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Gamasutra: Simon Carless’s Blog-Discovery Points from the New PlayStation 5 Store?

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[The GameDiscoverCo game discovery newsletter, which you can subscribe to now, is written by ‘how people find your game’ expert & GameDiscoverCo founder Simon Carless, and is a regular look at how people discover and buy video games in the 2020s.]

Welcome to the last Game Discover Co newsletter of the week. Here you can see that the actual snowdrifts of the news are accumulating. This is due to the launch of next-generation consoles, continued promotion to cloud gaming, and other notable announcements.

Now, put on your Pis hat and move on to the jungle of Discoveryland …

Sony’s New PS5 Digital Store-What Is It Like?

Now that PlayStation 5 is out, we all have the opportunity to check out the brand new PS5 store for discoverability, navigability, and many other factors. We briefly reviewed the new PlayStation webstore in a recent newsletter, but the two clearly share code and navigation options.

(Supplement: For next-generation consoles, the Xbox Series X / S store uses a lot of the same code as the new Xbox One store that we looked at at the end of September, so it’s not necessary. Rehash it. )

Anyway, PlayStation Universe has done a super fast narration-free video zoom around the PS5 store. So I embedded it for those who haven’t had the chance to check it yet:

Here’s a quick look at some of the notable features:

  • The features chosen by humans still reign supreme. The “Must-See” navigation bar at the top has a series of small icons selected for editing both individual games (Demon’s Souls, Godfall) and categories such as “New Games” and “Discover .. Monthly Picks”. It’s especially good to see “Discover”, which selects interesting games regardless of budget level.

  • Below that is “What’s Hot?”. A section (filled with big budget games and first-party titles), and a surprisingly prominent “Coming Soon” section compared to other stores (both first-party PS5 titles, Horizon Forbidden West and Ratchet & Clank Rift) Apart is heading).

  • At the top of the main screen there is also another layer of tabs for elements such as “Subscriptions” (PS +, PS Now, etc.) and “Collections”-themes such as Monthly Picks, PlayStation Indies, Essentials, Superhero Collection, etc. set. Within’Collections’, there was one personalized’Because you Played’ element. However, in general, the recommended elements of the algorithm will play compared to Steam.

  • The “Wish List” button has been significantly revived. It can be purchased for both released games (“Purchase” or “Wish List”) and unreleased games (“Wish List” or “Follow”). Previously, the wishlist option was only available in the web version of the store. (It was just deleted and wasn’t synced to the console.) Do you think your wishlist looks like a bookmark in a modern console?

Scroll down enough to get a basic browsing on your PS5 or PS4 game. (And very few PS5 games are currently available. If you can release them on PS5 within a few weeks, you may be golden!)

All PS5 and PS4 games can be sorted by various parameters, including “bestsellers”. This should give you useful data for the future.

Anyway, our conclusion-the new store looks high quality and is easy to browse. It’s still the most tightly platform-controlled of all console stores, as browsing the best-selling games is a great discovery mechanism and I think it can be prioritized higher. (Both Microsoft and Nintendo do.)

A little note-This has been fixed in the PlayStation Web Store, but the PS5 console store doesn’t show the game name under the square icon while browsing. (Therefore, if you can’t read the game name on the PS4 game icon, it’s a good idea to update it.) But in reality, the main issue you’ll see at launch isn’t the store navigation itself.

They are based on publisher-specific “Can I get an upgrade? And what version of the game do I get?” PS4 / PS5 Game Purchase Issues-Something like:

Popagenda’s A / B concept test pitch!

The latest issue of Lizzie Killian “Slightly similar to this newsletter, but specific to the PR of the game.” The generous VGPR is bundled with a very good interview with Genevieve Saint Onge and Nicolas Verge of Swiss Army Knife publishing / promotion helper popagenda (Bugsnax, many more).

Nicholas (right) made a great comment about what the indie studios (especially the first timer) are struggling with most, so I wanted to emphasize that in particular:

“We … got so many classics. Why doesn’t anyone care about my game (before release)?” Or “Why didn’t it sell (after release)?” Question. This is really hard to answer to be honest, and in many cases there is more than one easy answer. There’s a reason for indie developers who are basically A / B testing to use Twitter GIFs to test game concepts and art direction to see what works. It’s very painful when the game can’t find an audience, but it happens. Lots. “

The idea of ​​publishing ideas to players very quickly and staying transparent hasn’t been fully exploited yet to see what works. For example, Philomena Schwab from Stray Fawn Studio (Nimbatus, niche) Even before the name and kickstarter came out, we talked about the studio’s new game, The Wandering Village, and sought out ideas.

Of course, your game isn’t the type that can be encapsulated so well, so you can argue that it’s impossible. (At that point, the game doesn’t have enough hooks, so you might respond that this could be a problem (with a little tongue on your cheeks).)

Summary of Game Discovery News ..

Well, it’s almost a weekend. I hope you have some exciting plans. Maybe you’re playing a new video game console until early in the morning. In any case, there are some links to serenade you to the sleep caused by gameplay:

  • Yes, the Steam Game Festival (for demo pre-release games) is back in February 2021. I’m not sure if it’s going to be a “demo / prologue in the long run”, but it always moves the game needles. Festivals can serve your purpose. This is especially true when featured by Streamers and the primo featured by Valve. Remember that you can only have one festival these days!

  • Confusingly good news for the Apple Mac as a video game format, you can now run iOS apps on the new Apple Silicon Mac. One of us is one, and at a recent Apple press conference, developers of games like Baldur’s Gate 3 were talking about it. It’s nice to be able to integrate the OS, but given the relatively modest market share of Mac desktops / laptops, it’s still unclear if Mac games as a format will be significantly boosted.

  • Steam tagging is a “vegetable-eating” type of problem. This is a bit tedious and annoying, but it’s worth getting the incremental gain from the Steam algorithm. Chris Zukowski gives an overview of the useful “101” in his latest newsletter / blog. As he says, the biggest problems are: Don’t put super-general / general tags at the top of the tag list-or don’t let users put them-. Choose a fleshy sub-genre.

  • Make this what you want, but Warframe The only non-Chinese game approved by the government in China in the last three months (Thx of the chip, Chundi of Ampere Analysis.) Apparently: “This game is currently available in China, but hasn’t been updated for over a year. Approval seems to be due to an operator change from Changyou to iDream Sky.”

  • This is Twitter thread that pokes the publisher slightly From the people of the investor fund Kowloon Nights (Godfall, Spiritfarer-the lineup of photos above.) It sets their spirit and creates clear / fair points: “For long-term stability and sustainability, we believe developers need the opportunity to establish and build their own brands and communities.” Funding for self-published games can work well with developers who really have the time and experience to pin the community and marketing. However, it is not always possible for publishers to gain the scale / group bargaining power of the platform.

  • The NPD suggests that the US video game industry achieved $ 11.2 billion in spending between July and September 2020, up 24% year-over-year. “Most important profits were mobile and subscription spending, console and portable full game downloads, and video game accessories. Hardware and accessories increased by double digits, up 16% and 35%, respectively. did.”

  • Relevant to anyone releasing a video game with a soundtrack: Twitch is still Suffering from DMCA music deletion related issues.. There are several (isolated) Hilarious false positives Going for the game-and in fact, here’s a great new explainer from The Verge.

  • Microlink: ICO partners outperform PS5 over Xbox Series X in online coverage share leading up to launch. Why PlayStation 5 is essential to Sony’s overall corporate reform. The trend of “learning game development from YouTuber” continues, and Thomas Brush (Neversong) launches a “full-time game development” course.

Finally this week, it was fun to find out that Spotify’s reduced royalties could be redeemed for more play on featured playlists. No, seriously-Imagine the reaction of the internet if someone like Steam did this, hahaha … * Actually die *..

[This newsletter is handcrafted by GameDiscoverCo, a new agency based around one simple issue: how do players find, buy and enjoy your premium PC or console game? We’ll be launching a ‘Plus’ paid newsletter tier with lots of extra info/data – watch out for it soon.]

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