Age of Darkness
How we provided a full suite of strategic marketing services to enable Playside Studios to successfully launch their first Survival RTS game - Age of Darkness: The Last Stand.
After spending many years developing mobile games under licence for the likes of Warner Brothers, Pixar and Dreamworks; Playside Studios required help from the game marketer to pivot into the early access launch of their own Survival RTS game - Age of Darkness: The Last Stand.
Create awareness and excitement for the early access launch of the game and encourage the audience to wishlist the game.
The Game Marketer executed a targeted strategic marketing and project delivery plan focusing on PR, paid media and social activities on an initial announcement and follow up the trailer for the early access launch of the game.
Project Delivery Plan
We identified the key beats that required focus from both teams for early access launch and aligned these to development and release milestones. From here we were then able to break down the sequence of tasks that needed to be completed by the game market team in the run-up to launch.
During this process, we identified the dependencies required from the Playside team (eg. images, content etc) in order to complete work across PR, paid media and influencer workstreams. Once the project delivery plan was agreed then all ongoing work items were tracked, managed and prioritised on a dedicated Trello board.
We started by defining what Age of Darkness is and which players it was for by developing an elevator pitch, the language from which would be used to establish consistency of voice across all product copy from Age of Darkness’ Steam Page, to the press releases and social posts.
Engineered specifically for AoD’s targeted audience, that copy would also go on to be used as a basis for the scripts used to create trailers for the game, work that was contracted to a third-party studio by PlaySide.
We developed PlaySide’s PR strategy by creating a timeline on which press activities would be carried out that was also flexible enough to accommodate the changes in schedule that frequently occur when working on a title heading into Early Access.
In terms of outreach we distributed a press release announcing AoD’s upcoming early access release to over 4000 global targets. This was followed by another press release to support the release of AoD’s first gameplay trailer to over 1,500 global targets. Additional individual outreach was conducted to TGM’s press network which garnered coverage from Kotaku, IGN, The Escapist, Gamespot and more.
We also engaged paid press options from PCGamesN and Gamereactor. PCGamesN because of the preciece and brand recognition for a hardcore PC audience and Gamereactor for their exhaustive network of international sites providing localised journalistic content across Europe.
We took a multiple-channel marketing approach to reach the potential audience interested in RTS/ Survival gaming. The challenge from Paid Media point was not only to create awareness and excitement about the game for the upcoming early access launch but also to motivate our audience to Wishlist the game.
For the early access launch, we also included a programmatic channel to push mass amplification of early access and alongside pushing conversions.
We took an Awareness, Consideration and Conversion approach not only to tap the right gaming audience, but also to level up the funnel as we reach early access launch. So, we started our Awareness campaigns on Social Media platforms a month and half while our Consideration campaigns started a week before from the early access launch to raise awareness and broadcast early access launch.
We acquired over 80 pieces of top tier organic press coverage in addition to exclusive paid placements with major press sites and also generated key awareness from paid media and social media activities. These initiatives went on to generate huge numbers of views for their gameplay trailer enabling playside to exceed their wishlist targets for the game by a considerable margin.
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