Review Fix Exclusive: Q & A with Gamewise Creative Director Dean Walton
Review Fix chats with Dean Walton, Creative Director of Gamewise, a new website that specializes in giving up and coming game developers a chance to host their own wiki for their titles. If you enjoy sites like IMDB or Goodreads and happen to play video games, Gamewise is right up your alley.
Review Fix: How did this project come about?
Dean Walton: Gamewise, as a whole, came about because we saw a gap in the market. The film industry has IMDb, books have Goodreads but there isn’t really anything comparable for games. There are tons of wikis around for individual games, sites like IGN that do the news / reviews side of things but nobody is really doing a catch-all service to cover the reference, social and discovery elements, all in one place.
Review Fix: Aside from hosting the pages, what do you guys do to help these developers get more attention?
Walton: Developers can get attention either by organic means (i.e posting stories on Gamewise to direct people back to their page, sharing their page on Twitter / Facebook etc) or they can pay for a sponsored position on our discovery platform.
Review Fix: How big do you think the problem is for small game developers to get attention in today’s market?
Walton: Game discovery is a huge problem. The rise of social and mobile gaming as well as digital download stores on consoles and PC (Steam, Xbox Live) has resulted in a huge increase in the number of games released each year. While this has spawned a lot of innovation and excitement in the industry, it has made game discovery difficult.
Thousands of great games are ignored every year because they simply don’t have the marketing budgets to get noticed. Download stores are heavily skewed towards the top 100 titles and unless you can break into that it is hard to realize any decent sales and reach potential gamers. Finally, gaming journalists (much like any other) are reluctant to cover anything that won’t bring in traffic – they stick to Call of Duty stories as they are guaranteed traffic-generators.
Review Fix: What can developers put on their page? Can they provide purchase links?
Walton: They can put whatever they want on their page (within reason), general game info, trailers, promotions, purchase links. We can potentially turn complete control of a game over to a user as long as they can prove ownership of the game.
Review Fix: I know it’s only been a week or so you have an success stories yet?
Walton: It is early days yet but a couple of games have had some decent exposure so far – http://gamewise.co/games/46133/Deep-Loot – is one example that springs to mind.
Review Fix: How much does the service cost for a developer?
Walton: The basic service of building out your game page and being active on Gamewise to drive some traffic to is free aside from a few hours of your time. If they want to go further and drive traffic to the site via sponsored placements then that will incur a per impression cost.
Review Fix: What are your goals for the project?
Walton: The main goal is to make the discovery process for games more organic. At the moment, the only real discovery mechanism that exists is via editorial content so it comes down to the writer and whether they feel that the game is worth coverage or not. You end up with a massive hill where games either see huge success of huge failure and not much in between. With each user on Gamewise getting personalized recommendations and personalized content in their news feeds dependent on what they are following, everyone sees different things and this gives medium-sized games the chance to shine and reach an audience as well.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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