The video games industry is a passion industry. People get into and stay in this industry because they have a passion for games. That passion does not evaporate when one loses their job. A group of friends laid off from Vicarious Visions formed their own studio, Bat Country Entertainment, pretty much the next day (or day of). Being laid off at the same time, and being passionate about games as well, I joined my friends and offered to handle marketing their first game: AardbloxX
This was the marketing plan I came up with. (I’ve never done anything with marketing before.)
There were two phases to the plan, pre-launch and post launch.
Pre-launch included 1) Making a goofy YouTube commercial, 2) Twitter/Website activity, and 3) Goofy Valentine’s Day e-cards. The game was scheduled to launch right before Valentine’s Day.
Post-Launch included a media blitz. 1) Start with our local news paper (the Times Union), 2) Get as many websites as possible to review AardbloxX and echo those reviews across twitter and facebook, 3) Distribute a general press release for anyone to pick up.
YouTube Commercial – Success! We received positive feedback on the commercial and were able to use it when describing our game.
Twitter (@BatCountryEnt) – Tough! The goal was at least one twitter post per day and it is easy to run out of material. We did gain more followers than expected.
Valentine’s Day Cards – No go. Game stayed in submission longer than anticipated.
Local News Paper – We spoke to a reporter ahead of time who seemed very interested in interviewing us but when the game shipped, he didn’t return our e-mails.
Reviews – Pretty Good. We made it onto a couple people’s radar and founded some great contacts. We already knew some reviewers ahead of time and met a few new ones. The reviews created noticeable spikes in sales (and trial versions).
Press Release – Lesson Learned! There are numerous press releases every day and I wanted ours to stand out. Little did I know that media people will not read a press release if it is not in the standard format. Trying to be more unconventional in this area backfired and we had to create a new press release.
It’s all about who you know. While marketing AardbloxX, we made connections with fantastic people and gained support for our studio. Connections are win-wins for everyone involved and create more opportunities in the future.