The second Hong Kong Game Enhancement and Promotion Scheme is a program to sponsor the marketing of Hong Kong games. A briefing was held on April 1st, so how exactly was it? Is the money that’s going into this program well spent?
Allow me to quote the official source:
This program aims to increase the competitiveness of game startups in Hong Kong. We will provide full support for 12 selected game startups, and provide them with mentoring, training sessions, technical resources, marketing resources etc. in order to help them increase the quality and profitability of their game.
For more information, please check out: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hkgamedeva/permalink/510470722998248
A Target of Developing “Agility”
In recent years, the Japanese game industry has been very focused on the concept of “agility”. In short, it is the capability for staff members to quickly get used to daily tasks regardless of their experience.
The ability for a company to survive is completely dependent on the contribution of its staff. When it comes to game promotion and advertisement, a marketing person who understands the market, player needs, and disposable income is crucial.
What the second Hong Kong Game Enhancement and Promotion Scheme aims to do is developing people’s agility in terms of marketing. Every company chosen for the scheme will receive four hundred thousand Hong Kong dollars for promotional purposes. Not only is it free money, they will also benefit from tutoring and an exhibition opportunity at the Tokyo Game Show (they do have to pay the exhibition fees though). It is very clear that the scheme places a heavy importance on the industry’s growth. Aside from hoping that the successful examples will give back to the industry, it also hopes that the companies will share their experience with the industry in order to increase the whole industry’s “agility”.
“There doesn’t seem to be any disadvantages with joining in, why not sign up to try my luck?” That’s a terrible line of thinking. First of all, anyone participating will have to pay a hundred thousand HKD for their own promotional purposes, and would the total of five hundred thousand promotion fund be able to bring them a return of a hundred thousand HKD? That’s something which the first scheme answered – It’s not guaranteed.
The reason for this is simple. There is a heavy limit on what exactly the five hundred thousand HKD can be used for. In order to prevent people from cheating the scheme, the companies are not allowed to spend the money through personal channels. So what does that mean? it means that influences, Youtubers, marketing agencies, endorsements, online media etc. cannot be used unless they go through a tender process. However, there are too many uncertainties when it comes to tenders. The simple rule of the deal going to the one with the lowest price makes it very unsuitable for game companies. Therefore, the more reliable promotion channels are limited to things like Facebook, Instagram, Google AdSense and Unity Ads etc. But the simple truth is that not all games are suitable to be promoted on such channels, if they aim to make a profit. (This applies for most single-player Steam games)
This means that not only might a company lose a hundred thousand HKD, they will also spend a lot of time for naught. This is because:
1) Exhibition at the Tokyo Game Show will take a lot of time to prepare and set up
2) Training courses also take up a lot of time, and they must attend at least once per month
3) Preparing the free cash flow. The scheme requires the company to have at least a free cash flow of a hundred thousand HKD. Withdrawing all of it and managing this large sum of money will take quite a lot of time as well (Of course, it doesn’t matter if it’s just spare change for you).
Thus, before you signup, think through it carefully. Don’t get hit by a double whammy.
The second Hong Kong Game Enhancement and Promotion Scheme wants to develop some game development teams into good personnel for marketing and promotion, so if you decided that you will leave the game industry if you end up failing, then I would suggest you not to take part. (Just a disclaimer here, there isn’t a conflict of interest at hand here. I don’t plan on taking part in the scheme, nor are any of my official partners signing up.)
So, whether this HKD$4.8 million is well spent, it’s all down to whether you considered everything thoroughly before signing up, especially in regards to whether you are suitable for the plan. If you don’t plan on staying in the industry for long and plan on sharing your experiences within the industry, then there’s no point of you wasting your hundred thousand HKD just to learn something here.
- April 18th – The first Game Promotion Conference will be held online
Let me just quote what they said here:
This time, we invited teams who participated in the first Hong Kong Game Enhancement and Promotion Scheme to share their experience with game promotion with you. There is a wide array of teams here, from teams that develop mobile games, to VR games to Steam games. Hopefully, this meeting will give all of you a chance to understand more about the industry as a whole and be able to learn from a bit of experience.
Time: 2pm (HK time)
Format: Each team will speak for 10 minutes, then after every 3 teams, there will be a 20 minutes Q&A session.
This is the first time we arranged such a largescale meeting online. Allow us to apologize in advance if it seems quite chaotic that day.
- April 28th – The second briefing4月28日
There has been no official information about it thus far.
「第二屆香港遊戲優化和推廣計劃」是一個資助香港遊戲推廣的計劃，於 4 月 1 日舉辦了簡介會，到底這場簡介會如何？這總值超過 480 萬港元的計劃花得值嗎？
本計劃旨在進一步提升香港電玩遊戲初創公司之競爭力，並將為獲選的 12 間遊戲初創公司提供全面的支援，包括導師指導、培訓課程、技術資源、市場推廣資助等，針對地幫助提升遊戲的質量和其盈利能力。
而「第二屆香港遊戲優化和推廣計劃」的主要目的正是培訓市場推廣的即戰力。每間參與計劃的公司都能獲得 40 萬港元市場推廣資金，不單錢不用還，甚至免費提供導師指導和東京遊戲展的出展機會（當然參展的雜項費用要自己出）。明顯它十分重視整個產業的成長，除了希望成功例子能反哺遊戲業外，還希望讓參與計劃的公司把經驗保留到整個產業上，成為行業的即戰力。
原因是，這五十萬的限制很大。為了防止利益輸送，你不能找任何個人渠道作窗口花費。甚麼意思呢？網紅、Youtuber、廣告中介、代言人、網媒、刷榜公司，你通通不能找，除非透過招標。但招標的不確定因素很多，價低者中標的規則亦令遊戲公司無所適從。比較靠普的可能只有 Facebook、Instagram、Google AdSense 和 Unity Ads 等。但事實上，不是所有遊戲都適合在這些渠道上推廣，以此獲取盈利。（例如多數 Steam 單機遊戲）
所以，這 480 萬港元花得是否用得其所，就全看你申請前有沒有想清楚，自己是否適合參與這個計劃。如果你沒有想要長居於業界，吸取經驗後能把價值存留於整個產業內，那就別交上這10萬港元學費。
- 4月18日 網上舉行第一屆遊戲推廣分享會
- 4月28日 第二輪簡介會