NEW! One of the biggest challenges facing game developers today is how to get your game on people's radar in such a competitive marketplace. The new Discoverability track will focus on helping you do just that - finding and attracting the right audience, nurturing your community and building good relationships with media, streamers and other influencers. Hear case studies, top tips and practical advice from the people behind some of the most successful games around.

Discoverability sessions

Early Access: The Why and the How

Tuesday 9th July: 17.00 - 17.45 : Room 4

Early access—the idea of getting players into your game while you’re still developing it—has been used to great effect both to improve products, and to get a head start in marketing. However, if done badly, then it can end up eating up resources, and making the final game harder to sell. Is early access right for your project? What can be gained? What can be lost? When is the best time to start? How do you get the most out of it? What are the pitfalls to avoid? Based on the experience of developing and releasing Boundless, a highly ambitious PC and PS4 MMO, which was in early access for almost four years before being launched in September, this session will answer those questions, and more, to give you a strong understanding of whether and how to apply the early access model to your project.

From this session, you will take-away an understanding of whether early access is right for your project, what the advantages of it are, as well as what the disadvantages are. You will also gain an understanding of the work involved in managing the process in the best way, and how to avoid the pitfalls.

Everything We Did to Chart on Steam

Tuesday 9th July: 14.00 - 14.45 : Room 4

What does a successful marketing campaign look like for a niche indie game in 2019? Hannah Flynn will break down everything she and the Failbetter Games team did to launch Sunless Skies, with the pros, cons and outcomes for each. Including: - Strategy - how to make a launch splash when leaving Early Access - Community and social media - Streamer outreach - Content partnerships - Multiple trailers - Media outreach and press event - Consumer events - Advertising - Store placements - Merchandising

You'll have a sense of what's really required to make a game launch a success, and hopefully take away two or three concrete ideas for launching your next title based on what we learned.

Harnessing the Power of Community: How Developers Can Build For Community

Wednesday 10th July: 11.00 - 11.45 : Room 5

The state of gaming culture is unrecognisable from just five years ago. Social media has redefined the dynamic between developers and players forever. With more choice for players than ever before, the need to retain players has never been more critical to a game’s success. Social connections, and a feeling of community are one of the most effective ways of retaining players and increasing lifetime value. The industry is waking up to this value with many developers incorporating social and community principles throughout their entire development process. Tom Sweeney has been lucky enough to manage the biggest gaming communities in the world throughout my career. From Jagex's community of 250,000,000 RuneScape players, through to now running the biggest social-first gaming community in the world for Media Chain. In this talk, I'm going to share most valuable lessons I've learned during my career and will reveal how a community can make or break a game. I will show you how to maximise retention and increase the efficiency of marketing by leveraging their fans as community ambassadors.

Acquire, retain, convert. Community has the power to help you build your userbase, retain these customers, convert them to purchase and increase lifetime value.

Make Your Game Stand Out in the Market

Tuesday 9th July: 16.00 - 16.45 : Room 6

There are too many games launching every day. How do you look different? How do you stand out in the market? This talk will take you through the 5 basic steps of positioning, designing and building a distinctive brand around your game. 1. Uncover existing values & goals 2. Define the brand & positioning 3. Craft the brand 4. Implement 5. Communicate Short term, this can make your marketing much more effective. Long term, it can increase engagement and the value of your company to investors and others. We all hope for a hit, but hope is not a strategy.

  • How to plan the design of an effective Brand platform
  • How building a brand can boost you marketing 
  • How a brand platform affects company value and investor pitches

Mythbusting the Future of Marketing

Thursday 11th July: 16.00 - 16.45 : Room 2

The world of marketing is an ever changing space. In this session, we'll dig deep into five key trends that are shaping the tools and strategies available for growing your games, as well as debunking some of the myths that may waste your time and money. - Is algorithmic advertising killing traditional advertising channels? - Is growth hacking more important that marketing? - What does the proliferation of digital stores mean for your game? - Are esports and let's play videos killing gaming? - Will the next big thing in games will be totally different from anything we've seen to date?

  • A reality check on the state of video games marketing
  • Learn about smart tactics to invest your marketing budget in
  • Tools for building the long-term health of your game's brand

Retention Marketing in the Age of Video Game Streaming

Thursday 11th July: 12.15 - 13.00 : Room 5

There’s been a step change in entertainment media marketing in recent years that means retention of audience is now just as important, if not more so, than audience acquisition. This is primarily because streaming services have become omnipotent in the worlds of TV, movies and music, along with a necessity on behalf of platform owners and content providers to build longer-term engagement with fans to keep those all-important ARPUs up. However, in video games, one of the most immersive forms on entertainment we have, there has been a tendency to focus on trailers as the focal point of both major (and minor) video game release campaigns, which often results in a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ one time hit for the target audience. But with major players lining up video game streaming services, there’s a real opportunity to start working in the context of immersive, ongoing and evolving marketing plans for a game, with an emphasis on audience retention.

  • Insight into how video and music streaming services approach user acquisition and retention
  • Guidance on how those approaches can be applied to games marketing
  • Techniques for breaking down internal barriers between development and marketing teams to aid ongoing campaigns

The Secrets of Influencer Marketing

Wednesday 10th July: 16.00 - 16.45 : Room 5

Influencer Marketing has long been hailed as "the next big thing" in the marketing industry. With some calling it the best way to get customers while others call it the best way to lose your money, who is right? Although influencer marketing in its current format for several years, new developments in both social media technology and new social media platforms are making the field one that's hard to grasp and effectively capitalise on, with stories in the media every couple of months about scandals or campaigns gone wrong, as was the case with Fyre Festival. Similar stories talk about great successes, like Nike's Kaepernick ad and following increase in share price and sales. Chris, Product and Delivery Manager at PMYB, the UK's leading influencer marketing agency, will tackle the myths and unveil the best practices, with a focus on influencer marketing for games, which will ensure that your influencer marketing strategy will have the highest return on investment.

  • What is influencer marketing?
  • What platforms are the most commonly used in 2019 and why?
  • What influencer marketing can't do

Calling all wannabe speakers!

Develop:Brighton brings together the game dev community to share ideas, learn and be inspired by each other. So if you have an idea for a conference session we'd love to hear it. Hurry - the deadline for submissions is 19 February!

find out more

Get involved today!

There are many ways you can be part of Develop:Brighton 2020 - including speaking in the conference, taking a booth in the Expo or becoming a sponsor.

Find out more

Keep up to date with Develop 2020

Newsletter Sign Up