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YouTube Publicity for Unpublished Games?

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kevnburg
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I've just made a playthrough video and am currently editing a how to play video for my game Robot Rumble. As I am not planning to self-publish, my current plan is to upload both as unlisted videos on YouTube and to give out the links to publishers as I contact them about the game (will be adding these links to my sell sheet).

My question is whether or not it would be appropriate to more widely share these videos as a means to garner publicity around the game while I am trying to sign it with a publisher. I understand that many publishers generally like to sign games which have not previously been published because they want to publish something new, and I have to wonder if widely publicizing videos of the prototype would make these publishers uncomfortable.

I Will Never Gr...
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kevnburg wrote: My question

kevnburg wrote:

My question is whether or not it would be appropriate to more widely share these videos as a means to garner publicity around the game while I am trying to sign it with a publisher. I understand that many publishers generally like to sign games which have not previously been published because they want to publish something new, and I have to wonder if widely publicizing videos of the prototype would make these publishers uncomfortable.

Generally speaking, you don't want to start touting a game and gaining interest (much) prior to a publisher signing for it. Typically a publisher is going to make, at the very least, minor and more likely significant changes to some (or all) aspects of the game and having disjointed information about your game will just add confusion to the market.

Now, having said that, some publishers may love it.

If you are not self publishing I would leave the hype and publicity to the deal you make with a publisher (you may or may not be required to do a lot of it, depending on the deal you get).

The Professor
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Great advice

I completely concur with IWNGUG...while there might be the one unique publisher who will accept your game, as is, that's really not the reality of what you should expect to experience. Additionally, most publishers don't want any advertising on a product you're attempting to "pitch" them. I would advise restraint in posting any videos of your game at this time. While I can certainly appreciate your enthusiasm for your game, I would temper it at this point. Good luck in your search for a publisher!

Cheers,
Joe

Kirkatronics
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Joined: 09/12/2016
I would suggest that if you

I would suggest that if you do create a video you make it completely private.
Send them it in file form.
No companies want the wrong marketing floating around.

kevnburg
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Thanks! + Follow-up question

Thanks for the advice, everyone! Sending the videos as files sounds like a pretty good way to avoid these concerns that could come up from a YouTube presence. I'll aim to limit prototype info to friends, playtesters, and publishers.

As a follow-up question: Would it then also be less ideal for publishers if I were to maintain anything like an in-depth designer diary on boardgamegeek for a game which I do not intend to self-publish? I am not currently doing this, but it is something I might consider doing in the future. What I have done in terms of social media and game design so far is to mainly post some pictures of a few prototypes with short captions on my board game focused Twitter account.

How much of this question is a matter of the location where the info is posted? I could theoretically post the full prototype rules, multiple videos, a print & play file, etc. to this forum, but if I did it would likely only be seen by people interested in board game design. Would that still be less ideal for a publisher?

The Professor
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No consensus

Unfortunately, I know of no consensus on the matter. During the past decade, the advancements in technology have virtually eradicated the barriers which existed in the industry. You can now e-mail a dozen different publishers in minutes with the same "letter" spell-checked and possibly tailored a bit for each recipient. You can now possess an audience, of sorts, here, at BGG, or other sites. Finally, the industry itself is changing...forced to become more nimble in response to all of the changes.

In short, I can't imagine a legitimate publisher taking issue with your blog, but you may want to exercise discretion in posting any pictures.

Cheers,
Joe

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