Mehthod for Untapped Market in the Anime/Gamer Niche: Visual Novels

Discussion in 'Affiliate Programs' started by efilteewsyragus, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. efilteewsyragus

    efilteewsyragus Newbie

    Nov 1, 2011
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    Professhunull Kawaii Bloggurrrrrr
    Hi BHW! This is my first time making a method thread after lurking here a LONG time (two years at least!) and only posting a handful of times when I myself needed help. BHW has helped me a LOT more than my postcount shows, so I want to make this community aware of a CURRENTLY small but RAPIDLY-GROWING demographic whose growth could be expedited by getting some attention here.

    That demographic is anime fans and gamers for a specific genre - VISUAL NOVELS!

    If you're already in anime/gaming circles on the internet, the titles of some of these games might sound familiar: Dangan Ronpa and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney are the ones with dedicated cult followings, but some other successful commercial visual novels (henceforth shortened to VNs) are Katawa Shoujo, Hyperdimension Neptunia, and Hatoful Boyfriend.

    Some of these have reached cult and meme status (you may know of Hatoful Boyfriend as "that pigeon dating game"), and Dangan Ronpa is approximately on the same insanely-popular-among-goons-and-geeks level as Homestuck, and this forum doesn't need me to tell it how easy it is to bank on meme-like franchises with fandom-crazed followers who are hungering like crazy for more beloved fandoms to join.

    So let's move on to the meat of this post. Here's the important thing: That list of existing VNs in that paragraph up there is pretty short. But fans of them want more games to play! So what do the fans do to satisfy their need...?

    They make their own games, too.

    Yes, this thread is about indie games. I've seen sprinklings of other threads on this forum asking about how to make money with small-industry games, heck, I've even searched through them myself looking for tips, because that's exactly the niche I want to be making money in. But Steam doesn't have an affiliate program, and neither does Minecraft or BitTrip or (probably) any other popular indie title or storefront you can think of.

    But I finally found one.

    That affiliate network is BMT Micro.

    Okay, BHW. Now we're in the heart of this guide. Here's the nitty-gritty:

    There is a COMMUNITY HUB dedicated to visual novels. It is called Lemmasoft. Pretty much anyone that has their own VN out there will have a topic about it on Lemmasoft. As a member of that forum myself, I'm going to humbly request that you not spam (or do anything else undesirable to) that board. It is a community for gamers looking to play more VNs and it is very welcoming and friendly, and one of the only ones that exists. It is filled with kind and supportive people who are my friends. Don't ruin a good thing. Please.

    Anyway, here are your instructions:

    1. Go to the Lemmasoft forums (very easy to reach through google).
    2. Navigate to the Completed Games subforum (it's very near the top).
    3. Look for any threads with "commercial" in the subject line.
    4. Congratulations, these are your products.

    The chance that BMT Micro are the network that the game is available through is nearly 100%. This is because BMT Micro is basically the standard for that forum - a few people released successful games using BMT as their shopping cart and then everyone else followed.

    So here are your instructions, part 2:

    1. Join BMT Micro as an affiliate.
    2. From your affiliate dashboard, search for the titles of the games you found on Lemmasoft, and get your links. Also admire the payouts - at $5-10 per game, that's sizable compared to other game affiliate networks and riches compared to the paltry percentages you get from Amazon or Ebay.
    3. Blog about the game.
    4. Write a review of the game.
    5. Write a walkthrough for the game (a common element of VNs are puzzles, multiple dialog choices, and branching storylines, so players will be looking for guides and walkthroughs).
    6. Share the game on FB or tweet it, showing off screenshots or funny lines of dialog, etc.

    Note that although I'm telling you to "write" things about it, copywriting an existing article isn't impossible.

    So why would this method make you any money? Isn't the percentage of players interested in playing these games pretty small?

    That's where you come in, BHW.

    The people on Lemmasoft who are making these games available don't know anything about marketing their games or SEO. Additionally, because the niche is small, it will be very easy to rank your own sites above the developers' (if they even have one!), securing the opportunity to make players buy the game through your affiliate link. And the small percentage of players is something that will increase as awareness of these games increases as well.

    Remember those introductory paragraphs where we talked about the cult and meme status that those commercial VNs reached? Those hungry fans are your targeted demographic. You're better at bringing attention to these games than the developers are, so take advantage of the number of people you can reach and promote these independent games to the Dangan Ronpa and Katawa Shoujo fans.

    I do not have any games of my own listed on Lemmasoft, nor am I an employee of BMT Micro. I'm not sharing this method for my own profit. I am sharing this method because I want my game developer friends on Lemmasoft to make money (which I do not profit from aside from seeing them happy) and because I want to see the VN fandom grow and flourish.

    With that said, I have some more tips:

    • Some VNs are dating sims ("bishoujo games"/"gal games" for male protagonists or "otome games" for female protagonists), but not all of them. Research dating sims, romance games, and otome games to get a feel for how to promote those genres. There are also dating sims available on iTunes (look for games by Voltage and the Shall We Date series), so that's another outlet with more money to be made.
    • Since so many VNs have an anime look and appeal to the same crowd, you could also promote anime figures, plushies, and other merchandise on your site. Affiliate with J-List/J-Box or Play-Asia.
    • Some of the most popular games in the VN community (and the ones that sell really well) are from the following developers (as I said before, I do not work with these people and I do not profit from promoting them): Sakevisual (their "Jisei" series is similar to the Ace Attorney series), Winter Wolves, MoaCube (for the beautiful game Cinders), Hanako Games, Zeiva Inc, and Roseverte. Search for these vendors by name from your BMT Micro dashboard or check out their websites yourself to get a feel for their games.

    Welp, I think that's about all I wanted to cover. I don't know if this thread will even get any attention, but if just one person checks out these games and helps promote them then I'll be happy. Happy gaming, BHW!!
    • Thanks Thanks x 1