Frontline Marketing

Game Marketing Like A Pro: 5 Tips From Top Publishers

By | January 5, 2017

There are many ways to approach video game marketing, whether you’re a publisher with millions of dollars to spend or an indie developer with small but loyal community. In a digital world where consumers are constantly bombarded with ads, how do brands find a way to stand out? Five experts from some of the top video game publishers in the world share valuable advice on the topic.

Find Your Edge And Diversify—MZ (Game of War: Fire AgeMobile Strike)

How does MZ maintain its position on the top-grossing lists with just two games? Marketing is critical, according to MZ CEO, Gabe Leydon. “When we look at our marketing, you have to think about edges. What is my edge over the marketplace?,” Leydon explained during the Web Summit in London. “We track over 400 KPIs (key performance indicators) when we’re doing our marketing. That’s a tremendous amount of data we’re looking at when we’re making decisions on where we’re going to spend next.”

“Another big part of it is diversification in your styles of marketing,” Leydon continued. “Are you doing video, playable ads, banner ads, [or] fullscreen ads? I believe we make about 20,000 creatives a week now. It’s a very intense process, and I believe on Facebook we have about 50,000 different campaigns running at any moment. It’s very, very hard to do. Diversification is the most important thing you can do as a marketer, but it’s a very difficult and daunting task for most people.”

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Learn From Your Mistakes As Well As Successes—Nintendo of America (Super Mario Run; Pokémon Sun and Moon)

“One of the things that we have to do better when we launch the [Switch]—we have to do a better job communicating the positioning for the product,” Nintendo of America president and COO, Reggie Fils-Aimé told [a]listdaily. We have to do a better job helping people to understand its uniqueness and what that means for the game playing experience. And we have to do a better job from a software planning standpoint to have that continuous beat of great new games that are motivating more and more people to pick up the hardware and more and more people to pick up the software. Those are the critical lessons. And as I verbalize them, they’re really traditional lessons within the industry. You have to make sure people understand the concept, you have to make sure you’ve got a great library of games, and when you do that, you tend to do well.”

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Be UniqueSquare Enix (Hitman; Final Fantasy XV; Tomb Raider)

Square Enix senior director of marketing, Mike Silbowitz told [a]listdaily that when it comes to marketing a game, it’s important to stand out. “With how crowded the marketplace is these days, you can’t just show gameplay,” he said. “You have to find unique ways to show off your experience.”

Hitman


Create A CommunityUbisoft (Tom Clancy’s The Division)

“YouTube is an amazing channel for the video game industry,” Ann Hamilton, brand representative at Ubisofttold ION. “It allows us to share our video content with our consumers directly through our own channels. It has been a great tool at building communities for each of our games. We release a variety of content including gameplay walkthroughs, interviews with game development teams, game trailers, as well as partnering with major creative talents on projects like Agent Origins. Additionally, it’s a venue for fans to create their own content based around our games and share it.”

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Beware Of Using VR Just For The Novelty—Insomniac Games (The Unspoken)

“If eSports players and fans feel like they’re getting something crammed down their collective throat for the sake of novelty, it could de-position VR as nothing more than a fad,” Insomniac Games’ chief brand officer, Ryan Schneider, told [a]listdaily. “That’s why we’re approaching this from a very grassroots level, seeking game feedback from experts and the most passionate players. Certainly though, the potential is there to grow VR adoption because you have a huge base of PC players hungry for fresh, competitive experiences. On the surface, nothing in gaming is hotter at the moment than VR/AR and eSports. Marrying the two is inevitable.”

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