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Sometime in the near future I'll release my first Android game. It's not going to be anything special, but I'm trying to make it as polished as possible and I would like to know what I can do to prevent it from falling into obscurity.

If you look hard enough, you can find some pretty well-crafted games on the Play Store that, nonetheless, are virtually unknown. I recently came across one developer that has published six well made games that are pretty fun and have good art as well; out of these six, two are moderately popular (10,000–50,000 downloads), while the rest have very few downloads (1,000 or fewer).

What are some techniques to increase your game's visibility on Google Play upon its launch?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I would suggest the expertise does not lie in this forum, and you will be better off googling for marketing. There are no shortcuts other than connecting with people that may be interested in your product. \$\endgroup\$ – Pontus Magnusson Jul 18 '14 at 20:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PontusMagnusson Yes, but how to connect? It's about as helpful to a marketer-wannabe to say that he should connect with his customers as it it to tell to a programmer-wannabe that he should tell the computer what to do. :P Both know that's what they should do, but they don't know how. \$\endgroup\$ – Paul Manta Jul 18 '14 at 20:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Reach out to your personal network, and your professional network with example a website, blog, facebookgroups, twitter, advertisment on google ads or facebook ads, or contact the press (relevant newspaper/online magazine), Try get in contact with youtube-stars for reviews. Good luck :) \$\endgroup\$ – Pontus Magnusson Jul 18 '14 at 20:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ The problem I have with the question is that it is titled specificly towards Play Store, while it can be shaped as a question about marketing apps and games in whole, since they are essentially the same thing. \$\endgroup\$ – Pontus Magnusson Jul 18 '14 at 21:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PontusMagnusson I wasn't sure whether I should ask about marketing in general or about Google Play in particular. I picked the latter since there may be important particularities that I'm not aware of and also to avoid being flagged as off-topic. \$\endgroup\$ – Paul Manta Jul 18 '14 at 21:09
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You need to find players somehow, the first obvious step is to tell your friends, if they like it enough to also tell their friends this can be a good start. A second point is to post about it on some forums, not on the general spammy "play my game now" way but more of a hello I'm and have made a new game and am looking for some advice ext. this can help you gain even more players. Once you have this going you can send it to some youtube game reviewers/let's players who will then hopefully play you game and get you enough media attention to get you to the top of the play list.

The basic system is that each download you get increases your chance of getting in the initial top so you need to use methods outside of the store to get a number of downloads required to do well in the store, use a combination of online and offline methods to increase your chance.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any YouTubers in mind? I know TotalBiscuit, but his focus is on computer games. \$\endgroup\$ – Paul Manta Jul 18 '14 at 20:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just search for mobile games let's play (and mobile game review and any other set of terms you can come up with) then look at what comes up determine if these are people you want to play your game if yes send them a message (with a FREE copy (asking them to pay is stupid)). Then add them to the list of people you want to exclude from your result repeat until done. \$\endgroup\$ – Thijser Jul 18 '14 at 21:03
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Marketing is basicly getting a connection with the target audience of your product, in this case a mobil app/game. This can be done in many ways including the following:

  • Your friends, family and acquaint. Talk to them if they have any interest in mobile games, else try get them to recommend your app to people THEY know like mobile games. This personal marketing can be achieved by mouth, phone, facebook, twitter, a personal blog.
  • Try reaching out to a more "professional" network, which will include your fanbase, or other interested audience. A good strategy can be to have a facebook page for your game, a website, or a blog for updates on development or new content or other types of communication (see bigger other similar games that already top what they post on their networks).
  • If you are completely new to the market, setting up a fanbase would be the place to start and this is mostly done by the two above steps in addition to contacting "bigger/more famous" people that can spread the word of your game. A few ideas to how this is done is to contact youtubers (serach for game reviews and "let's play"s to find people who does what you want), or streamers (does not really apply to mobile games), and have them do a review or playthrough of your game.
  • Another little more costly effort can be add's, which you can purchase and place with help from google-ads or facebook-ads. It's then up to you to decide what kind of ad you want, where there are two major types of web adds. One is pay per click, and one is pay per view. They both have their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Yet another strategy is to contact online magazines to write a review about your game, or a short article on who you/your company if any, are and what you do.

This are some good starting points, some more difficult than others. What you must begin with is learn to "speak for your product", which is basicly the content you want to display to other people, to have them interested in your product. A good place to start is by searching for other adds, and reviews, or basicly any material related to a well selling game and see how they give their game appeal to others.

Edit:
Here is a good post from reddit on promoting a game. It is relevant here.
Here is a guide on how to contact the press, written by and for indie developers.

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