Game development happens on a fixed timeline, from greenlighting the concept to producing an early prototype and on to alpha and beta versions. These milestones should match your PR strategy. A game announcement is a critical first step when you're ready to tell the world about what you've been working on. You'll then follow that with a platform announcement, the release date announcement, and additional announcements such as open beta or early access.
There's a delicate balance to be struck regarding video game PR. You don't want to give too much information too early, but you also need to generate enough buzz to keep players excited. Announcements at the right time will help you achieve this goal.
Trailers and other "hero assets" are the backbone of video game PR. Similar to the movie industry, every major announcement needs a complementary trailer. Additional assets include key art, developer diaries, screenshots, and more.
A well-crafted press kit is an essential part of video game PR. It's a one-stop shop for reporters looking for information about your game. Make sure it includes all the vital details, such as the release date, system requirements, story synopsis, and high-resolution images.
You also need to make sure your website is up to date. This includes the game's page and pages for each platform it's being released on. If you're planning a beta or early access phase, make sure those pages are live, too.
Many announcements happen during essential industry events like LA-based E3 in June and Gamescom, which takes place in August in Cologne, Germany. You can organize a live press showing for your game during these events because they are extremely popular with journalists. Press members also frequently visit consumer events and trade shows like PAX and EGX.
Players are a video game company's most important asset, so keeping them in the loop is essential. Respond to their feedback on social media and forums, post-development updates, and reveal new details about the game. This will help build anticipation and keep players invested in your title. Some journalists will also look through your community’s social posts, so great interaction and excellent crisis management are critical.
In addition to looking after the press, use trade events to keep your fans informed and give them the "velvet rope" treatment to increase their anticipation and emotional investment in your game. Remember to always think about your audience and what they want, and make sure you have a well-crafted plan in place.
Gaming influencers are as big as gaming media outlets these days - if not bigger - so you need to learn your ways to work with them. They usually prefer you to have a game build available; they won't be interested in interviews. They will, however, stream your game or make a video about it if they're excited about it. Treat them as privileged media folks, and treat them well.
Influencers have done the work to make themselves stand out by creating unique content for a certain demographic. They know what their followers will respond best, and they can craft a message that will resonate with their community, so be ready to personalize your approach to suit each influencer accordingly.
Collaboration between your content team and social influencers is a recipe for success. Combining your creative team’s efforts with the expertise of a social influencer can turn a piece of content into a masterpiece.
There's a considerable amount of gaming press in Europe. Paired with a well-paying gaming audience, you should seriously think about hiring some local help in countries like France and Germany. France's biggest gaming website boasts 38 million unique visitors a month, almost half of the world's most significant gaming outlet, IGN.com.
In addition to pitching these outlets with your news, you’ll find an array of sponsored article opportunities, and many of them will accept guest contributions. Just be sure that if you are writing a guest post, you don’t try to sell your game at all. Writing about important trends in your niche, giving away actionable tips, and sharing knowledge is the way to go. And be sure to read all the editorial guidelines for each publication, as it’s important to make sure that your article fits them like a glove.