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Given how competitive the gaming industry is, it should not come as a surprise to see most game development companies emphasizing their marketing campaigns so much.
There are multiple tactics to consider if you want to have your game be healthy playerbase-wise. Let’s take a look at some tips to attract new players to a video game.
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Tip #1 – Optimize Games for Multiple Platforms
First and foremost, a game developer should focus on optimizing their video game for multiple platforms. There are some exceptions, such as exclusive Sony games for PlayStation, but most gaming companies aim to reach as many potential customers by selling them not just to PC or laptop users but also console owners.
Given how popular mobile gaming is, some companies are even looking to turn to that market by creating spin-off games. For example, Blizzard with its mobile Diablo game or CDPR with its Monster Hunter game.
Tip #2 – Collaborate With Twitch Streamers
It is no secret that Twitch TV streamers are some of the most powerful marketing tools in the gaming industry. Developers pay as much as six figures for a couple of hours of gameplay because they know that a popular streamer will introduce a game to their audience and bring new customers to the developers.
Tip #3 – Offer Prizes
Sometimes, offering extra could be just enough to persuade potentially interested people to try the game. For example, a gaming company could create a line of all-over print socks, t-shirts, hoodies, or caps and ship the merchandise together with a physical game copy or create a package specifically for merchandise and ship it separately.
Creating in-game prizes could also be a worthwhile idea. And instead of in-game currency or items, developers could send physical prizes to top players every month or so. Something as simple as custom stickers could prove quite effective. Besides, learning how to make your own stickers is quite simple, which means not as much resource allocation for it.
Tip #4 – Join Gaming Podcasts
Gaming podcasts are a great opportunity to talk about your game and promote it to the right demographic. People listen to podcasts on their commutes, flights, or at home when they have free time.
Popular gaming podcasts are one of the ways to discover new titles to play. If an opportunity presents itself for a developer to participate in one, they should not hesitate and take it.
Tip #5 – Use Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing might not seem like an obvious choice for attracting gamers because traditional influencers on social media do not promote video games in general. However, plenty of video game enthusiasts follow influencers.
Another thing to note is that many influencers had to readjust their work approach due to the pandemic. As expected, some started to play video games for fun and posted a few pictures on their social media pages, which resulted in their followers also trying those games. Video game companies caught on this and started to officially collaborate with influencers, which resulted in more customers.
Tip #6 – Ask YouTubers to Publish Gameplay Videos
Even if a YouTuber does not have millions of subscribers, they can still do wonders by publishing a gameplay video on their channel. The video itself does not necessarily have to be that long.
A review that covers the basics of the game and focuses on its strong points is a solid selling technique that more and more gaming companies implement in their strategy.
Tip #7 – Check Online Forums
Posting information about an upcoming release of a new video game or a quick recommendation on online forums might not be that effective given how they were replaced by social media.
Nevertheless, the idea is still worth consideration. If nothing else, it will be another channel to promote a video game. And other than traditional online forums, there are platforms like Quora and Reddit that have plenty of gamers who might find video game news quite useful.
Tip #8 – Develop New Game Content
Do not expect that the initial amount of in-game content will be enough to sustain players for a long time. Sooner or later, people find video games repetitive and look elsewhere. However, they do come back or continue playing if developers introduce new gear, areas, quests, characters, and other types of content.
Some companies use the DLC model and ask players to pay for new content. Others do not hesitate to add stuff for free because they want to reward loyal players and encourage more newcomers to purchase the base game and enjoy new content without paying extra.
Tip #9 – Share Behind-the-Scenes Footage
Some gamers like to connect to their favorite developer on a more personal level. When you are attached, it is more rewarding to support someone by enjoying their product, which, in this case, is video games.
There might not be that many opportunities to appeal to an audience and connect with them, which is why behind-the-scenes footage could come in quite handy. More and more companies start their own YouTube channels and post exclusive content for fans to see.
Be it development news, game design moments, Q&A sessions, teasers for what is coming next, or special giveaways; people will appreciate these videos and find it easier to connect with the company.
Tip #10 – Create Hype With Trailers
Trailers are a tested marketing tactic that works not just with video games but other media, such as movies or TV series.
When a high-quality teaser trailer is released, it usually gets shared by multiple people on social media, forums, and other channels. Going viral is an ideal scenario as it can really attract a lot of potential gamers.
Of course, a trailer should get people hyped about a game. That is why you see so many trailers offer high-quality visuals that are nothing like the game. However, since this tactic is effective, developers still invest as much as they can to get a great trailer for their game.
Tip #11 – Enter the Esports Scene
Esports are on the rise. Tournament organizers are not afraid to give away prizes that are as high as tens of millions of dollars. The International, an upcoming DOTA 2 tournament later this year, has a prize pool of over 40 million dollars.
As a video game developer, you could look to create a game that is competitive and focus on growing the esports scene for it. When there is more than just fun to play for, a video game is bound to attract competitive people who might become fan favorites and be part of a thriving esports community.
Tip #12 – Hire Great Community Managers
Speaking of communities, it is no secret that some video games excel in wholesome communities that incentivize even more people to join because they are tired of toxicity in official forums, Discord servers, social media, and other channels.
To create a welcoming community, a gaming company should hire talent who can work as a community manager.
First and foremost, community managers are in charge of engaging with the players by responding to their questions and suggestions, but that is not all.
Running giveaways on an official Twitch TV channel, promoting merchandise, and simply being the bridge that connects an organization with its audience is what being a community manager is all about. When there is someone who builds brand presence and generates engagement, a video gaming company can expect to attract and retain even more gamers.