Offer many games or few?
I imagine that a number of people on this board have given careful thought to this question, but I haven't seen it discussed.
What do you think the relative merits are of offering many games on your site, in your newsletter, etc., rather than a selective few? On the plus side, more games means greater possibility that a visitor finds something to their taste (and buys it) -- a shotgun does more damage than a sniper rifle, you might say. And because of that factor, more games may mean more traffic, which could increase sales of your original games.
On the minus side, a big catalog inevitably means carrying games that other sites also offer, which may make your site less distinctive. Also I wonder whether there aren't diminishing returns at some point, because of surfers' unwillingness to spend much time digging through your site for the less popular titles. And you may dilute the impact of your best stuff (or, for many of you, your original stuff) by displaying it on a list with a pile of other games.
Maybe there's a sweet spot between these extremes? Or maybe one approach is clearly better than another?
I realize this question may be less relevant to some regular posters here, who do not develop original content at all and whose express purpose is to carry a large number of other people's games for the affiliate revenues. But even those sites must have to debate whether to feature particular games, and whether there is a ceiling beyond which it doesn't make sense to go.
It doesn't necessarily have to be either/or. Both models can work.
I have gone with the shotgun approach, that is just my personality and my joy of building big things. Dexterity, on the other hand, went with a niche approach to the highly cerebral audience, published games, and did really well, pretty much owned that niched.
If you are going to go the big route (shotgun) you have to find some sort of distinctive and know how to get a lot of traffic. Going the niche route requires a lot less traffic but you have to know how to appeal to your niche audience.
I believe you are asking if you want to be a reseller/distributor/portal of games or a developer of games. Both can be profitable, and in some ways the lines are blurred for a lot of indies as many do direct sales on their site (they distribute their own games and sometimes others). I think you have to decide what you which one you want to do primarly and focus on that. Each one requires effort, and many indies are already doing some of both (but usually it's weighted to one end or the other)
Exactly -- it *is* generally weighted to one end or the other; some people concentrate on their own games with a sprinkling of others, and some emphasize others' games. I'm asking about how people strike that balance -- what factors they consider, how their particular choice has worked out for them, etc.
What I'm hearing is that it's just a matter of personal taste, and success can be had both ways. Maybe that's the best answer there is, but I have to think that there's more to it than that, that there are some objective things that can be said.
If you don't think so, and believe it *is* a matter of personal taste, then answer it this way: what kinds of things ought one to do to avoid the pitfalls of the chosen approach?
OK, *if* I had my own games that I developed, I would find other similar games and partner via affiliation or publishing or whatever. I would go for the niche approach and would make sure I had access to customer data. I would then survey my customers and find out what they like and why. I would then continue to refine my selection to taste. You can surf the portals and pretty easily identify games that are selling well already to make your selections.