by Patrick Parish (@PrinceOfGeeks)
Video games serve as one of the largest creative industries in the world. A combination of cinematography, music and art all in one. Though for many, it is simply a way to unwind or socialize with friends. While the medium was once viewed as juvenile, many view at as an untapped user-pool.
As of last year, nearly 44 million PS4’s have been sold worldwide. This news in itself is not only good for the boys up at Sony, but it’s a huge incentive for marketers to hop on the videogame bandwagon.
“Freemium content” and in-game advertisements have spiked in usage over the past couple of years due to the growing population of gamers. In an age where everyone wants to play, it’s easy for marketers and social elements to take use of the opportunity. While many companies simply plaster their ads across game screens like a virtual bulletin board, many are taking the initiative to engage.
Rocket League, last summer’s adrenaline filled racecar-sport hit utilized almost every outlet of social media to cultivate its user base. By engaging its users on a near daily basis, they were able to maintain users and keep them informed on content that wasn’t necessary to continue to play the game. Psyonix, the game’s creator, tapped into its fan-base and ensured that they would stay hooked.
The game launched with little fanfare, only to become an overnight success. Psyonix banked on buy-ins from Sony and the huge social media push and it paid off. And even though the game is going on nearly seven months old, it is about to get a second wind. It releases on Xbox One later this month and will be supported throughout the next year.
Much like any viral ad-campaign, Rocket League succeeded due to its determined fans and it’s social media explosion. By integrating Youtube, Twitter and Facebook it was able to cater to its pre existing player-base while generating its own advertisement. The people who love the game continue to rave about it.
The little X-Treme sports game that could succeeded on the back of viral marketing, but its vehicle was social media. While it may be old news for some, it is launching for a whole new group here late this month. Let’s hope the ball keeps on rolling.