”Our only strategy was to get the game featured. There was no Plan B. It was ‘if this game doesn’t get featured, we have 0 money to market this; no-one will ever hear of it.’” - Barry Meade
That’s one of the co-founders of Fireproof Games, talking about The Room for GamesIndustry.biz. Earlier in that same talk Barry discusses how they created three prototypes in three months and picked the best to progress. So, a lot of focus on making a great game and almost none on marketing. It’s since sold millions and was Apple’s (and my) iPad Game of the Year.
“Any game we make, we expect it to be good, of the highest standard,” [Kazuki] Morishita says.
“We were very confident that Puzzle & Dragons was a good game, but the success was mind-blowing.
“It had a lot to do with luck,” he adds.
“It was intuition and luck,”
Lots of food for thought from the how-do-you-make-a-mega-hit point of view, which shares a lot with the let’s-make-a-viral school of missing the point. You can’t bottle lightning. All you can do is give lightning the best possible chance to strike, whatever kind of content you’re making.
And, yes it’s quite distorting to focus on these outliers, but I have much more admiration for craftspeople who start with a focus on quality than those who start from a cynical need to be popular, to be ‘viral’.
It’s the difference between building a skyscraper topped with a lightning rod, and running round on iron stilts in a thunderstorm waving an umbrella.
With the former, if you’re not struck by lightning you’ve still got a beautiful building. With the latter, whatever happens you look a right ninny and you’re probably going to get electrocuted.