Video Game PR: How to Get Press for Your Game
Every year, thousands of new video games hit the market. While established developers like EA and Ubisoft make waves with every title, less recognized game publishers have a much harder time getting noticed—unless they have excellent video game public relations (PR).
In the age of mobile apps and live streaming, gamers are spoiled for choice, with easy access to new gaming experiences. As there are so many games, it’s hard to stand out without PR. Unfortunately, many companies overlook PR for games, often throwing a cobbled-together effort at the last moment before a launch.
With video game PR, developers can build a credible brand reputation and win the trust of gamers. In this article, we’ll show you how to buff your video game PR, enabling you to unlock widespread brand recognition and rack up more sales.
7 Steps to Successful Video Game PR
There’s a lot more to video game PR than sending out a few tweets before the launch. If you want to connect with the right people at the right time, you must cover all the bases. Here are seven essential steps to nailing PR for games:
1. Identify your audience
Before anything else, you must do some reconnaissance on the people you’re trying to reach. Not all gamers are alike. If you have a new RPG game, you shouldn’t market it to sports gamers.
Whatever your niche, you can find the ideal players by exploring online gaming platforms, like Twitch and Steam, as well as social media groups and forums. Find out information about your target players, like:
- Specific games they like and don’t like
- Key gameplay aspects they love
- Issues or complaints they have about your type of game
With excellent games PR, you can forge trust with potential players. However, you must get to know your audience first before you can serve them up a game they can’t resist.
And that brings us to our next step…
2. Create an irresistible video game
Steam has 50,000 games in its library. If your new title is anything less than outstanding, it may never get noticed.
So, before you reach out to the press, focus on getting the game right. Consider every element of the game, for example:
- Gameplay – is it free from bugs? Does the gameplay offer anything original?
- Graphics – is it an enjoyable, hi-res visual experience?
- Audio – do the sound effects, music, and dialogue work correctly? Could the quality be better?
Use beta testers to thoroughly explore the entire game, seeking out weak points and glitches. With a solid feedback loop, you can continue working on the game until it is a fully-polished, high-quality product worthy of presenting to media and gaming influencers.
3. Find your unique selling point (USP)
Every new game should have a USP to make you stand out from your competitors. Think of your USP as the secret weapon that will help you hook attention, attracting the masses to download, play, and talk about your game.
What makes your game better or different than all the others? Why should people play your game instead of competitors?
Ideally, you should implement unique elements into the gameplay or story during development. Your beta testers can tell you what they enjoy most about playing the game, which offers guidance when pitching your game’s USP to bloggers and game journalists.
4. Define your goals for video game PR
All video game PR campaigns have the same ultimate purpose—to build a credible reputation for your game with the people you want to play it. But before you hand a video game PR agency your company credit card, you need to get clear on how you’ll define success.
What metrics will you measure? Downloads, sales, or both? Will you consider social media follows and website visits, too?
When the developers of AFK Arena approached CloutBoost, they had a clear goal of maximizing downloads in North America and Europe.
CloutBoost partnered with YouTube macro-influencers who showcased the ability to attract casual gamers (due to the casual nature of an Idle RPG). We created messaging and communication strategies for each influencer that enabled the influencers to authentically promote the game in their own unique style.
This targeted strategy helped us reach over 18 million gamers. Incredibly, it landed a spot in the top 30 free games in the U.S. App Store, charting above Fortnite. Check out the detailed case study to learn more about this campaign here.
Instead of shooting for the top, think carefully about your game and what you want to achieve. A great video game PR company will help guide your strategy to hit your goals.
5. Build your online presence
You don’t have to wait for a video game PR agency before publicizing your game. In fact, it’s better to start building an online presence before bringing a PR company on board. That way, you’ll have a foundation of data the PR company can analyze and use as a springboard for growth.
There are lots of ways to spread the word about your upcoming game online, including:
- Social media posts to let fans know about development updates, new visuals, and the launch date.
- Live events like Q&A sessions with beta testers, big announcements, and competitions. Gamers love to find new content and watch new game demos in real-time, so Twitch is perfect if you want to use live streaming to drum up attention.
- Partnerships with gaming influencers to introduce your game to a new audience. However, it can be tricky to manage influencer partnerships while doing everything else to market your game. To maximize this strategy, it’s best to partner with an agency like CloutBoost. We helped Platinum Games, promote The Wonderful 101: Remastered by working with nine gaming influencers in the action game niche. The campaign reached 5.6 million players, with video views surging north of 1.2 million so far, giving the game massive exposure in the right market.
As the gaming industry moves fast, it’s important to stay active. Pick the channels your audience is on, and stay consistent with regular content. You can use scheduling tools to organize tasks and map out content ahead of time.
6. Prepare your press kit
For a video game PR company to give you the best bang for your buck, you will need to provide a press kit that highlights the best aspects of your game, making it easy for journalists to stir up interest ahead of its launch.
Here are five essential elements of a video game press kit:
- Captivating key art that instantly grabs attention when people see it online. When working on a video game PR campaign make sure to design an impactful key art to catch people’s eyes and drive interest in further exploring your press kit.
- A compelling description to provide a quick summary of what your game is all about. This snippet is like an elevator pitch that should evoke curiosity and make people want to play your game.
- A video trailer or demo that gets people pumped to play your game. Use this short trailer to showcase the most exciting elements of the game, including your hooks and unique gameplay features.
- Additional images, including logos and hi-res screenshots of the game graphics. These assets bolster your branding efforts and also give people a sneak peek at what they can expect in the game.
- Media coverage to bring focus to any awards or industry mentions. By including prior media spotlight, you add weight to your press kit, helping to position your brand (and game) as one that people should pay attention to in the future.
7. Find and pitch media targets
Finally, with all the bases covered, you can approach your media targets. But don’t dive in with a cold pitch!
Instead, focus on building the connection first. Here are some tips:
- Identify the right partners. You can scout for bloggers, and game journalists online in places like HARO or Muck Rack. Look for people that are aligned with your type of game and target audience.
- Follow them on Twitter or LinkedIn. More importantly, get active in their community. Engage their posts with insightful, valuable comments so you show up on their radar.
- Share content with them through DMs or email. For example, if they release some new content, and you have a new perspective or some supporting content that can improve their piece, they’ll likely be happy to hear about it.
It’s a good move to build rapport with your targets for a little while before you pitch your game. Once you’ve made the connections and your game and press kit are polished and ready, it’s time.
Not all game developers have the budget, reputation, or established online following of AAA productions. In the face of such intense competition, your game can go MIA in the crowd, especially if your brand lacks credibility.
With video game public relations, you can get the vital support needed, as an agency will cover all the bases, from crafting your video game press release to building a strong network of influencers in your niche.
CloutBoost is the perfect partner to help you on this mission to attract more players. We’ll help you build trust with the right people, and eventually, acquire loyal brand advocates who will actively champion your game, promoting it to earn you more downloads and sales.
Get in touch now to see how we can take your game to the next level.