Video games and their financial significance continue to grow in the U.S. and around the world. The latest research from Global Data estimates that the video game market could be worth as much as $300 billion by 2025. As expected with a growing market value, the competition in the video game space is as fierce as ever. An ever-increasing onslaught of new game titles are being released every day. For example, from 2004 through 2018, Steam, one of the leading portals for online games, saw over 67% growth for new video game titles on an annual basis.
Source: Statista’s Christina Gough, based on interviews using online surveys, 2019.
Increased competition and an ever-changing landscape can be a challenge for game developers and design studios. Whether you are launching an online or offline game, single-player or multi-player, traditional gaming experience or VR, there are a number of key elements you’ll need for a successful marketing plan.
Phase 1: Development
Decide on the type of game you are developing and who the target audience is
Start coding your game for the appropriate platform(s), e.g. Playstation, Oculus, Viveport, Twitch, Android, Windows, etc.
Register with the platforms and publish your game
Phase 2: Branding
Set up a branded internet channel and/or player forum to foster a community for your game, which includes YouTube and other social and video media channels, e.g. Twitter, Twitch, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram
Create a website or landing page that will be devoted to your game, which includes:
Prominent download button(s)
Links for your branded social and video media channels
Relevant news and updates
Links to player community, forums and support
Contact form and press kit information
Phase 3: Paid Marketing
Engage with video influencers to build awareness, e.g. leveraging a video game focused influencer agency like Nevaly to find the right gamers who are best suited to promote your game
Launch a programmatic advertising campaign to grow users, e.g. leverage an ad exchange network like Google Ads’ Display Network to quickly find new players for your game
Work with your platform account manager for initiating a campaign on their network. Note: each platform is different as far as the maturity of their in-network marketing packages
Select key metrics for monitoring each of your paid marketing activities. Metrics should at a minimum be focused on new players (e.g. downloads) and costs associated with acquiring a new player
Phase 4: Stay Involved
Be actively engaged with the users in your communities and forums. This includes posting new content like video, responding to questions on your social media channels, and being active in relevant online conversations, especially where your game is featured
Attend applicable developer/partner conferences like Sony Playstation’s annual Game Developers Conference, where you can learn the latest on developing and marketing your game for the platform
It may seem like no one is downloading and playing your game and all of your software development efforts are being wasted. Rest assured, though, that having a solid marketing plan and executing on it, will help your game get noticed and start rising up the gaming charts.