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Marketing of computer games, that is
how to attract players?

Marketing

Information about the computer games market is a key part of the marketing strategy for companies in the electronic entertainment industry. In the face of the dynamic growth of this sector, both game producers and publishers are aware of the need to track and analyze trends and player preferences. Therefore, the analysis of market data - both in terms of the popularity of game genres and the target market - becomes a fundamental tool in building effective marketing strategies. Computer game marketing – nomen omen – is entering the game.

How was marketing in gaming born?

Pop culture and video games have long ceased to be innocent entertainment for nerds. We live in times when a generation for which games have been and still are an important element of everyday life, and even a way of life, is starting to dominate. Young people raised in virtual reality have grown up, but they have not outgrown their favorite games. On the contrary, it uses gamification techniques to build a professional career, initiate interpersonal relationships, and even make basic purchasing decisions.

Gamer Advertising breaks its own records year after year, successfully attracting the attention of subsequent generations. The joystick has come to be an extension of the modern consumer's body. It's high time for your brand to take it firmly into its own hands as well. What are the conditions for effective computer game marketing? How to advertise your brand by engaging in the gaming market? We give you a hint.

Why is it worth including gaming marketing in your marketing strategies?

All gaming market forecasts are clear. According to the company's latest analyses Newzoo, in 2023, the estimated value of the gaming market in the world will be almost USD 188 billion. This means an increase in video games by 2.6% compared to the results obtained last year. The independent games market and the e-sports industry are growing stronger, and video game creators often even outdo themselves. The role of game marketing is significant and the virtual cake is quite large, so it is worth fighting to get at least a little bit of the icing.

Gaming marketing has been the core of the strategy of the creators of the first video games from the very beginning. The use of new technologies involved significant financial outlays from the very beginning. The role of game marketing was to find effective and original ways to attract investors.

Games began to be designed in such a way as to provide not only addictive entertainment for long hours, but also a large space for more or less hidden marketing activities. Over time, entertainment for nerds turned into a massively widespread lifestyle, and the dedicated games market, e-sports marketing and live broadcasts became a global phenomenon, generating millions of followers and huge revenues.

Brand advertising in games – what tools are used most often?

A brand marketing strategy based on game marketing is not only about advergames activities aimed directly at players. It was discovered that there is a player in each of us. All you need to do is use appropriate psychological mechanisms and a bit of entertainment to inspire everyone to make a purchase. Computer game marketing most often uses the following tools:

  • product placement and static advertising,
  • dynamic ads inside the game (in-game marketing),
  • hidden discount codes,
  • original advertising games,
  • partnership and sponsorship in games,
  • events, live broadcasts, live streams, tournaments and events for a specific audience,
  • events organized inside games,
  • streamers and marketing based on cooperation with influencers,
  • virtual assets added to products purchased in the real world,
  • lotteries and prizes for players for completing specific tasks,
  • sponsorship as part of e-sport marketing,
  • gamification (gamification), i.e. the use of game mechanisms to increase engagement or motivate specific actions.

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The largest brands in the world successfully play "in-game marketing". They invest to advertise their brand and become a recognizable element of popular games, and even co-create their own original versions. However, it is worth remembering that Game marketing does not always mean high-cost activities. The specificity of the gaming market means that an original idea for an interesting use of competition or prize winning mechanisms is often enough to stimulate consumers to action.

It is worth remembering that the activities of brands marketing computer games should, above all, be natural and authentic. Although the activities undertaken are accompanied by an atmosphere of entertainment and fun, we should always keep our goal in mind - a specific image or sales effect. The number of games in which you can appear is staggering, so it is worth carefully considering what your in-game advertising should look like.

How to effectively attract the attention of gamers and computer game fans?

Although the gaming market has been present for many years, cooperation between brands and game developers is still quite a challenge. The technologies used are developing at a dizzying speed, and with them the preferences and needs of players. It is becoming increasingly difficult to attract and retain their attention. In order not to be left behind, you should constantly keep your finger on the pulse and carefully observe the latest trends and technological innovations. Continuous observation and research of the competition will also help.

Although there are many brands on the market willing to enter the world of popular computer games, it is worth remembering that simply placing banners or logos in the background is not enough to attract new customers. When playing the game, many players are characterized by the so-called banner blindness. This makes them so focused on the game itself that they don't even notice their surroundings. The specificity of the gaming market means that the more intrusive brands are in their marketing activities, the more they discourage players focused on achieving a specific result.

Although the fight for a player's attention is quite a challenge, gaming influencers are a very grateful target for marketing activities. Gamers and e-sports players love to earn rewards for their achievements and are tirelessly committed to reaching new levels of advancement. They are stimulated by competition, but also satisfied by the opportunity to cooperate.

Professional gamers and gaming influencers are able to devote a lot of time, energy and money when the goal seems attractive enough to them. We should also not forget that just watching video games and live broadcasts constitute a separate entity bringing together a huge number of fans.

The success of computer game marketing lies in excellent knowledge of the market, the mechanics of individual games and the individual needs of the community behind them. Players and games, gaming influencers and the pop culture and video games built around them are extremely specific. To enter the game for the attention and involvement of the recipient of computer games, you need to prepare very well. A brand that wants to focus on game marketing cannot be afraid of risk. This is a feature of every real player that is extremely rewarded in the eyes of the entire community.

Does creating your own advertising game always mean effective marketing activities?

Brands are increasingly willing to invest in creating their own games. Especially those that can be easily and quickly installed on computer phones or which, as mobile games, complement existing loyalty applications. An original game is an interesting element of a marketing campaign not only for products just entering the market. Marketing your video game also works perfectly in the case of products that are deeply rooted in our consciousness and into which we want to infuse a slightly more modern spirit to convince the next generations.

There is no denying that writing computer game scripts and creating your own game that will delight with both the idea and the mechanisms used, as well as the visual layer, as well as game testing are expensive. Marketing your video game is a complex process. Therefore, before we start creative work, we should first precisely define our goals and estimate the conditions and date of the final return on investment.

Creating computer games itself is only one element of effective game marketing. Even the best-designed game will be worthless if there are no people who will play it. The competition among creators is huge. The new game and its promotion will generate a number of additional costs. From a marketing perspective, an original game is a separate product of a given brand that needs to be perfected in every respect.

How do the most famous brands use game marketing?

The history of the gaming industry shows that creating computer games truly knows no boundaries. When it comes to well-known brands, the most frequently chosen marketing tool remains in-game marketing, in-game sponsorship and more or less classic product placement. Heroes of popular games are equipped with appropriately branded attributes and, unlike real people, only use products of specific brands.

Another popular game marketing tool are various types of tournaments, live broadcasts and live streams, in which both well-known and respected players, gaming influencers, and people whose dream is to challenge the best are invited to participate. The key element is not only the tournament itself, but also the opportunity to have fun together and integrate the community around video games.

An effective way to increase the effectiveness of in-game marketing activities is to combine them with real-world activities. One of the popular restaurant chains was not only actively involved in the game scenario itself, but also prepared a dedicated menu for players who want to eat after an exhausting fight for the next levels.

Another equally original form of combining the world of games with the real world is guerrilla marketing, the main goal of which is to attract new players. Game creators successfully invest, for example, in murals, large-format banners, and flash-mobs that attract the attention of random passers-by and encourage them to explore further. Attractive guerrilla activities are also a great generator of viral videos, which further increase the involvement of computer game recipients in social media.

Can any industry use video game marketing?

Buoyant market development games makes it the apple of the eye of brands focused on development and innovation. Many techniques used in game sales and marketing can be successfully implemented in other industries. Players and games are an important source of inspiration. The computer games industry has shown that if you want to attract investors, you do not need to have a physically ready product, but you just need to properly present and sell the vision of what lies ahead. If we additionally reward investors who decide to buy a "pig in a poke" with benefits unavailable to others, we can gain reliable partners for many years.

Another technique taken from classic game marketing is offering a free demo version of a given service before purchasing. Allowing a potential customer to test the service in practice for free increases, above all, trust in a given brand. Each customer feedback is also invaluable support for the brand. Thanks to interaction, it can constantly improve its product and adapt its digital marketing strategy to real needs.

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