Tired Gamers is an extension of Carper Communications, a marketing agency with roots in the games industry. That means that our team is not only passionate about playing and supporting indie games, but we also have a deep bench of experience in helping indie developers and indie publishers bring their games to market.
One of the most disheartening things about this industry is how difficult it can be for indie developers to cut through the noise of a flooded market, which means there could be phenomenal games hidden in forgotten corners of Steam that never got a fair chance to find an audience.
We want to fix that.
The Tired Gamers Re-Launch Scholarship is our attempt to give an indie game a second chance at a launch.
What You Need to Know
Here’s how it works:
- Be an indie developer with a finished game on Steam with no or very few reviews
- We will overhaul your Steam page (copy, trailer, graphics, tags)
- We will spend $1,000 in targeted advertising to promote your game
- We will share your game with our mailing list of creators and reviewers
- We will use your game as the basis for a Twitch non-profit fundraising event
- You will receive bonus benefits and resources from scholarship sponsors (a growing list of companies passionate about supporting indie devs)
- New (11/11): Thanks to the generosity of trail.gg, we are now offering four $500 scholarships to runner-up submissions.
- Note: The developer keeps 100% of the revenue. We are not pursuing rev-share or a percent of ownership in any way
While we are experienced with launching games, this is our first shot at re-launching a game, so this initial scholarship will be given to one developer as a pilot for this program. If this is successful, we will do this again more frequently.
How to Qualify
Here is the fine print, or you can skip to the application form at the bottom:
- Your game must be complete, live on Steam for at least 3 months, and have less than 5 reviews on Steam or any other major storefront (11/5 Edit: We are relaxing this guideline to make this scholarship more accessible. If you have more than 5 reviews please feel free to apply)
- Your game must be a premium title (not free-to-play or freemium)
- You must fully own or have the full rights to all content and decisions related to your game
- If your game is selected, our team will need Steam page and sales data access to optimize your presence and to optimize ads (no data will be disclosed to any third party without your permission)
- If your game is selected, you agree to grant significant creative control to our marketing team in terms of ad creative and Steam page content (we won’t touch the game itself)
- If your game is selected, our team has full control over the advertising spend associated with re-launching your game
- If your game is selected, you agree to give our team appropriate access to relevant social media profiles and game assets for the purposes of promoting your game
- You agree to maintain our changes/additions/modifications to your Steam presence for the duration of the re-launch campaign
- You agree to provide promotional keys for use in our creator/reviewer outreach and for use in a charity fundraising event
- You certify that your game, as well as your personal and professional history, is inclusive and respectful
- Since this is a pilot, we can in no way guarantee results or performance
- You retain all rights and ownership of your game and are free to keep the public-facing graphics, videos, and copy that we create as part of this campaign
A new sponsor has entered the game! Trail.gg has very graciously offered to support four runner-up submissions with $500 of ad budget, so now even more indie games get a second chance at finding players. Thank you, Trail!
Our list of sponsors continue to grow. To recap:
- Steam Data Suite will provide our scholarship winner with backend analytics tools to aid in optimizing Steam sales and Steam performance.
- XP Summit will provide the game placement at their next event and showcase the title to their audience.
- Indie Game Coach will give the winner as well as runner-ups free access to their course of pitching publishers in addition to a free one-on-one indie business coaching session.
Wow. We did not expect this level of response. Thank you, everyone, for your support. Because of this post, our friends at Steam Data Suite are offering the indie dev we select an extended free service for their game to make ad attribution and tag-hacking within Steam more impactful and trackable. You can learn more about them here.
A few folks have messaged and commented about making donations to support this. This is very generous but also uncharted waters as to how best to manage something like that. At this stage, we are going to decline personal donations (though it is incredibly kind of you to offer). If you work with a publisher or an investment firm that works in games or wants to work in games and you want to support this initiative with your resources, we are open to that support and I’m sure the devs involved would be as well.
Thank you, everyone, for being so kind about this!
Submit Your Game
If all of that sounds reasonable to you, here’s the form to apply:
As word of this initiative is spreading, industry leaders are volunteering to support this effort. If you would like to help an indie dev have a second chance, contact us. In the meantime, please visit these supporters of indie games!