers.
The system has been recently rebuilt, and it was during this that the team identified an opportunity that would help scores of developers.
“As part of the rolling development of PressXtra.net, we identified that a real problem that needed resolving was the delivery of digital code,” Miller says.
“Our clients on both sides of the business were totally frustrated with the antiquated method of code distribution, which meant the company’s monetary asset – the digital code – was to be sent out using an inefficient, unsecure and time-consuming process, which saw many PRs copy and pasting codes from a spreadsheet into an email.
“So we went back to our developers and worked closely with them to build what we call the DigitalXtra.net. We digitised the process to marry the press contacts with the digital codes in one automated process.”
The team at Indigo Pearl also tailored the system to generate full-colour HTML emails. Not only does this look more eye-catching to the games press, it also allows indie developers to include a digital press kit to give journalists all the information they need about new games.
“This is by no means a faceless tool,” Miller assures. “The most common factor of a recipient reading your email is who it is from. Our system allows you to distribute your digital codes from you, giving that much-needed personal PR touch.
“On distributing your codes, the site will build itself a bespoke archive account for each and every journalist on your mailing list, so they have an online hub of all your digital codes available to them at all times.”
MEET THE TEAM
Indigo Pearl will be attending Interface – the new games industry event from the teams behind Develop and MCV – to share more about the new system. And Miller is keen to meet with studios to gather their thoughts on the new service.
“We want to talk to developers about the challenges they face getting their games discovered in a crowded and noisy market,” she says. “And to see how DigitalXtra.net fits into their requirements.
“We thought Interface provided the perfect opportunity to get face-to-face with the people we want to work with, and discuss how our systems – combined with our PR expertise – can help even the smallest budget get a global release.”
Interface takes place today on May 14th at the Candid Arts Trust near Angel in London.
Find out more at www.interface.events.