We are rapidly approaching our release date, which we have set to June 13th. Our Release Candidate (a stage of build that has the qualities of a finished game) is finished and we only have to implement minor changes until the release. This past week we sent out hundreds of press releases to gaming media like YouTubers and gaming news sites and are closing in on 500 of those. A press release is a mail with a few catchy lines about your game, paired with essential information, good-looking screenshots of the game, a link to the video trailer and a review code.
To achieve this kind of distribution, we had to do some massive detective work (and rely on some sweet press mailing lists, floating around on the internet), to check if our press contacts are still up to date. Many writer switch jobs after a few years. Some write for a different publication, others come over to the developer side to work as PR person for a specific company. So I went through hundreds of websites, Linkedin profiles and Twitter accounts, to find people’s information and — possibly changed — mail addresses. YouTubers are somewhat easy, because many of them keep their business contact on the about page of their channel, but you still have to check.
Meanwhile Stamm has updated our press kit, which is a package of screenshots, video, logos, information about the game, etc. that is also being linked to in the press release. It is basically a site on our homepage, where media folks can find everything important about a game without having to look through different sources. Always make it as easy as possible for press to find essential information – they will appreciate your effort and this increases your chance of being covered by them. All the screenshot in this week’s blog are from the press kit.
We have already had the first sites picking up the news and tweet or write about it. Without bragging, it is of course a bonus that our stuff looks awesome on first sight. As in the real world, many decisions are happening from an initial impression. So if your headline promises something interesting, and the first images a reader sees are looking swell, you can win them over – hopefully. It is also important to personalize your press release as much as possible. Use the persons name instead of “hi there”. Try customizing your mail, if you have met the person before, reminding them who you are, and so on.
The result should look like the video right here. Larry specifically talks about how he chose to give On Rusty Trails a shot over other games in his inbox. He saw the game art and was intrigued. Media people receive between tens and hundreds of emails per day and have to choose what to look at and what to discard. If you like, check out his preview and see some gameplay for the first time. Thanks to Larry Chupacabra for creating this video!
That’s it for this week. Make sure to check back on the blog next Sunday!