Interesting Marketing Techniques of Video Games

I’ve been learning about marketing and the business aspects of game development in my Game Design class. Coincidentally I saw a tweet that made me think about this a little more. AAA games are being developed for 20-40 million dollars. Then there’s another 10 million odd dollars they spend on marketing. Having ads before the Star Wars movie to having front isle display pieces and kiosks.

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Marketing can be done in different forms.

Ad Campaigns:

The most recent one I saw was Uncharted 4’s campaign before the Star Wars movie. It was this heartwarming story-like ad which talked about the emotions of the characters and how the game has evolved to what it is today. It was an impressive ad but ofcourse was in CG. It was the perfect time slot for a game that massive. It captured the right audience to a good extent as well.

In-game Ads:

The typical model chosen by most mobile developers is to have ads in their game. InMobi has introduced this new feature wherein you can actually play the game while the ad pops up. The ad loads a level in the game and it helps the guest understand the most fun part of the game. Its like a mini-game inside a game.

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Amazon:

This is the reason why I started writing about this. I came across this marketing channel recently from Neil Druckmann’s tweet. It is possible to tie up with Amazon and have packaging boxes with the game’s branding on it. I thought this was quite an interesting take on marketing. I was reading up on this and I noticed even Call of Duty did it about 4 years back. They also have a unique URL to the game on Amazon. I feel this is a powerful way of marketing the game. In a country where there are a ton of packaging boxes being used a day, this approach helps reach the audience that might not be hooked onto IGN or GameSpot.

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Naughty Dog is doing the same with Uncharted. Here’s the packaging for the same:

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Here’s the tweet I was talking about:

https://twitter.com/Neil_Druckmann?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

2 thoughts on “Interesting Marketing Techniques of Video Games

  1. Super interested in the game-as-advertisement. It kind of points to an interesting way to incorporate mini-games within a game… reminds me of footnotes in a book. Could do an interesting mechanic kind of echoing David Foster Wallace’s use of footnotes in his work. (See: http://lithub.com/the-fine-art-of-the-footnote/)

    As for seeing a trailer for a game at a movie–the first time that I saw one was before the latest Hunger Games movie. There were several game trailers, including a trailer for an e-sports competition. It felt like a big moment to me… I think it spoke to the storytelling aspirations of those games, that they were self-consciously appealing to story-consumers as well as gamers. What this means for those games and for the industry at large could be very interesting in terms of how narrative gets prioritized as the gaming demographic expands into more narratively-hungry populations.

  2. Finally a post that talks about marketing, I admit I was surprised that not many people did this considering this is an important aspect being in this industry. I would definitely like some more information regarding your thoughts on the different techniques used by marketing departments all around the world for their titles in this industry. What works, not many people know until someone tries something new. The packaging was a definitely a nice addition, I was not aware of that. Overall a concise and informative post. The link at the end is very helpful.

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