Inviting ALL South African Game Developers interested in selling their games or gaining publicity

edited in General
We have a new site, where South African game developers can publish/sell their games and also keep a public profile to interact with players and possible buyers.

The site is live but not officially launched. - We would like to first invite South African game developers to submit a few of their games to the marketplace before we launch and start our marketing campaign.

The parent company of Za Games, INESSOFT have multiple games released on various non-PC platforms of which over 300 000 register players are South African of origin and we are growing roughly between 1000 and 2000 new players per day.
Games, companies and developers listed on the ZA Games site will be advertised directly to this existing playerbase and through additional marketing channels. To sign up costs nothing and, to submit a game to be sold, the only requirement is that you have to be of South African origin (and that your game starts up of course! :) ).

We are pushing from our side to officially launch as quickly as possible and start our official marketing campaign before the beginning of December.
The site still needs a few tweaks here and there but, overall, is in state ready for developers to sign up if they want. Also, there are many additional features that will be added to the site but for now our internal priority is developing the interfaces within our other games and publications so that come launch day, we will have an immediate splash of traffic. Hopefully with your help we will have enough content to provide our local gaming community.

Our aim with the site is to create a viable marketplace for all South African game developers; too many developers are pinning their hopes on Steam and the Greenlight system. Other game developers take the initiative and try to sell their games on their own site to varying degrees of success (most fail due to the lack of marketing required and user-site-trust factors). Our approach is to centralize all these entities and bring them in contact with an existing community of South African gamers, without any overhead marketing cost, and in turn allowing gamers to purchase from a trusted brand/location/site. We hope this will add value to our local gaming industry.

Please note that we, as moderators, have created some existing company profiles. If any of these profiles belong to your company/studio/team feel free to contact us to gain control over the account/profile.

Feel free to send us your comments, suggestions and critique.

Kind Regards
Leon Botha


  • edited
    I realise that you're only populating demo content right now, but it's not too cool that you're just pulling stuff off our site :|
  • edited
    Dammirt! Free Lives is only the 5th most active studio! (I better get back to my work now before we slip even further)

    Although unfortunately Free Lives games aren't very well suited to a South African audience, or at least, they wouldn't be well suited to taking advantage of the traffic that INESSOFT could generate (because our games are pretty niche and require a huge market for that niche to be at all substantial).

    Of course we'll get hold of you to put some proper information up about us and our stuff. Although for the time being we don't have anything to sell (we're busy working on that) though we do have some things to give away.
  • Hi

    Dislekcia, my apologies if it seems that way. We used some of the url's provided in the Wiki page just to find some of the prominent developers; the actual content on the za games site comes from each actual developer's independent site. If the dev's site provides an email address, we added that email etc. everything is directly from dev's site. But it is as you said, just demo content for now.

    BlackShipsFilltheSky, I fully understand your concerns about targeting a niche market, and, I think many South African developers also feel this way. What we are trying to do with the Za Games site to tackle this specific issue is by effectively creating a new niche market, 'South African Produced Games' and use the power of the 'Local is Lekker' drive. Also, by grouping all the various niche games to a single marketplace vastly increases your chances of your game becoming a secondary purchase. With regards to your games not being well suited to the South African audience, I am South African and from what I have seen, I DIG your Bro Force game (and I am certain you will get sales)! :)
    - Feel free to send me the info you want on your profile (or if you want get in touch with us and we will give you the profile's credentials for you to manage). Free stuff, demo's, videos, links etc (and even products that you sell elsewhere and just want to advertise/market) are perfect to list; the more content the better! :)

    Kind Regards
    Leon Botha

  • I'm trying to understand what it is you're trying to make happen here, so bear with me while I ask some questions ;)

    Are you intending to sell games on behalf of other developers on your site?

    What research do you have to support the move away from Mxit for you? (After all, the Mxit audience you have is proven, you must have something equally compelling that means this site will work, right?)

    What do you get out of spending time on this, compared to spending time making games?
  • Hi Dislekcia
    Im happy to answer your questions :)

    1) Are you intending to sell games on behalf of other developers on your site?
    - Yes we are (obviously with their consent). The business model is a lot similar to the Steam model; a developer submit's his game along with the indented selling price. From our side we may add an additional % to the agreed selling price as our price to pay at least the service fees we have to pay.

    2) What research do you have to support the move away from Mxit for you? (After all, the Mxit audience you have is proven, you must have something equally compelling that means this site will work, right?)
    - I wont say we are moving away from MxIt rather, we are using the power of MxIt. We do not plan to stop MxIt development at all, in fact, we intend to provide a direct MxIt channel to interact with ZaGames. In terms of what 'compelling' research we have, based on past promotions that we have done; the average amount of effective marketing cost that is eliminated, calculated based on Pay Per Click and Google Adword's keyword cost, is huge.

    3) What do you get out of spending time on this, compared to spending time making games?
    -Well, our number one intention is to develop games. Though, we need a marketplace to sell our games. We do not believe that selling the game directly from our site is the most efficient approach and we are not pinning our hopes on Steam. Considering there are a few gaming studios in SA with games released commercially or intending such, it is much more viable for ALL of us to have a central marketplace where we do not have the competition that is experienced when attempting the Steam route. This is approach is much better than just selling a game on a dev's own site because this creates a community of returning users and users buying multiple items from multiple devs. Also, because we do not have many games in similiar genres that directly compete with each other (such as Battlefield vs COD) everyone (including us) will benefit from a single store. What many organisations would face as a stumble block: advertising/marketing the marketplace to the target-specific general public, we have in abundance.

    I hope these answered your questions.

    Kind Regards
    Leon Botha

  • edited
    Hmm. Speaking from a business perspective here, I am unconvinced.

    Firstly, I'm not sure that you've done your research around the business model involved. Diverging from developer-set prices is a big problem and shows me that you don't know much about how portals and digital distribution deals work. Amazon is in the dogbox with many indies right now because of their contract terms that allow them to randomly change the pricing on games, most often to make them free or nearly free. Generally a developer sets their price and the distributor takes a percentage, the size of the cut depends on the marketing exposure that the distributor is offering. The exact terms are usually under non-disclosure agreements, because the various distributors are trying to be competitive with each other.

    That said, I have to tell you that I wouldn't put DD up on your site for a couple of simple reasons: I want to preserve the possibility of EMEA-region exclusivity for larger European portal sites, I can't risk losing a potentially sweet cash up front deal (yes, cash up front is how a lot of these sites secure content) on the promise of marketing to an extremely limited local audience; I also don't see what coverage you'd give me that I can't create myself for the game, plus we're selling via PayPal ourselves anyway, so why would I pay someone else to handle that money for me? This isn't a personal judgement call in any way, I'm just looking at the raw number outputs here (which I'll freely admit are speculation on my part, I don't have a prospectus or report from you to base these on, but I get the feeling you don't have them either).

    Secondly, I'm not sure that aiming to construct a "South African" brand for games is a winning proposition. We already know from how DD has sold and what sorts of traffic spikes local news/magazine/TV coverage has gotten us, that the local market for our game follows the international PC games scene. We also know that being perceived as "South African" in the local market is actually a bad thing, people conflate you with "not being good enough to compete internationally" and only based on a local appeal, much like Steve Hofmeyer. Both of these things are strongly supported by info from other local developers, so I don't think this is something that's purely limited to the kind of game that DD is. I'll get to how to change this perception in a bit...

    The real goal of any site like you're proposing is market exposure, right? But if my major markets are international, then that's where I should be spending my time and money focusing on. I want people to be pleasantly surprised that the game they're reading about on IGN or Polygon or Destructoid or Kotaku is from South Africa, because that's actually what we need in order to build legitimacy locally more than anything else: We need games that compete with the big boys overseas that a site like yours is built around, eventually. Right now, we don't have that sort of draw yet, so I'd rather people spent their time working on building those awesome games that get loads of awards and press and recognition internationally, because their success will do more to drive growth in the local games industry than trying to isolate ourselves to a local market...

    I do think Mxit is interesting and different, note that I'm talking from a PC perspective here. Also, I don't think shared awareness sites are a solid return on marketing "spend" (because I'd consider the loss in revenue as expenditure for a service) compared to working to create press/interviews/buzz and other awareness-raising activities around your game. Those are free, costing only time ;)

    Note that I'm not trying to shut you down or attack you or whatever here, I'm simply trying to show the reasoning behind the decisions that we make as a business. This feels like a much more business-motivated discussion than something that's primarily about the process of making games or game design.
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