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Small devs need to promote more - SNJV

French trade group says promotion budget for smaller titles should equal production budget

The Syndicat National du Jeu Vidéo has released the results of its annual developer survey, providing a snapshot of the 2015 French gaming industry. While the full report details a number of modest changes in the country's gaming companies over the last year, one of the trade group's key takeaways from the survey is that developers need to be devoting more resources to promoting the games they make.

"Development studios are only allocating 11.8 percent of their production budget to promoting their titles," the SNJV said in its report. "This varies according to the type of game, the platforms targeted and the marketing culture of the studio. Although the ratio of promotion budget to production budget can be 1:5 for AAA games, it should be at least 1:1 for games needing less investment."

The report acknowledged that many development studios don't have much money to invest in promotion, and discussed the difficulties they have in finding financing. The problem is further complicated by the rising costs of development, as the survey found the average annual production budget for developers is expected to rise 14 percent year-over-year in 2015, from €1.26 million to an estimated €1.44 million this year. Every major platform saw production budgets expected to rise, with the only exceptions being connected objects and specialized consoles like Vtech learning toys.

However, the trade group still believes the average spent on promotion needs to be higher given how many of the studios are self-publishing their games through digital distribution platforms. (Almost 94 percent of responding development studios considered themselves to be independent, and 100 percent worked on digitally distributed games; just under 30 percent worked on games to be sold on physical media as well.)

The SNJV survey was conducted from May to July as an online questionnaire sent to directors of various French game companies from the trade group's ranks and beyond. 146 such directors responded, believed to represent over one-third of the total French gaming industry.

Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.