Video Game Marketing: How to Build Hype for a Game Launch

by Arya Wirendra Published January 14, 2024
The cover for Video Game Marketing: How to Build Hype for a Game Launch

With thousands of game being released every day, indie game developers face a tough challenge to give their project a breathing chance.

As an indie game developer, you need a well-crafted go-to-market (GTM) strategy for your game. Although you need to create a unique and engaging game, the success or failure of your project hinges on your project’s launch. Therefore, it is crucial that you generate anticipation and excitement ahead of your release.

Here, we’ve collected insights to guide you to build hype for your game with the resources that you have.

Community Engagement

The first step to success is figuring out your target audience. I know that marketing tasks may seem daunting at first, but don’t worry about perfection.

Start off by highlighting what makes your game unique. Then, reach out to potential players through forums, chat rooms, and specialty sites. We recommend starting a Discord community as soon as you’re building your game, make sure to grow and nurture that your community.

Engage in discussions and offer valuable insights. You can also create and share content that showcases your game and slowly builds up hype within the community. Remember, it’s all about creating a buzz and generating excitement.

Social Media Strategy

Establishing an active presence on social media platforms is crucial. Start promoting your game several months before launch on popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You can also use smaller outlets that your target audience frequently visits. Make sure to interact and engage with your followers, answer their questions, and maybe even start a developer’s blog (like us!). Platforms like YouTube and Twitch are also great for reaching the gaming community. You can either use paid ads or collaborate with gaming influencers to promote your game.

Influencer Involvement for Early Access

Working with influencers can be a great idea. Find micro-influencers who are interested in your game’s niche and team up with them. You can give them early access to your game and ask them to stream or showcase it to their fans.

Consider running giveaways with Steam keys or game codes to further encourage them. You can also include influencers in your promo videos and ask them to share it on their social media profiles. By doing so, you can significantly boost your game’s visibility and get more people interested in playing it.

Landing Page Optimization

Create a compelling landing page for your game’s website. Use exciting videos, demos, and top-notch screenshots to captivate visitors and get them excited about your game.

Encourage sign-ups for updates and beta access. Make it as easy as possible for your web visitors to find those buttons. You can also conduct giveaways and contests on the landing page to boost interest.

Press Releases and PR

It’s important to create a comprehensive press kit that includes all of the essential information and visuals about your game. Bloggers and journalists are always looking for ideas about articles to work on. Take the time to research bloggers and writers in your game’s niche. Then, reach out to them with your press kit. Your press kit should be designed to make it as easy as possible for them to write compelling stories about your game.

Open Beta

Create exclusivity and anticipation by offering invite-only early access to specific users from your waiting lists. Gather feedback from beta players and involve them in the development process. Address bugs and glitches based on player input and refine your game before the official release.

Strategic Launch Date

Set a realistic launch date and ensure that you’re well-prepared. Work backwards and be strategic about where you invest your resources. Put these on your checklist:

  • Building an online presence on platforms like a dedicated website
  • Set up a social media strategy
  • Be active in gaming forums and your community platform such as Discord

Set out enough time to generate marketing materials such as a compelling game story, high-quality screenshots, teasers, trailers, and demos.

Email Marketing

While engaging in relevant forums and platforms, gather email addresses early. Keep potential players informed about your game through newsletters and updates. Give them snippets of your project that would keep them engage, and create personal connection with your game.

We recommend using Loops to help you build an effective email marketing campaign

Beta Testing and Pre-Launch Platforms

it’s a good idea to conduct beta testing to learn about user preferences and get feedback from potential players. You can present your game on pre-launch platforms like Prelaunch.me to gather valuable insights and opinions that can help you make improvements before the official launch.

Gaming Events and Conventions

Actively participate in gaming events and conventions to network with industry professionals and potential players. Establish connections with reporters specialized in mobile games and seek opportunities for interviews and media coverage.

Countdown Campaigns

Implement countdown campaigns in the weeks leading up to your game’s launch. This is where your e-mail list will come in handy. Introduce new features or exciting images regularly to keep your audience engaged.

Multi-Channel Announcement

Use all available channels that you’ve built; email, social media forums, and even press, to announce your game’s launch. Make use of the momentum you’ve built during pre-launch.

For indie game developers to achieve a successful launch, it’s essential to invest time and effort in strategic planning, community engagement, and effective marketing. By following these strategies, you can create a buzz that generates anticipation and excitement among gamers, leading to more chance of success.

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