Benchmarking is an essential part of pre-production marketing. Let’s dive into the process and it’s benefits on video games.
Benchmarking is a table that displays information about your competitors and their games. It gives a broad view into their figures such as reviews, revenue. It’s also powerful to list and share your competitor list in case you need references.
Our agency Metagether has made a recent market analysis for Lovecrafting.
GOOGLE FILE REFERENCE
We will mostly speak about a PC Steam Benchmark, but the method can be applied to mobile.
To make a benchmark, this is very simple:
- Create the headers of data
- Get data from every steam page
- Project revenues from sample data
- For projections : Gross Revenue = Price * reviews * 60
- Net Revenue = Gross Revenue / 2.
You generally have 2 types of data:
- “Hard Data” (set in stone) : release date, name of the game…
- “Soft Data” aka Projections : how much it costs, how much revenue it generated…
We use the boxleiter method, people use 60, others 40 has a factor… depends on the current weekday! (https://vginsights.com/insights/article/how-to-estimate-steam-video-game-sales)
You can add upcoming games that are not out yet but worth knowing about.
How to find competitors and know how to pick games?
When you made this for a few games, you have to do more market research and check out the similar games. One of the easiest way to find similar games is to check the “more like this” of Steam pages. Check it out for a few hours and select projects. I don’t go into too much details because I assume most people know how to search for games!
So now you should get around 30 of your competitors. Twenty is good too, but the more you have, the more accurate you’ll be!
Keep in mind, it’s good to have…
- 1/3 of High quality & Profitable games
- 1/3 of Medium quality games that probably broke even
- 1/3 of Low quality games that failed to meet their market
The main benefits of benchmarking are:
- Get a clear idea of your competitors and their stats.
- Share competitors data and link easily to investors; publishers or team members
- Watch out for their release and how it’s going
- Update your competitors list easily
This table of data gives you three important information:
- Average Revenue
- Median Revenue
- Average user score
- Average Price
- Which platforms they were released on
- Average “age of games”
I want to remind you that Median is important here: it’s a better “middle” point than average in our case.
Retro production analysis
One of my favorite tools is retro production analysis.
During pre-production, you should probably retrofit your game costs into the benchmark findings. If you were to make a 400k cost deckbuilder but find that the average revenue is 200k€, maybe you should think more about your scope.
You can totally add wild guesses, aka numbers taken out of your pocket, to have something more intuitive to your benchmark. For instance, you could project their budget costs based on internet data or your own estimations.
Benchmarks are a straightforward process that make it a good exercise for beginners in marketing. It requires mainly data entry rather than knowledge about the market. You can mix it with qualitative analysis to have a more personal insight about your competitors strength and weaknesses.
It looks very professional! Everyone loves figures. Your benchmark can be useful for investors, publishers, or national grant submissions. It shows you’ve done your research!
When I started Neurodeck, I had this very simple benchmark (in retrospect, it didn’t have enough data).
Bonus : Review Analysis
If you want to make your benchmark more complete, you can also add competitors’ reviews.
They provide a great insight about what you need to be careful about in terms of game design and global production issues.
For instance, in deckbuilders most negative reviews are about:
- Lack of content
- Flaws in game design such as balancing and interesting events
Sharing the outcome
A good thing is to make your benchmark followed up by 2 or 3 concluding slides: what are the main information you learned? How can they help you know more about your game.
Thank you for reading!
Check out our website Metagether. https://metagether.com/