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Three Things To Consider Before Revealing Your Game

Deciding when to reveal your game is the biggest decision you’ll make about your product. Even if you previously decided the timing in your marketing strategy, it’s important to evaluate whether your game is ready to be revealed to the world before actually doing it.

Here are three things to take into consideration before revealing your game:

  1. Are your game’s visuals perfect?
  2. Have you got enough to intrigue people?
  3. How long will it be until you show more of your game after your reveal?

Let’s dive in.

Are your game’s visuals perfect?

You should be revealing your game with some sort of visual asset, ideally a video. With this in mind, it’s important that whatever you’re showing off looks as good as possible. If your game’s art style isn’t finalised yet then it’s best to hold off until it’s at a more complete stage

Your game’s art style isn’t the only thing to take into consideration when thinking about whether your game is visually ready. If you’re showing off gameplay, or an in-game cutscene, make sure that the game’s programming is as tight as it can be. You don’t want any unnecessary visual bugs detracting from the experience. This is the first time people will see your game, if it looks sloppy then people will instantly dismiss it. Afterall, if your game looks buggy in the reveal trailer then why would the final release not be full of bugs?

Have you got enough to intrigue people?

As you’ll still be working on your game at this point, it’s important to make sure that what you’re showing off has enough substance. For example, if you’re working on a side-scrolling horror game then creating a video highlighting your main character’s basic movement won’t be enough to hook people. However, if you tease a monster, have a dark tone, and show the player running away from something, then your game will be far more appealing.

Mystery is important when marketing games. But be sure to focus on the good kind of mystery, like why is this person running away, rather than will this game work when it’s released.

Even if your game looks great, and has polished gameplay, if you’re still working on the tone/story elements, it’s best to hold off until you’ve got something more substantial.  I can think of a lot of successful games with a strong tone, narrative and world, that don’t have perfect gameplay and I’m sure you can too. Don’t underestimate the importance of world-building.

How long will it be until you show more of your game after your reveal?

If you’re revealing your game but will stay mute about it for the next six month then it’s best to wait before pulling the trigger. Look at your marketing strategy, and your content strategy, and be sure to get the timing right. If you reveal too early then the people who got excited about your game will forget it exists by the time you do your next marketing push. This will require you to do more work to get those people back, which is a waste of your precious time.

This goes both ways though. If you reveal too late, for example, two days before launch, then your reveal won’t have enough time to build up momentum and the impact will be lost.

There are exceptions to this rule, like if you’re shadow-dropping (the act of releasing a game without notice) but this only really works if you’re a developer with a huge pedigree, working on a property which already has value.

Those are three important things to think about before revealing, or planning to reveal your game. There’s certainly a lot more to consider, as your game’s reveal is very important, but thinking about the above points is a good way to get started before revealing your game.

If you’re concerned about your game’s reveal then email us and we can plan and execute your reveal for you. Get in touch to find out more!

[Featured image is from Final Fantasy Versus XIII.]

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