5 Excellent Game Marketing Campaigns from 2022 (Including 2 In-Game Marketing Examples)
by Game Marketing Genie, on 06-Sep-2022 11:57:17
The global gaming market will be worth over $250 billion by 2025 according to PR Newswrite. Without a doubt, the gaming population is increasing worldwide. While this is a positive signal for all gaming brands, many studios fail to reach their target audience due to ineffective marketing strategies. The truth is that the competition is at an all-time high, and you need to go the extra mile to spread the word about your video game.
And if you’re looking for intelligent ways to increase your game’s visibility, you’ve landed at the right place! In this blog, we’ll shed light on popular, successful game marketing campaigns you can take inspiration from — it’s always worth learning from the best! First, let’s explore what the current game market looks like.
Quick facts from the gaming industry in 2022
Figure 1: Number of active video gamers worldwide from 2015 to 2024. Source: Statista
Active gamers are forecasted to rise from 2 billion to over 3 billion by 2024 worldwide (Source: Statistics). 70% of these gamers are over 18 years old (source: Tech Jury).
The craze for video games is specifically skyrocketing in the US and China. 60% of Americans play video games daily, and 45% of US gamers are women. After the States and China, Japan, Korea, and Germany are the 3 of 5 biggest gaming markets in the world (source: Finances Online).
Speaking of American households specifically, they prefer playing on their smartphones rather than Xbox, PlayStation, or PC. A consumer survey by Tech Jury shows that half of the gamers in 2022 (54%) will use phones to play games.
Another interesting fact about the gaming industry is that male gamers are three times more likely to purchase a game than their female counterparts (source: Earnest). And though the number of female gamers has increased in general, only 6% of women identify as ‘gamers.’ Females consider gaming a hobby, while men engage more seriously and purchase more games.
Newzoo shows that 32% of the females play video games five days a week, which is 4% more than their male counterparts. And since women are fantastic problem solvers, 30% of them incline more toward games like puzzles.
Some of the most successful video game marketing campaigns in 2022
1. Elden Ring
Figure 2: Elden Ring. Source: PlayStation
The result of a blockbuster collaboration between Japanese RPG-maker FromSoftware and the Game Of Thrones author George R. R. Martin, Elden Ring is a dark fantasy role-playing game launched in February 2022.
Initially, the developers only released a single announcement trailer, that too without any actual gameplay. This is an unconventional practice, as most gaming houses release at least two trailers: one cinematic, one gameplay. The subsequent trailers followed but after a long gap. The delay, however, instilled anticipation in the audience, resulting in Elden Ring winning the Most Anticipated Game title at the 2020 Game Awards.
Elden Ring’s creator, FromSoftware, is known for having a knack for telling deep stories. They used their effective storytelling technique to build intrigue at the launch of every trailer. Each trailer expanded upon events in the final game and even gave out significant spoilers, but with no proper context — an excellent tactic!
The video game’s publisher, Bandai Namco, predicted the sale of at least 4 million copies before April. However, 13.4 million copies were sold by the end of March 2022. Elden Ring became one of the top-selling games in several regions and the fastest-selling Bandai Namco game of all time!
Elden Ring instilled anticipation in the target audience, and the developers never claimed the game to be “the best one you’ll ever play.” Instead, they emphasized the reviews from various critics. Rest, it was the community spreading the word and making marketing easy. Most importantly, the initial trailer was intriguing enough and made the audience eagerly wait for the game’s release.
Wordle is another famous game that has multiple marketing lessons to give away! It has a broader reach on social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, and players often post their daily achievements. In the game, the audience gets six tries at guessing a 5-letter word and is given clues along the way on what the letters are. The interface is straightforward — take a look.
Figure 3: Wordle’s simple interface. Source: The New York Times
One of the marketing lessons to take back home here is simplicity. The clean interface and modest rules make the gaming experience seamless and minimize frustration. Users don’t even have to log in to play and can only play once daily. This highlights an essential marketing lesson — simple ads are easily understood. Success lies in keeping your messaging clear, as the audience doesn’t have much time to decode your clever messages.
Additionally, Wordle teaches all marketers to understand their audience and create games specifically for them thoroughly. Wordle has a specific player segment — in plain terms — people stuck at home looking for a pastime! Wordle’s creator, Josh Wardle, built the game for his partner, a logophile.
Interestingly, Josh didn’t even attempt to please everyone with his simple game — here goes another crucial marketing lesson! When creating your ads, ensure they aim to attract your ideal audience, not everyone. This will help your brand stand out and make you more memorable to your target audience.
Lastly, the fact that Wordle is a web-based shareable game sets it apart. In other words, word-of-mouth marketing plays a significant role in Wordle’s success. The best part is that there isn’t any link redirecting people to the game when they share the result on social media. Nonetheless, the viewers get to know the game being talked about. So, shareability makes the game easily recognizable, too.
3. The Quarry
Figure 4: The Quarry. Source: Variety
The Quarry belongs to the horror genre and is packed with diverse references to horror classics. The game’s story revolves around nine counselors working at the summer camp who find themselves fighting against blood-thirsty creatures.
The Quarry was released on June 10, 2022, and amassed over 12.5 million hours watched in its first week of release, becoming the 5th most-watched category on Twitch between June 10 and 16. It left behind even the most popular titles, like Minecraft and Fortnite. One of the primary reasons for The Quarry’s success was the engaging live streams of popular gaming influencers.
Live streaming has become a popular marketing tactic today, giving the audience an authentic first-hand experience of how the game looks, sounds, and performs. Also, these live streams are conducted through popular platforms, such as YouTube and Twitch, which are easily accessible. Besides, these platforms allow all viewers to chat with the streamers and ask questions.
The key to successful live streaming and game marketing is the right choice of influencers. The Quarry garnered a high viewership and download rate due to its partnership with CohhCarnage, a notable gaming influencer, and streamer. CohhCarnage’s stream of The Quarry reached 64.8k hours and captured the attention of 21.6k viewers. CohhCarnage plays and reviews a wide array of games and engages well with his audience. Therefore, he was the right choice for The Quarry.
You can also partner with gaming influencers to tap into the newer audience and spread the word about your new game. Besides, influencer collaboration will help you generate ample user-generated content you can repurpose on your social media accounts and win more customers.
Two in-game marketing examples (from non gaming brands)
1. BLACKPINK x PUBG
Figure 5: PUBG-BLACKPINK collaboration. Source: PUBG Asia
BLACKPINK is a famous Korean girl band with global recognition. The girl group joined forces with equally renowned, world-dominating battle royale video game PUBG. The collaboration culminated in, what the world is calling, a “metaverse moment.” BLACKPINK released a CG music video for their new song, Ready For Love. The song is set in a modified version of PUBG Mobile and incorporates multiple PUBG images. Even the BLACKPINK members have a stylized avatar form. Their music video received a whopping 8 million views within the first 8 hours of its release. To date, the video has over 113 million views on YouTube.
Additionally, PUBG Mobile held its first-ever in-game concert this July featuring BLACKPINK. The 3D character versions of the four BLACKPINK members (Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa), performed at an in-game PUBG concert called "BLACKPINK x PUBG Mobile 2022. In-Game Concert: The Virtual."
This collaboration was a massive success as both parties piggybacked off each other’s fame and tapped into the newer audiences. The partnership was mutually advantageous.
2. Depop x The Sims 4
Figure 6: Depop-The Sims 4 collaboration. Source: EA
The Sims 4, a life simulation game allowing players to create and control people, recently partnered with Depop, a fashion resale app used by celebrities, including Bella Hadid and Olivia Rodrigo. The collaboration rapidly increased The Sims 4’s download rate, and the Gen Z audience now spends more time engaging with the game.
Depop calls itself a “community-powered” online resale app, enabling users to buy and sell vintage clothing items at discounted rates. Popular real-life sellers design many custom pieces at Depop. And In The Sims, you can resell virtual garments via Trendi, an in-game, Depop-inspired app.
The collaboration specifically proved beneficial for The Sims 4 and retained many users’ attention, as the game became a favorite pastime of the younger audience.
Get high ROI on your game marketing campaigns in 2022!
Now you know what these bigwig gaming brands did to create compelling game marketing campaigns. But applying those techniques outright to promote your upcoming game won’t work. Remember, your game caters to a different audience and may even belong to a different genre. Therefore, copying these game marketing campaigns is not the right action. Besides, you can explore multiple other avenues that may work wonders for your game!
The Game Marketing Genie team has you covered if you’re ready to discover more ways to promote your game and create impactful marketing campaigns. GMG is a full-service game marketing agency offering efficient, personalized game marketing strategies.
Get in touch with us today, and let’s create a winning marketing campaign to make your next game a megahit!