GDC 2019: Getting your PC/Console Game Noticed: A comprehensive how-to-guide

Speaker: Joel Dreskin

Link to talk

CZ Note: This talk focused on a strategy that was still was mostly based around heavy Press and PR and building “buzz” in anticipation of a big LAUNCH. There wasn’t most post-launch discussion in this talk. One of the big changes I am hearing from other speakers at GDC is that launch is not the end of marketing but the start. The new trend is evergreen games that grow way way beyond the launch. The speaker did have some great insights and he did mention how great mailing lists were. NICE!

Planning framework

Here is his chart that is his central thesis. Slowly build up press and “visibility” until you get to launch.

Note there is nothing about post release

The marketing you will do for your game will fall under 3 categories:

  • Earned media.- Coverage you earn. Got press to write about it. Influencers. They decide to cover you. That is why it is earned. It is harder to depend on 
  • Paid Media – Less credibility. They tune out adds
  • Owned Media – Your channels that you own. Email list, social media accounts, discord, website. This is the most powerful.

When discussing his owned media he said “At the very least you could use your mailing list” CZ NOTE: that hurts my heart.

Although the speaker never really talked about a email marketing being a central strategy, one of his biggest successes was directly attributable to email marketing.

When he was discussing his marketing efforts for the Monkey Island games he showed this timeline slide.

You see that big spike in the middle and the green arrow? That was talk like a pirate day where they did an entire marketing push to drive traffic to their mailing list. Here is how it worked:

  • The team was marketing Episodes 2 + 3 of the Monkey Island Games.
  • For two days only players could get Episode 1 of the game Free! All you have to do is register a key using your email! CZ Note: Guess what we call that, a LEAD MAGNET.
  • Their biggest day was the day they used a mailing list.

After they built up this huge mailing list with the lead magnet. They would test future marketing strategies. For instance they tried a promotional bundle on a segment of their list. Then they tried a different promotion on another segment. Which ever one caused the most clicks they expanded that to the rest of the list.

He worked on Kingdoms and Castles marketing

They ran an alpha for the game and then they reached out to streamers that were not the most popular but slowly built up more and more streamers. The videos got more views.

Kingdom and Castles website is very simple and had clear call to action to join their mailing list and other social media platforms. Really, that is their whole website. Pretty cool.

Read these articles and using discord:

Other cool discord tips:

  • They build the discord community early. Automatic key on boarding doing !key command to automat the key.
  • They had a Matchmaking bot keyword if you wanted to find people to play against

Other tips:

  • Don’t put all your eggs in the PR basket because it doesn’t always work. You just don’t know if they are going to cover you or not.
  • Look at Woovit it is another alternative to Keymailer.
  • Keymailer Pro Tier – allows you to find gamers.

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