The global games market is quickly on the rise, with a market value amounting in the billions. From new releases, to indie games, to old cheap games, the video game market is comprehensive and wide-reaching.
With the way the market has grown in the past years, the way the games themselves are being marketed have also changed. Thanks to the internet, reaching a wider audience by marketing is easier than ever. But game developers and sellers have found ways to market their games, some more effective than others.
Still one of the best ways to market a product, advertising is something that the video games industry openly embraces. They have, however, moved from TV commercials, and are opting to go for their main audience via the internet.
The only TV commercials you’ll see are for biggest video games and consoles, while online advertisements are often short cinematic videos. Other forms include banners with the game’s logos, pop-ups, social media posts, game play videos, and even mini-games set in the same universe, like alternate reality games, even free-to-play demos are available in the internet, as demonstrated by titles like P.T and NieR: Automata.
Back in the day, pre-orders were used to get quantitative data on the market, as well as allowing players to guarantee themselves a copy of the game ASAP. It still does those things, but now, they also work as a marketing ploy, with pre-orders containing exclusive content.
People are often willing to invest money into something they like, regardless of whether or not they’ve actually seen or experienced the full product yet. The pre-order bonus is designed to make them more willing to indulge in such behavior, a great way to boost sales and get more people interested.
However, one has to be careful with promos like this. Giving too much or too little in exclusive, time-locked content, can lead to backdraft from the audience.
Adapting to the market
With the rapid development of gaming across platforms, audiences have shown that they are willing to adapt, until something gets taken too far. Take, for example, micro-transactions. People are accepting of them in free-to-play, or cheap games like League of Legends or War-frame, but when it’s a blatantly avaricious attempt to wring cash from people; putting micro-transactions in a premium title or just not living up to their promises, then the gaming community will go up in arms. There is, perhaps, no more (in)famous example than Star Wars Battlefront II (2017).