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At what stage of game development is PR needed? Clients frequently ask us this question. Meanwhile, the answer is simple: PR is necessary for a game at all stages of its life. Engaging the audience before launching a game, getting coverage during the release period, reporting on updates to the game or fixing critical bugs, and even searching and engaging investors — PR allows you to do all of this.
Gaming PR means communicating with journalists, bloggers, and other influencers, organizing press tours, placing special projects, distributing keys to games, participating in gaming industry events and organizing your own events, and much more.
In general, Gaming PR is a communication with the press and journalists in order to spread information about a game in the industrial media. Make up a list of industry publications, starting with the most popular ones.
Divide sites into 3 groups: sites with over 1 million readers, sites with 500 thousand to 1 million readers, and sites with a monthly audience of less than 500 thousand readers. Do mailing starting from the top outlets with a wider audience. If you do not get a massive response, send mass emails to the 2nd group of outlets. Last but not least, send out a press release to outlets with a smaller audience.
Why do you need to do this? Big sites focus on exclusivity and efficiency of information delivery. If the article has already been published in a lesser known outlet, it is unlikely that the major media will repost it. This applies to each and every mass media newsletter.
Even before the release of a game, it is important to prepare a press release, which will indicate interesting facts about a game itself, information about the developer, release date, and code for test access — emphasize the importance of a journalist and the fact that you give him the “prerogative right” to be among the first players ... In this respect, personalization of letters is very important — try to find the names of journalists responsible for posting news on your topic in a particular outlet.
Here the principle is similar to the choice of media and sending of a release to them. With the exception that if almost any gaming media is suitable for publishing news about a game, then the list of streamers needs to be worked on. It is important to evaluate not only the size of the influencer's audience but also the genre of games he prefers to play. Try to choose streamers of games of the genre relevant to your game — in this case, he will most likely want to "try" it.
Again, the distribution of access to the game by streamers is best done even before the official release, so that by the time the game is released, the game will already be heard by users.
Among streaming platforms, Twitch is widely popular among gamers in Russia. In addition, you can find equally popular video game bloggers on YouTube.
Another important factor is that there should be information about a game on the Internet. Whether it is a website, a landing page or a store page is not important, the main thing is that it can be easily found by any journalist upon request.
Store page design is another important component. This could be Steam, App Store, or a page of your game on another site through which it will be distributed to the general public. Get an insight into competitors in the selected region — what screenshots or icons they take, number of installations, reviews, and rating they have. Then prepare your own description for the store. In the article, we told how to optimize game page on Steam in order to interest Russian-speaking gamers.
At the initial stage, when a game is not known to a wide audience, working with reviews implies not only and not so many replies to user messages, but the generation of these conversations and messages. It is important to ensure the maximum presence of a game in the information field: social networks, forum threads, groups and communities of professionals and interest, reviews in stores — start a discussion of a game, stir up interest in it, respond to any comments on a game. Timely and correct processing of reviews will increase audience loyalty and improve attractiveness for new users who are guided by the opinions of other people during the installation.
Active community development is one of the most effective elements of a PR campaign. The site can be your own website or page on social networks — it depends on the scale of a project. The main focus should be on UGC content (that is, content that users create). This engages your existing audience and also shows your project at its best for new players.
To discuss a game in Russia, you definitely need to cover the forums of such major gaming media as Goha.ru, Playground.ru, Gamemag.ru and Igromania.ru.
If you just share the news of a company or a game, then it is enough to post and get the appropriate coverage for the news feed to be interesting and relevant.
However, spreading news of a game's release is a different matter. Players are eagerly awaiting the release of AAA games, so they will definitely not miss the news of the release, but what should smaller developers do so that the news of the release of their game does not get lost behind the publications of the news of the mastodons? In this case, it is extremely important to spread the news about the release of a game without crossing with the releases of major developers. To do this, you need to constantly be aware of current and upcoming events in the gaming industry.
PR promotion takes a lot of time, which is more profitable for developers to spend on game development. Therefore, it is better to transfer this function to the RMAA Games marketing agency, whose experts develop and implement a strategy that will allow developers and publishers to tell a wide Russian-speaking audience about the game's news.
About the Author
Head of Digital, editor-in-chief of the RMAA Agency Blog