Video games are a huge thing and everyone wants a piece of the profit this industry generates. Finding an honest review or a game that isn't just another clone is not that hard.
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There has been several arguments in various groups and on various websites, they all involved developers and reviewers in one way or another. Free developer tools and game engines made it possible for everyone to try and create a new title. Along with numerous games, came thousands of writers who wanted to give their opinion. Of course, the most important group are gamers, because without them the industry would cease to exist. It all start simple and friendly, though some people can turn rather arrogant and start to think they’re way better than others.
Video game developers have to create a game so we can all talk about and give our opinion. That’s why I will start with devs. Most of these guys are really friendly and help each other whenever they can. True developers can work for several years on one title and you will know their game is something new and worth trying. Sadly they are a minority these days. Most will take a game that was already published and edit some features, then try to sell it as their own.
I’m not saying these devs lack talent, it’s most likely they just want to create a product and sell it as fast as possible to get some cash for their work. In most cases they will not succeed as the market is full of similar games that are free. Then you have other type of devs who had worked on their games for years and are having hard time trying to sell their product. Might be because it doesn't involve zombies and half naked chicks, or for some entirely different reason such as publishers are not interested in that specific genre.
There are exception like Candy Crush Saga and numerous zombies that sell with lightning speed. Important thing is to continue developing and try to come up with a unique concept that will get gamer’s attention. Marketing is crucial and your team should have a person responsible for promoting the game. If you don’t have someone within a team, there are companies providing marketing services all around the web. I am not going to turn this into self-promotion article so let’s move on.
If you choose to go sell publishing, except a long road ahead. I know publishers will ask for 30% of profit or even more, but think about it. Getting even 10% of something is lot more than 100% of nothing. Self-publishing has benefits though, you get to choose everything and your decision is final. You have created a product and now you have to sell it. To do so, the first step is getting people know about your product.
OK, you have completed a game and would like reviewers to write about it. You probably don’t want to go for big sites thinking they won’t even reply to your email. Maybe they won’t but it costs nothing to try so just ask anyone you can. Small sites would write about almost any game, as long as you can provide a copy. I know there are those that will ask to pay for a review, but unless their site is well-known and you are sure that your investment will pay off, do not pay for anything. There are numerous writers who will do it for free and those are the ones you should contact.
Reviewers face their own problems. One thing to keep in mind is that a review is just someone’s opinion. Whether they praise your game, or write a bad thing, it is how they felt while playing. You shouldn't start an argument if someone says your game should have been done better regarding this or that. Where you have the right to get annoyed is when reviewer says things like “it was the worst game I've ever played” or something similar to that. No game is completely bad, unless it’s some clone of course.
When we review a game and express our opinion, most readers tend to disagree and that’s all fine. As long as debate stays polite, we won’t make any problems. However, when a comment insults us or another reader, you went too far and should think about it. Writing about video games seems easy, but after you wrote about few it’s hard not to repeat yourself. Include gameplay quality, graphics, sound, a bit about storyline and elaborate your opinion. Never say just bad things, surely you can find at least one that you enjoyed while playing that game.
Asking devs for a copy of their game to write about can be tricky. Most developers will be happy to provide their title, though I met few who stated they only give a free copy to known reviewers. If you get an answer like that, don’t feel insulted. Ignore it and ask other devs. Plenty of games out there and getting a few isn't that hard.
Developers and reviewers face problems all the time. We can let them get to us and give up, or keep on doing what we do and grow a second skin to protect us. With time, we all get used to nasty comments and getting “NO” as an answer. Life goes on no matter what. Instead of being cheeky and big headed, working as colleagues and friends would get us much further.
Dolores is SEO and Digital Marketing consultant who has been completely hog-washed into doing this site by KC.