Video game promotion can appear like a battlefield. Well, it’s no secret: it is!
150 new games are released on Steam every week and making your game visible is clearly a priority if you want to be able to live off it over time. Only fools go to battle unprepared. Here are the top 3 communication assets on which you must concentrate your efforts to promote your video game.
“A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.”
1. The Hook of your Video Game’s Pitch
You obviously know how to define your video game. But do you really know how to present your video game? Under any circumstances?
- You are on your way to a trade show where many different studios and partners are going to meet. By chance, in the elevator leading up to it, you meet a potential investor. You have 30 seconds to capture his interest… Shoot!
- At a video game exhibition, a well-known video game journalist is looking at your booth. In the middle of the crowd of gamers and in competition with many independent games as attractive as yours, you have 5 minutes to arouse his interest… Don’t miss the opportunity!
- Business Trade shows are places to organize meetings with multiple potential partners. You now have about 15 minutes to present your game at each meeting…Ready?
Three situations you need to be prepared for and where your presentation will be more or less detailed and oriented. But in each scenario, your tailored catchphrase (or Hook) must be the same and is the main asset of your pitch. It must immediately trigger a reaction from your interlocutor.
Beware: Your Hook is not an enumeration of the technical details of your game or a list of the games it is inspired by.
Your Hook summarizes the essence of your game and gives a glimpse of entertaining promises. All that in only 2/3 short sentences. Use it as a mantra and repeat it on all your points of communication (spoken and written). Precise and intriguing, your Hook is designed to resonate in the head of each person who hears it and make them want to discuss further it.
2. Playable Demo of your Video Game
Having a playable demo allows gamers (Video Game Press, Publishers) to discover your game and the promise it holds.
Having a demo is essential to participate in video game shows and have your game tested. Let it be available to download on the internet and start building a community around it. Feedback from players will help you to improve the rest of your production while engaging your growing community.
Your demo can be the first level of your indie game or a special level that will not appear in the final version. The goal is to sufficiently reveal the game’s universe, its mechanics, its design, its art… Its duration should serve your purpose. Not too short in order to offer a good experience to the gamer, nor too long so as not to kill the player’s desire to discover more.
Throughout the development of your game, you may create several demos to keep the gamers’ attention and engagement until the final release.
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3. Trailer of your Video Game
One of the most effective communication assets to promote your video game is the Trailer. Information consumption habits on the Internet, and in particular on social networks, make video the king medium! Internet users are passive and the message can be easily distilled. Be careful, however, if the content is not catchy from the start or if it is too long, the viewer will move on to the next content.
Your Trailer duration should last between 60 and 90 seconds.
Tell a captivating story that will take the viewer’s breath away and make them instantly want to know more. Immerse players in your universe with energy and art, script revelations about your game, and use the rhythms of a striking soundtrack. Also test the impact of your trailer without sound, as current usage shows that many videos are watched without sound.
Your trailer should be as effective as possible from start to finish! Clearly mention the name of your game early or at the real end of the trailer to get it into people’s minds. Propose to your future fans links to follow to quench their newfound thirst to know more about your game (Wishlist, Steam, Newsletter, Website…).
Tease the enthusiasm, arouse the envy, ignite the passion and offer to satiate it now.