Gaming – To Niche Or Not to Niche?

A question often posed by people seeking to enter the blogging scene is whether or not to appeal to the masses, or to a select group of people who may be seeking out your material. Often enough though, this is an important question for game developers to consider in the early stages of their own development. In many ways the question has many of the same pro’s and cons as it does in the blogging world. Focusing your material to a select group of people means that you can tailor your content specifically to people who will most likely appreciate it most (as long as you’ve done your homework), while taking a broad approach to appeal to everyone means that your player base may actually be a bit larger.

Get Your Niche On

The biggest advantage as mentioned above is that targeting your game to a specific niche allows you to focus specifically on one or two groups of people. This not only allows you to direct your content specifically, but it lets you focus your talents where they may be the strongest. For example, if you’re an aspiring Indie Developer and you’re interested in developing an MMORPG, but don’t have the ability to devote much to 3D work, focusing your direction on a niche would allow you to potentially develop the game for people who prefer isometric style gameplay instead. Additionally, if you’re weakness is in highly complex animations and player versus player combat, and yet you wish to develop an immersive 3D environment, you may wish to target a group of people who do not prefer player versus player fighting.

The best example of a free credit no deposit successful and widely known niche style game is the Myst series. Myst appealed specifically to people who were:

1. Interested in beautiful game scenery and graphics

2. Interested in solving ridiculously hard puzzles

3. Interested in an immersive storyline

Myst in many ways was one of the first main stream examples of a niche game that ended up becoming so successful that it spilled out and appealed to people interested in *other* genres. Unfortunately, the trickiest part of creating a niche game is similar to creating a niche blog: figuring out the niche you’re intending to appeal to, and deciding whether or not there’s a viable market for your nichey game. In your quest to discover your niche gaming setting Wikipedia is actually an incredibly valuable source for genre hunting. For instance, if you’re interested in “Fantasy”, search that term and see what kind of information comes up. Often times at the bottom of a Wikipedia post, there’s additional information about similar areas of information.

Diversify, Diversify… Diversify?

For as many people that believe in tackling game production by targeting a niche, there are just as many who believe that diversifying is the only option when it comes to targeting users. The philosophy goes something like this: The best way to get the most people to play your game is to appeal to as many people as possible. What’s the point of focusing on a small group of people, if that only limits the amount of people who will play your game? Many games today go the route of diversifying and avoiding the niche issue. The biggest difficulty in this approach is that more often than not it takes a larger development studio with deeper pockets to: