So Fig. 8 is out in the wild and we’re pretty pleased with the response so far. I went ahead and confirmed with our sponsor, YoArcade that we could be transparent with the deal. This is a true story but names have been changed [except YoArcade] to protect the innocent.
- July 10th – Wrapped up most of the production and put up 90% version on FGL
- July 12th – Made an update to 98% completion on FGL and sent out form email to sponsors announcing Fig. 8 on FGL
- July 15th – $1000 bid by “Jeff Interactive”
- July 15th – $1000 bid by YoArcade [with $500 bonus for 4.0+ rating on Kong and NG after one month]
- July 19th – Game goes to 100% “finalized” on FGL
- July 19th – Massive form email to sponsors mentioning updates to the game
- July 22nd – Directly emailed three different sponsors with creative sponsorship opportunities
- July 23rd – Emailed/bugged FGL admins to put Fig. 8 on their Editor’s Spotlight
- July 27th – Fig. 8 Trailer released and put up on FGL trailers page
- July 28th – Trailer picked up by IndieGames Blog, Offworld, GameSetWatch and other press
- July 29th – $1250 bid by “Oscar Games”
- July 30th – $1400 bid by YoArcade [with $200 bonus for 3.8+ and $300 for 4.0+]
- August 1st – $2000 bid by “Sarah Entertainment” [with $250 bonus for 3.8+ and $500 bonus for 4.0+]
- August 1st – $2100 bid by YoArcade [with $350 bonus for 3.8+ and $550 bonus for 4.0+]
- August 1st – $2500 bid by “Sarah Entertainment” [with $500 bonus for 3.8+ and $1000 bonus for 4.0+]
- August 1st – $2600 bid by YoArcade [with $650 bonus for 3.8+ and $1050 bonus for 4.0+]
- August 1st – $3000 bid by “Sarah Entertainment” [with $500 bonus for 3.8+ and $1000 bonus for 4.0+]
- August 1st – $3200 bid by YoArcade [with $700 bonus for 3.8+ and $1100 bonus for 4.0+]
- August 1st – $3600 bid by “Sarah Entertainment” [with $500 bonus for 3.8+ and $1000 bonus for 4.0+]
- August 1st – $3700 bid by YoArcade [with $850 bonus for 3.8+ and $1250 bonus for 4.0+]
- August 3rd – Minor tweaks to music and other bug fixes. Game now “really” 100%
- August 4th – $2750 bid by “Sarah Entertainment” [with bonuses for so many million plays*]
- August 10th – Emailed a few more sponsors directly requesting they consider Fig. 8.
- August 16th – YoArcade’s bid of $3700 accepted.
As you can see from the bidding breakdown, the trailer and press for the trailer might have made all the difference. While we continued to tweak the game throughout this process nothing seemed to turn sponsors attention as seeing the game in action and on a few well-known gaming websites. It’s hard to say what exactly tipped them off about it since it could have been the comments from readers/viewers, the trailer itself or even just getting a blog post out there into the ether. Nonetheless this strategy worked really well for Fig. 8 as I think it was a kick-in-the-pants to sponsors working them into a bit of a frenzy with the buzz.
I hoped to instill this feeling:
“Oh no, now everyone knows about Fig. 8 and they’re going to go after it.”
It’s the kind of feeling you get when you’re sitting on a secret and you’re just hoping that eBay auction goes through and doesn’t get noticed. You want the auction item to get as buried as possible. So the trailer effectively brought it to the surface so everyone would see it. If sponsors never see your game, how can they bid on it? It’s one thing to send an email and let everyone know about it, but it’s quite another when each individual sponsor knows that every other sponsor is aware of it as well.
*Bonus included $1000 for 2.5 million plays after 5 months, $2000 for 4 million plays, $3000 for 5m, $4000 for 6m and $5000 for 7m.