Rumor has it that Roman Glebchuk, co-founder of Ring Game Studios, once said (to a journalist, no less):
“You know, the bigger your network, the stronger you become. And what we’ve built here at Ring Game is a genuine network. Not a lot of companies can say that.”
Today, Glebchuk’s oft-quoted maxim – that a network is a man’s best friend – rings truer than ever. Especially now that the pandemic has curtailed business as usual, demanding more agility and (dare we say it) community.
“In these unprecedented times, it’s been interesting to see how our customers, people we connect with through our game, have stepped up and taken the reins, taking ownership of their marketing efforts and learning to rely on each other,” said Glebchuk. “Being able to provide them with tools to do this has been tremendously satisfying.”
A Game Developer’s Take On Marketing
It might surprise you to learn that a game developer has a view on marketing. But that’s exactly what we have here – a game developer’s perspective on marketing (henceforth ‘RGS Online Marketing’).
First, a word about the nature of games and their marketing. Most people who interact with games in some way – whether through playing them, talking about them, or consulting on them – have some awareness of game marketing. After all, the name ‘game’ itself evokes images of cardboard, bits, and boisterous fun. Thus, it shouldn’t come as a great shock that marketers aim to capitalize on this association and get gamers to associate their product with fun and games.
What might surprise you is that while the nature of games has largely remained the same, their marketing – how they’re communicated to, and what they mean to different people – has evolved significantly. Thanks to the likes of digital marketing and the rise of in-game marketing.
What is in-game marketing, you ask? Simply put, it’s the practice of associating a product or service with an existing game. For example, if you’ve ever played Pokémon Go, you might have noticed that the phone’s camera and microphone are used to scan and analyze the surroundings for gameplay purposes. In-game marketing relies heavily on technology and data, but it doesn’t stop there.
According to a 2019 YouGov survey, 42% of respondents had purchased a product or service after playing a related game. Furthermore, 22% had tried out a demo, 15% had looked up additional online information about the product or service, and 13% had contacted the company directly through social media.
So, if you’re wondering whether or not to associate your product with games, the answer is a resounding yes. Digital marketing and in-game marketing both provide you with the perfect opportunity to target an audience that already enjoys your product or service.
Why Is Marketing Automation Important For Game Developers?
The primary goal of marketing automation is to make marketing easier for professionals. Specifically, marketing automation helps businesses gain more control over the whole marketing process, from target audience analysis through to campaign performance measurement. For marketers accustomed to doing all of this manually, the idea of building an automated marketing platform may sound like a daunting task.
Thankfully, many marketing automation tools are made with developers in mind. As a game developer, you can harness the power of automation and take advantage of all that it has to offer.
Why is marketing automation important for game developers? Let’s take a quick walk through the process of creating and releasing a game.
Game Development Is A Labor Of Love
The first and most important step in the game development process is deciding what you’ll name your game. To Roman Glebchuk, this is probably the most important step of the process, explaining why he calls this phase ‘Inspiration’.
“In the beginning, there is always something that gives you the push to start working on a project. For us, it was World War II. Suddenly a lot of people had free time on their hands, and they wanted to play games. So we decided to make a game about submarines, and called it Submarine Commander. Inspiration struck, and we started working on the game.
“Later on, we added another layer of complexity to the project by asking ourselves: ‘Why should we limit ourselves to just one game? What if we develop a sub-branding for the company? What if we develop a whole series? How can we position ourselves in the market as a whole?’ After a few hours of brainstorming, we decided to call our company Ring Game Studios and to develop a brand for ourselves. It was then that we selected the ‘Ring’ name because we wanted to evoke the image of a ring – a symbol of something rare, powerful, and memorable. We believe that a ring can act as a unique identifier for a business or a product. It is a memorable and precious object, which can be both a blessing and a curse. While it’s not easy to describe the feeling you get when you’re in the middle of creating something that will leave an indelible impression on people’s minds, we can say that it’s definitely a feeling of pride and accomplishment.
Game Development Is A Long Process
It takes a lot of time to develop a game. Even if you’re working with professionals who’ve done this sort of thing before, it still takes a lot of trial and error. The better you are at figuring out problems before you even start coding, the shorter the process will be. And, to be honest, the more you’ve got going on in your life, the longer it will take to find the time to dedicate to this one pursuit.
Depending on how long you’ve been doing this sort of thing, you might already have a good idea of the milestones that you’ll need to reach. For example, if you’re making a mobile game, you’ll want to release it on as many platforms as possible. And, if you’re developing for the Steam Workshop, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve set up the necessary servers to support hundreds or even thousands of players.
Marketing Is An Important Part Of The Process
Even after your game has been released to the public, marketing it still doesn’t end. At least, not in the traditional sense. Once your game is on the market, you’ll want to maintain a presence online, ensuring that your game’s reputation stays positive. This involves creating and maintaining good relationships with blogs and websites that have large followings. It also involves monitoring the conversation surrounding your game on social media, identifying and responding to problematic content as soon as it’s posted.
To help you with this task, you might consider using a marketing automation platform. Thanks to marketing automation, you can automate much of the process of maintaining a positive online reputation. Setting up a marketing automation platform isn’t as difficult as you might think. There are many tools designed specifically for marketers, meaning that even non-developers can get the hang of it quickly.
Marketing Automation And The Future Of Game Development
While much of the process of game development seems fairly straightforward, it’s important to keep in mind that the industry is changing. Thanks to the likes of artificial intelligence and video streaming, the lines between games and other forms of media are becoming increasingly blurred. This is a good thing, as it means that marketers have more chances of connecting with their audience.
Furthermore, as more people move towards remote work, the importance of marketing automation will continue to grow. Even now, while there’s still plenty of people around who enjoy spending time with their families, those who work from home rely heavily on their devices for entertainment. This means that they’re always online, looking for ways to occupy their time. For these people, marketing automation provides an opportunity to keep informed of the latest news, product releases, and special offers, without having to go though traditional forms of marketing. Which leads us to our next point.
If you’re interested in marketing, games, or both, then this article is for you. We hope that it has helped you understand the significance that marketing has within the world of game development. While the nature of games has largely remained the same, their marketing has evolved significantly, and it’s important to keep up with the times if you’re going to be taking advantage of all that technology has to offer.