I just noticed this topic over at the Clickteam forums. I agree with everything the original poster says about Clickteam's marketing and underselling MMF. Since the topic was locked very early, it'd be good to see if we can continue it over here.
Quoted below, in case the original thread goes missing in a "server update".
Originally Posted by Digitalic
I know this isn't a technical support issue, but my comments relate directly to MMF2...
I don't understand why Clickteam undersell themselves so greatly in the UK. The UK website is, in my view, quite poor and rarely updated, and it simply does not sell the product; it looks dated and 'stale'. To be brutal, it looks like it belongs to an old product that was developed and then forgotten about.
I have been coding for decades, and specifically in AS3 for a couple of years now; I 'inhabit' many of the most popular Flash/AS3 web sites and blogs, and I have never seen MMF2 mentioned on any of them, and I consider MMF2 with the SWF Exporter to be a killer application. If nothing else it is an amazing, rapid prototyping tool for proof of concept and marketing of games for 'hard-core' Flash coders. Of course, we know that it is more than that!
On the Clickteam UK website the SWF exporter is mentioned as the top item on the home page, but that is in a list were the top 4 entries date back to over a year ago and it's in a small font.
MMF is a multimedia product; where is the multimedia on the website? Why not create a Flash banner using MMF2? There should be a link to Flash games and applications created with MMF, and the link should be prominent. Where are the 'screencasts' showing the ease-of-use of the product, and the amazing things that can be achieved in (literally) minutes.
I am now a secondary-school teacher, and I teach Year 7 students (11 years-old) to create their own games in a matter of hours. Continuing the educational theme, MMF2 would be fantastic for creating coursework for qualifications such as Edexcel's DiDA course. Matchware promote their multimedia product for this purpose and it is endorsed on the Edexcel website.
Even when I click on the 'Products' link on the ClickTeam website, there is no mention of Flash or the SWF exporter!
Where is the marketing? I think I read about MMF many years ago in one of the main UK monthly magazines, but I have certainly not read about it recently, and I read all the major journals. How about providing a time-restricted trial version to the major magazines, along with an article (or two) demonstrating how users can create Flash games with ease (if they buy the full product with the exporter)?
Have you sent out press-releases letting the media know about the new SWF Exporter? This release warrants a complete review of MMF2 and the SWF Exporter which would provide excellent exposure for the product. It might also be a good opportunity to drop in information about forthcoming exporters (iPhone/iPad?) which would certainly get the press talking with the current controversies.
I am not writing this post as a method of promoting myself, but as a former journalist for a (now long defunct) UK computer magazine, a teacher, and an IT expert (over 2 decades in the industry), I would be happy to consider writing any articles or materials required for a promotional push.
I know this post may appear to be very critical of Clickteam, but I am really attempting to be positive; I think it is a wonderful product with massive potential. Certainly, the SWF Exporter has given the product a new lease of life and it frustrates me that it is hiding out of sight of the mainstream market. I have tried several (if not all) "Click to create" products over the past couple of decades, and MMF2 is the only one that has come anywhere near meeting 'real-life' requirements; all the others have failed miserably.
Improved exposure can only improve sales, and improved sales can only mean more resources for future development of the product, which is where my interest lies.
But then again, it looks like they seem fine with how much money they are making currently, and they are hiring new folks so they must be content with how things are going right now, still might look frustrating to us outsiders who want more from them and want them to be more out there.
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MMF2 could be very very popular. I don't get why Clickteam doesn't promote it more, and why nobody ever explains why they don't, and why the subject is a sore one. O_o Something to do with past promotions?
I also wonder why there seems to be a stigma attached to MMF. You mention it to people looking for drag-n-drop software and they say, "Thanks, I'll check out Game Maker." Maybe the name is daunting.
I recommend MMF to whoever is interested in making games, but that's piddlesticks compared to what even one commercial on TV could do.
They're afraid to expand beyond their comfort zone. For the longest time, MMF2 was being designed by only two or three people which is why it's release was almost indefinitely postponed for so long. They've been getting a lot more developers, mainly excellent members from the community that show exceptional talent and drive toward Clickteam products such as Jamie and all his work with Lacewing.
I do agree that MMF2 is drastically undercutting themselves with getting themselves out there and it's a shame that we probably wont see that change within the next year, year and a half. By time Clickteam gets itself out there, half their target community will be bait for competition software since indie game development is becoming a trend. It's no longer uncool to be an indie developer.
wow @ the japanese site, it makes the other 3 look like garbage.
Why they did 4 different sites for the same exact products is mystifying to me, why not just keep one of them and translate it ?
This gets particularly ridiculous when you have the "english" site and the "UK & Ireland" site. Like, wtf ?
Clickteam is a great little company with a fantastic product. It has always been a small company. KNP and TGF were big because they were supported by big distributors like Europress and Corel who also had significant marketing muscle behind them.
The cooperation with IMSI on MMF1 was a failure (note: just my personal gut feeling based on no concrete facts) and for MMF2 CT adopted a different distribution strategy where they sell the product directly through their own e-store channel with close to 100% revenue share instead of, let's say, 50% of the past days. So there are advantages as well.
It was a logical choice because the market was changing and you could easily manage your own e-store unlike previously in KNP/TGF days, but at the same time all marketing support disappeared as well. In 2010 you really need to have good marketing expertise to keep drawing the traffic to the site through social media, viral marketing, SEO, etc. and keep optimizing the store landing page for higher conversion rates systematically. This is as important as major technical features to the product itself like HWA or flash. Business development and marketing is not necessarily programmers' cup of tea, and it shows when there is no support from a big marketing/distributor partner anymore.
I'd like to see them considering some alternative and innovative ways to get their message across. From developer's perspective, there is a major transition period on going in terms of how large of an audience can you reach with your game developed on MMF2. When I look behind, I see executable and very limited easily-reachable user base. When I look forward I see Flash, iPhone, iPad, Android, Java, XNA and a huge easily reachable audience of literally hundreds of millions of players. Different kind of advertising models are started to be used by MMF2 developers to monetize their MMF2 creations. Among the gamers there are also many developers and wanna-be developers who are the target segment for Clickteam. Now, how about if CT would build a kind of an affiliate/word-of-mouth/incentive/recommendation program for developers who can reach these hundreds of millions of consumers with their games. In practice, this means advertising MMF2 very visibly in their games and generating traffic to CT site and eventually sales. Incentive would be X% of sales. Yes, of course anyone can put the logos and links there right now, but you really need to offer the developers a concrete incentive. You can do the math with
[total reachable user base] * [% share of target group aka developers or wannabe-developers] * [% who play an MMF2 game] * [% who click on the ad] * [% who go to store] * [% who purchase] * [average sales price]
Of course one would need to investigate this business case much more in detail, but when your starting point is measured in hundreds of millions, which really is the case, even with low conversion rates (yes, they will be very low in any case, but higher than through totally non-targeted mass media which I see as not an option for CT) will result in something which I believe could be a major revenue boost for both Clickteam and developers. This would strengthen the whole "Click ecosystem", if you like.
And obviously that's just one way to tackle it. But it's a nice one in a sense that you basically would use your OWN MEDIA, marketing spots within applications created with the product itself. You also build customer loyalty through incentive program like this and probably increase customer lifetime value as well among the existing customer base. Talk about a win-win-win situation.
I think Silverfire's right - they don't want MMF to get too big, because then it becomes unmanageable for their small team, and they've had bad experiences with publishers (Europress/IMSI/etc) in the past.
With the availability of free "copycat" products like Construct and Stencyl, Clickteam really can't carry on the way the way they're going.
I guess we'll see what happens if/when MMF3 appears...
I don't think marketing has ever been their strong point - and lets be fair, we have no idea how their profits/finances are doing. For all we know they could be selling hundreds of copies a day and making plenty of money. MMF2 definitely has the potential, but only if Clickteam are willing to push it. It'd be a lot of hard work, and maybe they're just not ready to do that yet.
In my opinion they need to get rid of the Multimedia Fusion brand and go with something more "snappy" - something short and sweet that describes the product. The name "Multimedia Fusion" just seems a little boring to me, and I don't see it as a particularly good brand. Get a new name, a new product and a sweet-ass logo and start posting it over websites and in magazines.
Scirra are going in the right direction - they have a great emblem/logo for their product (whereas MMF2 is just a blue circle with F2 in it) and they have a great name for their product. I think their only problem is making people aware of their product. I know brand doesn't make the product any better (heck I still prefer MMF2 to Construct), but it's extremely important when you're trying to sell your product to new users.
If you were to get a user who has never used MMF2 or Construct and ask them which they would choose, I think they'd choose Construct (just based on brand and pricing).
If any of you want to assist in promoting MMF2 contact me via PM at CT or here, or send me a email to CCarson@ you know what. And we can discuss some of your ideas and maybe help out with some things we are cooking. Primary marketing usually requires lots of dollars. So with that challenge we are looking at some Grassroots stuff to really get the message mainstream. Hope to hear from you guys.
I was wondering, what's the difference between the Japanese MMF2 and MMF SP(special) is it like MMF2.5 or something? I've never even heard of it until now.
I do agree that the title MMF can work against clickteam a little bit, it's not as straight forward as The Games Factory or Game Maker. MMF just sounds like...A fusion of Multiple types of Media But I'm sure that the title MMF sounds more professional to schools they're trying to sell it to.
Maybe by showing some cool 8-16 bit games next too some also cool 32-64 or something like some game footage then the letters MMMF2 in 8 bit lettering with Multi Media Fusion Two in smaller letters would be a better approach to the packaging of MMF2. Perhaps some lettering similair to that old G4 show Codemonkeys, sort of a 3d 8-bit lettering.
Mainly all that matters, is that the packaging at least shows the fact MMF2 makes games somewhere, because it doesn't say so in the title...