Kongregate Developers

Can PewDiePie Play My Game?

It’s a new world, folks. Traditional gaming press is dead and teenagers making videos in their basements have taken over. Well, not EXACTLY. But it is true that Social Influencers can reach hundreds of thousands of viewers in one video while an article from a big press outlet will be read by a few thousand potential new players. And game developers have noticed.

I’ve been working with Influencers to get gaming coverage for the past few years, and game developers always ask me the same question:

“Can we get PewDiePie to make a video about our game?”

And of course, if he likes the game, you could pay him to make a video about your game, but it’s VERY expensive. Pewds, aka Felix Kjellberg, is part of the largest and one of the most expensive MCNs, or Multi Channel Network, a fancy name for an Agency that only represents YouTubers and Streamers. And he is the most visible YouTuber on the planet because of his 49 million subscribers & extensive press coverage. Let’s just say he’s popular... So yes, it’s possible, but it might not be the best use of an indie developer’s limited budget.

First, before planning expensive marketing campaigns and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, I’d make sure your game is YouTube-able.

So, what makes a game YouTube-able? There are a lot of different factors, but the easiest and fastest is to make it easy for Influencers to record footage of your game. Now, I’m not saying you need to build recording software into your game. Most YouTubers already have the capability to record high-quality footage of your game (better than if you build something into the game). No, you need to make it clear to YouTubers and Streamers that they have permission to use footage of your game. The best way I’ve seen this done is in Overcooked, an indie cooking game that had its moment on YouTube thanks to its intense Coop Mode:

This is the loading screen every time you boot up the game. So not only are you telling YouTubers, yes PLEASE make content about my game, but you’re reminding them every single time they play.

Minecraft also has a very clear policy on content creation that is easy to find on their website:

“You are allowed to put footage of our game on YouTube or any other website. In fact, we like you doing so.”

This may seem like a small detail as a game developer, but as a content creator, this easily available information is extremely important. Many developers monetize their game content on YouTube, which means that YouTube will automatically flag similar videos on other channels. That means that YouTubers can have their videos automatically flagged, censored, deleted, and put their accounts in jeopardy of copyright strikes without any input from the developer. And when your channel is your full-time job, that’s a scary prospect. So, having a clear and concise policy to protect them, YouTubers will be more excited about playing your game.

Second, and more difficult, your game should be right for YouTube or Twitch. If you’re making a menu-based mobile RTS, maybe Influencers aren’t the right option for your game. Influencers prefer multiplayer games that they can play with their friends and viewers like Minecraft, Clash Royale, and Agario. They enjoy Indie, cool experiences like Don’t Starve and Please Don’t Touch Anything. And they want something that is exciting to watch, whether that’s because the gameplay is exciting or because they can have over-the-top reactions to it. Think of jump scares like Five Nights at Freddy’s and Hello Neighbor. Think of rage quits like Geometry Dash, Super Mario Maker, and the granddaddy of the rage quit, Flappy Bird. I could write a whole post on that one, but I’ll leave you with this for now:

And as you might have noticed, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your game needs to have the best graphics or the best controls. Some of the most popular games on YouTube lately have been “bad” user experiences. Look at games like I Am Bread, Octodad, Happy Wheels, & Surgeon Simulator. They’re popular on YouTube because they elicit big reactions from the people playing them.

So, before you spend all your marketing budget on YouTubers or Twitch Streamers, look at the game from the Influencers' perspective. Is it fun? Is it entertaining to watch someone else play? Will Influencers actually want to play it? And if not, that’s not necessarily bad; it just means you need to look for alternate ways to market the game.


Michelle Shaw

As Senior Brand Marketing Manager at Kongregate, Michelle is leading the charge in Influencer Marketing as well as a host of other Marketing-y things. She loves Mexican food, cheesy action movies, & city building mobile games. When not in the office, she likes to watch far too much TV and the latest MMA with her hubby and their squishy-faced pup, Gizmo.

Spellstone and Slashy Hero Launch on Steam

Late last month, we quietly released our first game on Steam, the Halloween-themed indie game Slashy Hero, and today we’re pleased to launch Spellstone!

Slashy Hero, developed by Singapore-based The Gentlebros, was originally released on iOS and Android, but has received a UI overhaul and is now available on Steam for $6.99. In addition to the new UI, we’re excited to be taking advantage of a slew of Steam-specific features including Trading Cards & Emojis, Cloud, Controller Support, Leaderboards, and an all-new game mode, Jaw Breaker, to test even the most hardcore players.

In the game, players must find the world’s candy after it’s been stolen and save Halloween! It includes more than 45 spooky levels and 60 costumes to customize your character with. It was honored at Casual Connect Asia 2016 with the Indie Prize Award for “Best Mobile Game” and “Best Game Design.”

You can try it for yourself today on iOS, Android, and Steam.

Spellstone, a popular collectible card game on Kongregate.com and mobile devices, is our latest Steam release. It features hand-drawn art, thousands of card combinations, guilds, and player vs. player systems.

The game transports players to a forgotten island, rich with treasures and the promise of wealth. As adventurers, players explore the lands capturing Spellstones -- ancient and powerful creatures -- and unleashing them on competing adventurers through exciting card battles. Players will find out if they have what it takes to rise to the top of the Bounty Hunter charts.

And for the Steam launch, we’re excited to add synchronous PvP in the Arena as well as cross-platform play, so you can easily pick up your progress from web, mobile, and now Steam, thanks to our unified Developer SDK.

Play Spellstone free today on Kongregate.com, mobile, and now Steam! For more info on the game, follow the game’s official Twitter and Facebook pages.

The Gummies Are Back! Burrito Bison to the Rescue!

We’re happy to announce that we’ve partnered with Montreal-based indie developer Juicy Beast to launch one of our most popular Kongregate.com games on mobile, Burrito Bison: Launcha Libre!

Launcha Libre is the third game in the beloved franchise, following the original Burrito Bison and its follow-up, Burrito Bison Revenge, free Flash games released in 2011 & 2012. Four years after the success that the first games enjoyed, the 4-man developer team, Juicy Beast, was still receiving requests from fans to bring back the Bison, so they decided to develop a new and improved version of the game, this time on both web and mobile.

Burrito Bison: Launcha Libre picks up where the previous games left off, with over-the-top quirky action! For those who haven’t encountered the Bison before, your goal is to launch Burrito Bison, a luchador, as far from the wrestling ring as possible. To fly even farther, players need to “bounce” him off of evil gummies and unlock a wide variety of power-ups and upgrades to make Burrito Bison stronger, slippier, luckier, faster, and more explosive than ever before.

And new to the third game are two new luchadors to play as in addition to Burrito Bison: the nimble and glamorous El Pollo & the quick and precise Pineapple Spank. Pineapple Spank’s quick hookshot allows her to easily grab the most-wanted gummies out of the crowd, while El Pollo can glide through the air to reach new heights!

Launcha Libre also adds final boss battles to send the gummies running back to their alternate universe once and for all! Plus for iOS players, there are new luchador and gummy Stickers to send to your friends and family.

Are you ready to unleash your inner Burrito Bison? Start launching your luchador for free today on iOS, Android, and browser. And for the latest news on the game, visit the official site and follow Burrito Bison on Twitter and Facebook.

BONUS! Kong+ members can now change their profile skin to something awesome to celebrate the launch of Launcha Libre!

Experience the Unique World of "The Trail" Today!

We’re happy to announce that we’ve partnered with Peter Molyneux’s 22cans to launch The Trail on iOS and Android. It is a truly unique game and is incredibly difficult to describe to those that haven’t experienced it firsthand. It’s part of what drew us to the game originally!

“When I saw The Trail, I knew it was a special game and one that we had to publish,” said our co-founder and CEO, Emily Greer. “It’s been a pleasure to work with Peter and his team, and I am proud that our company’s founding principles of supporting indie developers and bringing truly unique game content to players worldwide are as true now as they were when we started the company 10 years ago.”

In the game, players start off with nothing but the clothes on their backs and their ingenuity. As they explore a new frontier filled with wildlife and scenic vistas, players collect items to eat and craft into more valuable goods that they can trade with other travelers. As they amass fortune and notoriety, they will work together to build a thriving community and ultimately become the leader of the most successful town in the new frontier.

“The Trail has been an exciting project for me,” said 22cans founder and Creative Director Peter Molyneux. “It allowed me to get back to my roots as a game designer and put my passion for creating transformative play experiences into this unique and engaging game for today’s mobile audiences. My hope is that whether they have 5 minutes or 5 hours to play The Trail, they continue thinking about their journey long after the game screen has been closed.”

If you want to enter the world of The Trail, you can download it today, free from the App Store and Google Play.

November 3rd, 2016 16:50 1 Comments