Free Games for Bloggers

“Free Games For Bloggers”

Quite nice marketing trick, eh? Free is always so catchy even though there’s dangers) I think Binary Moon has found a great way (and cheap too) to promote their games – if it happens to hit the right spot. Player writes a review, and directs people to download & purchase Binary Moon’s games. Very easy to set up, very cheap way to promote.

The biggest issue here might be the quality of the review & blog. If it’s just some player with a low-activity blog… then this approach can be harmful: the players who want to play the game now have chance to get the game for free (instead of making a purchase) – and if it happens that the person has a low-traffic blog, then the cost of this kind of advertising gets very high (potentially lost $20 for couple of downloads does not sound good to me). In this case, it might been easier just to visit some blogs and comment there… and get people linked back – but it’s not easy to tell what blog will be beneficial for them. I’m not sure whether it would be better idea to approach ‘real’ game reviewers than (random) bloggers – but I like this idea, and would give it a chance. After all, some bloggers won’t generate much traffic. How much traffic this experiment will generate, that’s hard to say.

But the fact that even game developers & producers (like me) are mentioning their story means that their marketing gimmick could generate more buzz than expected – not only from reviewers but also from other type of bloggers. (But who knows what they expected…)

I think this is nice way to promote your game, and propably will work with other kind of items as well (software, physical products and so on). It would be nice to hear the results from Binary Moon, after the campaign is been online for some time. I’ll try to get the information online in the future.

Now go on, click on that banner, write your own review – and get your free game.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. A personal aside for a moment: I really like this swell Color Wheel Pro software that I got for free by linking to from my blog. The catch? It took me two years of traffic and a really high google pagerank to get approved by them. A simple system to check on the efficacy of the reviewer is to make a minimum Google Page Rank amount the prospective candidate must adhere to. Lower? Sorry, no free game. Equal to or above a number that can potentially help you? Ding! Free game and mutually beneficial review.

  2. Ben – Maybe with this restriction you could mention the promotion on the actual games site, without the risk of giving it for free to someone who would have paid otherwise. Anyway, it was just an idea… ;)

  3. Juuso – I’m aware of the IGB thing. Tim said he’d let me beta test it since I have managed to break so many things with igloader :)

    Dark Moon – I didn’t want to place those sorts of restrictions on people. Like I said before, sending out a free game costs me nothing. I’m not looking at it as sales lost, but as potential sales gained.

  4. What about a variation on this: write a review and generate x clicks. With 100 clicks and a CR of 1%, you would make a sale for every free game! This will weed out the low traffic blogs, and make sure you make up for every ‘lost’ sale.

  5. Btw – the IGB is soon to be finished… and our press contacts would certainly be interested to hear from your blogging system. If you want to make a press release – email me (or Tim at indiepath) in case you are interested.

    Please note that the number of contacts shows 4 – which is just a test number, the real number is in hundreds who *subscribe* to our service. The main idea of the service is to let press people to subscribe. We won’t grap their emails and spam them – the people who end up in the list are agreed to join.

  6. I can see what you mean about people who are interested in the games not having to pay for them, but I have specifically not mentioned the promotion on the actual games site for that very reason.

    I did consider putting everything on http://www.binarysun.co.uk/ but decided that was just asking for trouble.

    Mike – sorry, no. There are a few rules to stop this :)

  7. As for losing $20 per review – I don’t see it that way. It’s all virtual, real world costs for sending out a game are nothing, and if people want a free game then they were less likely to part with their cash anyway.

    Let me explain what I meant:
    – Let’s suppose there’s a person who wants to buy your game
    – He think whether or not to purchase it…
    – …and sees your ad.
    – Now he goes with haste to write that review and get that game
    in this send – it’s *potentially lost $20* (notice: I said ‘potentially’). Now, if for in exchange you get a a low-traffic site to link couple of players to you, in this sense it could mean quite high cost.

    But – in the case where a player who searches for ‘free games’ (any free games), and writes a review – then you are right that it won’t cost you that $20 – he wouldn’t have bought it anyway.

    But – if the user was likely to purchase your game, now he has chance to get it for free. That’s the risk.

    Anyway – good luck with it!
    (Maybe next time you could put ‘Get my story to -dugg-, get a -free- game’ prmotion going? ;)

  8. I thought it was a really good idea but am having trouble spreading the word. I’ve emailed stacks of people asking if they would mention the story on their blogs but it has yet to start properly.

    The theory behind the idea is that any traffic is good traffic. If I can get people to talk about the games on my site AND link to me then the relevancy to google would increase, and the way I see it all links are good links.

    As for losing $20 per review – I don’t see it that way. It’s all virtual, real world costs for sending out a game are nothing, and if people want a free game then they were less likely to part with their cash anyway.

    As for results, so far it’s been underwhelming. There was a spurt of extra traffic when I started things but it’s all gone back down to normal now. I need a big news site like Digg (It has been dugg – no one clicked :( ) or boing boing to pick up on the story and make my web host collapse under the strain. There are a few more places that have said they would post about it though – and I have a couple of other ideas for promoting it all.

  9. Does it apply to blog commentators? Here’s my review:

    “I like Seth’s Puzzle Boxes. It is the best game. I like it very much”.

    Now gimme the free game! :)

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