Launching a new arcade game is no easy task as the factors surrounding that are much more complicated and costly than a home game. If you are someone that is “indie”; i.e., no name recognition, then the task becomes even more daunting to get people to pay attention to your work. Both operators and players tend to focus on established names. So if you are an indie arcade developer, how do you get people to pay attention to your work? The creators of Killer Queen Arcade have a pretty good idea how to go about it and they shared that knowledge at GDC 2016 (this video was released 3 days ago):
Killer Queen Arcade itself was originally released in 2014 with a new version launched with help from Raw Thrills earlier this year. It is one of the few games I’ve had people reach out to me at my own arcade about, saying they would help build a community. I’ve had a rocky experience with that locally but at least the reports on KQA around the country are that the game manages to do exceptionally well, thanks to these efforts by the fans. I also know that the team behind Skycurser is working on something along those lines to help boost interest in their Skycurser game. What marketing methods do you think work best for indie titles?
One example of indie arcade game marketing is “Nave” (http://navearcade.tumblr.com/). They made only one machine, and then took it on tour with them both locally and abroad. They also had a great teaser video to help get the word out. Yeah its not like this is going to turn into a business for them or get picked up by the likes of Raw Thrills, but just goes to show you you don’t need a lot of money/resources to create a unique arcade experience and then go out and be successful with it.
I think it’s important to get this machine into the bar scene as much as possible with certain chains (“THE BAR” for example) because I know that so many venues that used to have arcades don’t hardly run anything worthy of mention these days. Arcades are dead and those places that run ticket and redemption aren’t exactly cutting it with the kiddie audience.
Go to where the local scene is and that’s where we need to set up shop at.