How to Market a Game
By Sally Leonard
How often have you heard someone exclaim, “I have this wonderful idea for a game”. But how often have you seen that thought turned into a developed product? Rarely, I bet. In the game business, there are formidable barriers to be overcome in getting from idea to marketable product. Traditional manufacturers are leery about talking to inventors, let alone dealing with them. This is partly for legal reasons, and partly because, in this Internet age, producers are inundated with proposals, most of which are inadequately researched and tested. So what are the options available to someone with a great idea that is fairly bursting to see the light of day? One inventor who has spent many years developing and refining his brainchild, is local resident Bill Gallacher. He has just assembled enough finished product to host the first ever tournament using his game, First Responder. The event was held recently at Cafe Monet, and judging by the 90 minutes of rapt attention of the invitees, was an unqualified success. Participants were asked to contribute 50 pesos to a pot, which was distributed in its entirety to the winners. (The overall winner of the tournament was Barbara Erickson of Wisconsin.) The inventor’s ultimate goal is to sell the marketing rights to First Responder to a large company with a continent-wide distribution network. In the meantime, however, he hopes to market locally while building up enough evidence to convince the big boys of the viability of the game at the national level. “In San Miguel de Allende, we have a unique concentration of curious, literate people on whom to test the game,” says Gallacher. “Plus, it’s important to get the product out there without incurring large production and distribution expenses.” Also, if produced in town, First Responder may contribute modestly to the local economy. As a game, First Responder is light-years away from the current trend towards on-line gaming. It aims to bring people together socially and is designed to appeal in particular to Scrabble and Poker aficionados. For more information on the game, upcoming events, or a copy of the rules, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.