This week, two games make their debut after long waits, micro-influencers lead the way and community feedback is king.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3
With an announcement in 2014 and a release date that was pushed out, fans of this series have been waiting a long time for its third installment. Since the game’s reveal, Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 has been surrounded by hype among its dedicated fan base—especially since this is the first installment to have a AAA production scale. Rather than invest in major advertising campaigns and demo tours alone, CI Games has invested in its greatest resource—its fans—through development updates and implementing feedback before the game was released.
While fans had to wait to play the game for themselves, CI Games has been generous with extended gameplay footage as far back as 2015. In addition, the team has offered demos and presentations at a number of gatherings such as PSX and TwitchCon, rewarding players with special gifts both inside and outside of the game.
— Sniper Ghost Warrior (@SGW3Game) December 3, 2016
Beta testing further allowed players to get their hands on the game before its release, and although subsequent feedback resulted in a delays, a finished game is always more favorable than a hastily-released one. Fans of the series were comforted to know that the game’s creative director is Paul B. Robinson, a military veteran who also has a 20-year career in game development. In addition, the lead narrative designer is Jess Lebow, who has worked on franchises like League of Legends, Guild Wars and Far Cry.
Of course, gamers want to know how Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 plays and so to help show rather than tell, CI Games teamed up with a number of micro-influencers on YouTube and Twitch.
Those who pre-ordered the game received a free DLC Season Pass complete with expansions, maps, vehicles and more. Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 went gold before it launched, illustrating both the value of this offer and the passion of its fans.
— Sniper Ghost Warrior (@SGW3Game) April 3, 2017
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III
A whopping seven years after the release of Dawn of War II, Relic Entertainment’s real-time strategy game returns April 27. Taking a darker turn than previous installments, the development team enlisted composer, Paul Leonard-Morgan (Dredd) to score a driving, electronic soundtrack—much different than the series’ usual cinematic themes, but setting the tone for brutal combat.
As part of a beloved franchise originating in tabletop gaming, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III received its very own exclusive figurines ready to collect, paint and play. Relic shared fan-painted figures on its social channels to celebrate its community’s creative passion for the series and giving away
For those who delve into a game’s lore as much as its carnage, an official novel has been published in addition to a four-part graphic novel series, and a second novel is scheduled to release this November. Relic also announced that the game will receive collectible Steam trading cards for players to enjoy.
Open beta is a time to try the game first-hand and offer feedback to the developers, but Relic took the process a step further with livestreams and giveaways on Twitch. Relic also teamed with micro-influencers to promote the game and show off its shiny gameplay, not mention unboxing videos.
Even before the game launched, Relic was showing off its esports potential with the help of ESL. The Dawn of War III Open Beta Europe Cup kicked off April 23 with over 100 gamers taking part.
In less than 1 hour we will wage war (or will it be a WAAAGH! ?) in the first @DawnOfWar tournament
— ESL New Games (@ESLNewGames) April 23, 2017