Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

How to sell the sequel to your game?

There are various ways to sell sequels to games. I’ve sold 2 sequels myself (Democracy 2 and Kudos 2). The approach I took was this:

  • Take what’s good about the original game, and expand upon it.
  • Fix any of the design or technical limitations of the original that were too big to just patch.
  • Add some new features, and polish the stuff that is already there. Maybe with a bigger budget this time.
  • Respond to tons of real paying-customer feedback to make changes and improvements to the user experience.

In short, make a better version of the game.

Or of course, you can be cynical as an ambulance-chasing lawyer, and just turn off the servers for last years version, and then sell the same game again with some extra bump maps and a new logo.

Seriously, running game servers is cheap. How do people think all those FreeToPlay games cope? This is so, so cynical.

7 thoughts on How to sell the sequel to your game?

  1. Totally!

    I installed quake3 again a few months ago, and jumped straight in to some online play. It was released 12 years ago now, and people are still running busy servers.

    Not only that, but you can play the free demo levels if you don’t want to buy the full game. And you can even run the game as a server yourself.

    They don’t make em like they used to.

  2. Hear, hear!

    In the case of Xbox 360 games, what are Gold members paying Microsoft for if not to run multilplayer servers?

  3. No, I believe YOU are the one being cynical, and they are just being plain old evil.

    Cynical: “Believing the worst of human nature and motives.”

    Evil: “Forcing customers to continually re-buy games by turning off servers.”

    (So what I’m saying is that I agree!)

  4. Well, buying sports games from EA is about as gullible as it gets. Those games are pretty much what they were in the late nineties, with no significant improvements, but cost full price every year again. It’s a subscription model without the MMO in front of it.

    What does your GSB server cost monthly, by the way? 5 £ or so? If you sell one copy per month, you’re profitable still?

  5. The GSB server costs about £95 a month, but it is pretty over-spec for what it does. It’s a dedicated server, so I can reboot it on demand if I need to, meaning it has very very good uptime.

  6. Really this is partly Microsoft/Sony’s fault, there should be a mandatory minimum period for a game to support the online features they are touting on the box. Else, given the chance, EA would want to pull the plug on fifa09 players.

    One day, when its digital download only, it will be month-by-month subscription to play a game, a company’s commitment to the player will be for that month.

  7. … and compare with ‘Valve’, they know how to support games/customers. They still support their old classics, updating some of them with better graphics etc.

Comments are currently closed.