Game marketing is hugely influential in determining whether new titles fly high, or fall out of the charts soon after launch.
What’s important in this industry is not just the short-term sales boost that a good promotional campaign can deliver, but the long-term influence that game marketing has over the profitability of an individual release or an entire franchise.
To understand what sets certain campaigns apart from the crowd and makes them enduring, let’s discuss a few prime examples from which lots of useful lessons can be learned.
Minecraft: The Power Of Brand Loyalty And Nostalgia
Since its launch in 2009, Minecraft has been one of the most successful video games ever created.
Its success is largely due to an incredibly powerful marketing strategy that focused on building a loyal fan base through nostalgia and brand recognition.
Through clever use of social media platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, and Twitch, Mojang was able to effectively promote their game across multiple channels.
By featuring content from popular YouTubers like PewDiePie playing the game early on in its life-cycle, Minecraft quickly gained traction with millions of viewers worldwide who were eager to join in on the fun.
Also, by capitalizing on classic pixel art graphics reminiscent of older games such as Super Mario Bros., they managed to capture players’ hearts who were looking for something familiar yet fresh at the same time.
All this resulted in lasting success for both Mojang and eventual Minecraft owner Microsoft, resulting from a strong focus on combining today’s technology with yesterday’s charm.
Grand Theft Auto V: Keeping Players Entertained With Bold Advertising Strategies
In 2013, Grand Theft Auto V was released to critical acclaim and commercial success, and it’s still a big hitter a decade later.
Rockstar Games has always been known for their unique style of advertising, but GTAV took it to a whole new level.
From the iconic TV commercials, to trailers that were shared and pored over by an army of avid fans, they pulled out all the stops when it came time to promote this title.
At a time when Twitch was still comparatively obscure, and not the behemoth we know today, it’s especially noteworthy.
What’s more impressive is that even years after its initial release, Rockstar continues to find innovative ways of keeping players engaged through strategic campaigns, such as giveaways and special events focused on the online portion.
This is an approach which also applies to user acquisition for mobile games, not just triple-A titles for console or PC.
By continuing these efforts long past launch day, GTA V has managed to become one of the most successful games ever created. With marketing like this, games never die, but instead evolve along with audiences.
Halo 3: Leveraging The Impact Of Social Media For Maximum Reach
When Halo 3 was released in 2007, it quickly became a worldwide phenomenon. To capitalize on its success and reach even more people, Microsoft decided to take advantage of the power of social media.
Given that networking sites were still comparatively small-fry at the time, it was a game-changing tactic that really paid off.
By utilizing platforms such as YouTube and Twitter, they were able to create an engaging online presence that got people talking.
Furthermore, the clever use of viral marketing campaigns such as the “Believe” ad managed to spread awareness about the game organically, creating massive hype and anticipation from players.
The combination of these strategies resulted in one highly successful product launch, and something that few other games have been able to replicate since then.
Call Of Duty 4 Modern Warfare: How A Blockbuster Launch Led To Long Term Success
Released in 2007, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was an instant hit. To ensure this success would not be a flash in the pan, Activision needed to find creative ways of keeping players engaged with the game.
Their solution? An aggressive marketing campaign that focused on creating hype and anticipation for the title before it even released, and maintaining that momentum going forward.
Taking advantage of multiple platforms including TV commercials, special events at retail stores, and online content such as trailers, they managed to create buzz around their product which perpetuated media coverage worldwide.
As expected from these efforts, COD4 ended up becoming one the most successful video games ever made, proving once again that when it comes down to marketing, strategy execution is key.
Big-budget games with multimillion dollar marketing campaigns, as well as smaller titles that rely on a groundswell of support from players and influencers, offer different yet equally valuable demonstrations of how promotion can be handled.
So from the humble beginnings of Minecraft to the blockbusting efforts of GTA V and CoD 4, developers can take insights away to apply to their own projects.