Bethesda has long proven itself as a savvy player in the capricious attention game, drip-feeding its fans hints for teases for announcements to maximize conversation while minimizing information. On Tuesday, with a gif, a bobblehead and a Twitch stream, the game publisher created a textbook case of hype generation for its latest game, Fallout 76.
In 24 hours, Bethesda generated over $200,000 in organic social media engagement, garnering 60,000 Retweets and close to 150,000 likes on a single Tweet. That’s more than triple the amount of engagement Bethesda’s official Twitter account generates in an entire month.
“Earned media” is the value of engagements a brand receives across channels as a result of their marketing efforts. To help quantify what the value of those engagements is worth, Ayzenberg Group established the Ayzenberg Earned Media Value Index (AEMVI) and assigned a quantifiable dollar amount for marketing gains a brand receives from a campaign or individual engagement that includes social media networks and similar digital properties.
(Editor’s note: AListDaily is the publishing arm of Ayzenberg Group. To read the updated AEMVI report reflecting the rapid changes in social, click here.)
The stream, which focuses on a Vault-Tec bobblehead and a TV displaying a flickering “Please Stand By” message, is occasionally interrupted by other teases, such as a man wandering through the frame wearing the game series iconic “Pip-Boy” wrist accessory and a ‘Punch and Judy’-esque Vault Boy puppet.
Even as comments roll in faster than one could possibly read them, begging for more information and speculating on the content of Bethesda’s presumable announcement, the company remains tight-lipped. So far, the only information about the announcement came from Obsidian, one of Bethesda’s developers, to say that the stream has nothing to do with them. The mystery remains.
How do you let someone down easily?
Asking for a friend.#ItsNotUs
— Obsidian #Deadfire (@Obsidian) May 29, 2018
Bethesda pulled a similar stunt just earlier this month to announce Rage 2, commenting on a leak from Walmart Canada, following up with a few cryptic messages leading up to a full announcement. These hype-building lead-up tweets were fundamental to the marketing of the game—Bethesda’s original tweet responding to the Walmart leak generated significantly more engagement than the announcement itself.
Despite Bethesda’s plans to host a press conference at E3 this year, the company seems to be skipping the lens of journalistic coverage to instead go directly to their fans.