As an indie game company with few marketing funds at your disposal, especially at the outset of a project, press releases and emails are critical in getting the word out about your game. But many indie developers, and startups in general, don’t know how to write a good press release. Here’s the process I go through in developing a release – I hope it helps:
I normally ask myself these questions before sending a press release out:
- Who are you sending the release to?
- What is the main reason for sending the press release?
- What type of content do you want to send?
- What’s the goal of the press release?
After answering these, and getting a general sketch-up of the content you want to send, prioritize that content and write your release.
After that, I normally start at Games Press and Blue’s News. These are both sites that allow you to post your press releases for free (I’m suspecting you’re not looking for any of the paid sites, but if you are, let me know and I can provide links to those). Many gaming blogs will pick up on your press release simply through these two sites.
Finally, depending on how I answer the initial, above 4 questions, I look around to blogs/bloggers/writers who write similar articles and have similar interests to the content in the press release. I’d ignore the general press@ and contact@ email addresses at the major sites, and look around for writers who tend to talk about whatever you’re sending a press release about.
My favorite article on marketing and press releases is this Pixel Prospector article, which has a great wealth of tips. Also, I’d note that in sending out press releases to any news source, it helps to include links to any videos or other reviews of your game, as well as a ZIP file with some screenshots of your game, your company logo, the game logo, etc.
And here’s a sample of the kind of press releases we send out. This one is for our Delve Deeper Steam announcement.
Steam Press Release
Delve Deeper is a turn-based Adventure/Strategy game that combines HD pixel art, tile placement, and RPG elements in a bright and humorous atmosphere. Up to four players take command of Dwarf mining teams in this fast and furious dungeon adventure meets devious puzzler, building the map as you play for an ever-changing, endlessly replayable strategy experience for you and your three best friends, or three devious AI teams.
“Delve Deeper from Lunar Giant Studios is a new turn-based strategy title for the PC that goes into a special class of games close to my heart,” says Patrick Watts of The Adrenaline Vault. Michael Rose of Indie Games says, “It’s seriously good fun and quite unique – I certainly haven’t seen anything like it before.”
Delve Deeper can be purchased on Steam http://store.steampowered.com/app/63800/, Gamersgate http://www.gamersgate.com/DD-DD/delve-deeper, and Impulse http://impulsedriven.com/DelveDeeper. You can also buy it at the Lunar Giant Store http://www.lunargiantstudios.com/store.
Gorgeous HD Pixel art, quirky humor, and the ever-present King of Dwarves.
Pick your own team of 5 Dwarves from Fighters, Scouts and Miners
Battle 20 powerful Monsters including Goblins, Evil Dwarves, and huge Dragons!
Collect over 100 relics to power up your Dwarves, and view them later in The Royal Gallery!
Earn 50 different Steam Achievements
Track 48 collectible statistics
About Lunar Giant Studios
An independent game company from Batavia, Illinois, Lunar Giant Studios is committed to building ambitious, solidly designed and professionally drawn games with a retro-gaming flair.
(NOTE: I originally posted some of this content over in this thread on TIGForums)