GDC 2014

GDC 2014 Session Scheduler

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Indie Game Public Relations: 5 Years of Painful Lessons

Chris McQuinn  |  Designer/PR, Drinkbox Studios

Location: Room 132, North Hall

Format: Session
Track: Business, Marketing & Management
Vault Recording: Video

A key question facing all studios is: how to maximize a title's exposure spending "X" marketing dollars? As a small, independent studio, DrinkBox Studios faced the challenge of promoting our first unknown IP, Tales from Space: About a Blob, to the world. This included trying to promote the game with media outlets, distributors and, most importantly, gamers. Needless to say, this was not the success we had hoped for in regards to sales and brand awareness. The second time around, releasing Mutant Blobs Attack, we were dealing with a launch day title and decided to partner up with a PR company. The results were notably positive, but brought on a new, unexpected challenge: negotiating the relationship with a PR company. Lastly came Guacamelee!, a new PR company, and a new strategy. Let us provide our experiences, ROI analysis, notable failures, and triumphs in promoting unheard-of IPs to the world.


Sharing key lessons learned via small-scale marketing campaigns for three projects over a five-year period, attendees will gain insight into what works to successfully promote a new title. Comparing the metrics of different marketing approaches, the presentation will generate knowledge on various outreach initiatives and, importantly, their impact on sales.

Intended Audience

The target audience is anyone involved in the promotion of a title, specifically one with a modest marketing budget. No previous knowledge in marketing is required, although an understanding of basic marketing principles may prove useful for the presented data.