Making a game isn’t easy. Marketing one can be harder. You may have poured your soul into developing a cult-hit or mainstream masterpiece but if nobody knows about it, what's the point? In the previous installment of this article, we covered a variety of points that need to be considered before choosing an agency to market your game.
We understand that there's very little crossover between game development and marketing; and for a lot of people, stepping outside of their comfort zone can be a jarring and unnerving experience. Thus far, we have covered: common problems faced when marketing new games, things to ask a potential game marketing agency, and how to price your game.
This time, we'll be taking a broader approach to look at other factors that go into finding the right marketing partner. Intel's Go-to-Market Co-Marketing Manager, Patrick DeFreitas, puts it best when he said: “I’ve seen reports that over 4,000 new games are launching every year...Every day you let pass allows another stack of competitors to fall into your same genre, attracting the same customers, pulling for the same share of wallet". Perhaps DeFreitas' most telling point is that developers must decide how much time will need to be devoted to marketing because: "if you spend x hours developing your title, you must put in an equal amount of time toward its promotion”.
You get out what you put in, simple as that. The key is finding a winning angle.
In an overly saturated market, your survival will depend on your ability to increase visibility and plan for longevity. Any agency worth their salt will know this. Mobile has eclipsed the traditional gaming platforms of console and desktop, and apps have now become a dominating force in the gaming industry. With titans like Candy Crush and Clash of Clans influencing the market, advertising budgets can run into the 100s of 1000s.
Given the visual and interactive nature of games, any agency you engage with should understand the importance of utilising a media-heavy approach to promoting your game. Everything from trailers, to screenshots, to gameplay videos, are integral to initially capture the attention of potential players.
Which leads us to the next point: gaming as the next big "marketing frontier". Legendary analyst, Mary Meeker, has termed the next uncharted waters to conquer are those of the gaming industry. In fact, a whopping 70 pages of the 2017 Internet Trends report has been dedicated solely to the global impact of gaming. Given the omnipresent nature of games and game-related activities - console, phone, VR, gamification of learning/working - it only stands to reason that whoever you choose to partner with to promote your project understands this monumental shift in the entertainment landscape. Finding an agency isn't the problem - finding one that fits is the hurdle.
So, when's the best time to start? Patrick DeFreitas says "IMMEDIATELY!"
We've spoken before about how some issues may arise with cross-industry marketing agencies. At the end of the day, as long as a solid relationship has been established through constant communication and a clear understanding of the overall goals, you’re pretty much on your way. As with anything else in life, experience is a huge factor in determining ability to succeed at any given task and an agency’s ability to market your game is no different.
In recent years, top tier AAA game developers have fostered successful relationships with renowned public relations firms to task them with publicizing their games to audiences across the globe. Of note: Nintendo has partnered with PrettyGreen, Bethesda with Think Jam, EA Games with Havas Group, Square Enix with Exposure, Ubisoft with Cohn & Wolfe, and Game Marketing Genie with you? ;)
Of course, we understand that all developers can’t command the advertising budgets that AAA developers have at their disposal. With that in mind, there are a few extra questions that need to be considered in the lead up to finding the perfect agency fit for you. The benefit of aligning yourself with a specialist game marketing agency, in this case for video games, is that you’ll be working alongside people who are in your audience base: gamers.
Marketers who are gamers will be able to diagnose your problem areas through the lens of specialist eyes. Specific considerations surrounding which agency to choose will focus on questions like:
And perhaps most important of all: why do they want to work with your game specifically? Sit them down, stare them in the eyes, and ask them point blank to see if they resonate with your ethos.
Read part 1 HERE.
Game Marketing Genie will take away any uncertainties you have with engaging an agency. We know how daunting the task can be. Our team of specialists has been assembled from the best that the industry has to offer and our experience is second to none. Don’t believe us? Schedule your free consultation today!