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Best time to release a game

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Anonymous

Hello all,

When do you think is the best time to release a new game?

Thank you,
Jim

Anonymous
Re: Best time to release a game

Chance wrote:
Hello all,

When do you think is the best time to release a new game?

Thank you,
Jim

I'd say it would depend on the type of game and the target market. Families are far more likely to buy games for Christmas. Certain themes would matter too. I suspect Rio Grande's "New England" will have had good sales in the United States (and amongst American ex-pats elsewhere) before Thanksgiving. This said, I suspect that the people playing "TGOOs" are unlikely to be swayed by seasonal variations *too much*. Whilst some may get Relationship Tightrope for Valentine's Day, I doubt that is a huge factor in releasing games to a relatively small and non-fickle audience. For the mass market, sales are probably a lot more seasonal.

In the German games market, the priorities for most big companies are the following:
i) The date of the big Nuremburg (industry only) fair
ii) The date of the big Essen fair
iii) The SDJ award cut-off deadline for the year

All whilst avoiding having the game too early, and thus losing money from their cash flow. The reprints of any SDJ winners/nominees will be out in time for the Christmas buying period, when many German families will buy them on the strength of that badge alone.

I'm not sure if that's actually very helpful...

Best wishes,

Richard.

Anonymous
Best time to release a game

Are you releasing the game as a self-publisher? Are you looking for sales to the retail outlets of to distributers/wholesalers?

The two big targes to hit depending on your distribution strategy would be conventions and awards. Get your game out in time to show it off at as many conventions as you can (GenCon, Origins, Toy Fair, TGIF, CHITAG, etc. including MANY overseas).

Then submit your game for as many awards as you can. There is no such thing as bad recognition and no such thing as bad publicity.

Anonymous
Best time to release a game

As a follow up, if you're a small business or if you don't have the time to be at the conventions yourself, then there are groups that will show your game at conventions. See the Discover Games website for some details. It will cost you, but if you can't make it or don't have the $$ to attentd...

That said, you can't underestimate the value of the onctacts that you make at conventions. There are MANY threads on this site about cons and contacts.

Zzzzz
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Joined: 06/20/2008
Best time to release a game

Along the same lines as everyone else, holidays and big conventions are great for a product launch, but also keep in mind who will be the players for your game, since this could also factor into your release date. What type of game might also influence the release, since you might want to consider a convention that caters to that style/type of game. GenCON for example might currently be best for CCGs, RPGs, Mini's(though other types of games exhibitor there also). I would guess that games like UNO, Jenga, Scrabble, etc would not be as "big a deal" in those masses.

Besides the standard christmas holiday season, another good time might be at end of school/beginning of summer. The kids/parents will be looking for games/hobbies/toys to use during the summer. Keep in mind that I remember a childhood of playing outside during the summer, but that seems to be opposite these days(or at least I have heard, xbox, ps2 generation!).

Another factor, how much you market the game(another reason conventions are a plus, if you are there people are seeing the game)! As with any "great new game" its all about the hype. If you get the name out, and the masses wanting it, it will sell.

SVan
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Joined: 10/02/2008
Best time to release a game

Another time to look at when releasing a game is what I now will call the Spiderman 2 effect (although you could sub this for any other big summer movie, or big movie, like the Harry Potter movies)

Basically, no other big movie would dare think about being released when Spiderman 2 was released this last weekend, in fact I believe there was only 3 movies released this weekend, none of them I expect made very much money or press (they probably didn't have much previews either) All the other big movies placed their movies before and after Spiderman enough that they would not be too terribly affected by the big monster.

In games too, there are times when a game is released only to be overshadowed by the big game that was released at the same exact time. It isn't usally as big of an impact as what Spiderman 2 did to it's competitors, but it may be a good idea to try to release a game when it has it's own opportunity to shine and nothing else has the chance to overshadow it (especially if you're going to self-publish)

Just my thoughts,

-Steve

Anonymous
Best time to release a game

Thank you all very much. That was most helpful. Sorry it took so long for me to get back on the forum.

Sincerely,
Jim Chance Folmar

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