Mobile Should Be Secondary With Games for Marketing

April 14, 2013

Filed under: Branded Games — Simon Walklate

I’ve talked before about choosing what works, instead of being blinded by whatever is perceived as the current trend. Now I’m not saying don’t get native mobile versions of your branded game produced. If your budget allows, go for it. But don’t rely on mobile, use it as a secondary source of exposure to reach a wider audience, only if you have the extra money to spend. Flash for the web should still be the cornerstone of your marketing activities with branded games.

Flash Is the Best Way to Get Guaranteed Exposure

The biggest problem with mobile is getting your game noticed. It’s a big gamble that may end up with little return. If all you have is a mobile version, you could end up having to allocate a substantial budget towards marketing the game itself. Otherwise it’s likely to get lost in the sea of apps on the mobile platform’s respective app store.

Flash doesn’t have this problem. Because of the nature of the technology it’s possible to distribute a single game file for hosting on many different gaming websites. This avoids the risk of having your game only available in one place (the appropriate app store) and having to drive traffic to that place. Flash gaming sites have a huge existing combined audience of millions ready to play your game and interact with your brand.

Although play numbers aren’t guaranteed, the potential is huge. Our most successful branded Flash game to date has achieved tens of millions of plays since launch. Trying to get this kind of exposure for a mobile only game is going to be extremely difficult, if not virtually impossible.

Flash Is More Cost Effective

If you want to target all available devices you’re going to need multiple native versions of your mobile game. Because Flash targets a common web based player, there’s none of this fragmentation. This makes Flash much more cost effective as a starting point and is more likely to be available to you within a modest budget, without spending a fortune.

Can’t I Just Use HTML5 and Target Both at Once?

I’m not going to go into the problems with HTML5 for games, or the reasons why it’s a terrible platform again. But apart from the numerous compatibility issues, there is no way to package and distribute HTML5 games in the same way as Flash. So you’re essentially left with the same problems of using a native mobile app alone – the game exists in one place and you need to drive traffic to it.

Flash Can Be Used to Drive Downloads of Your Mobile Versions

Because Flash makes it easy to generate huge exposure, you can harness this exposure to drive traffic to your mobile game. This is why it’s essential to treat the web based Flash version as the foundation and ONLY if budget allows, think about adding native mobile versions of your game. The Flash version can generate exposure for your mobile version, but NOT the other way around.

Flash First, Mobile Second

When considering using a branded game as part of your marketing campaign, by all means consider ONLY a mobile version if:

  1. You have a decent budget to drive downloads of the app, or…
  2. You don’t mind hardly anyone playing your game.

Always choose web based Flash first, if you want to guarantee decent exposure. Only then and if you have a substantial budget left, start to look at other additional platforms such as mobile.

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