Bringing Your Game to the Esports Market: Development and Marketing Strategies
29/11/2021 Written by The Game Marketer
The Esports market is an ever-evolving entity, with more and more games each year trying to crack the Esports market and become the next CS: GO, Apex or Magic: The Gathering. The Esports scene has grown rapidly in the past decade, with some researchers forecasting that the Esports market will be worth a staggering $1.9 Billion in 2022. With more and more eyes on the Esports scene and more and more game developers wanting a slice of the pie, this article will give you some advice on how to stand out from the crowd and make your mark on the Esports market.
If you are a game developer who is thinking about brining your game to the Esports market, there are a multitude of things to consider, from marketing strategies, tournament concepts and so on. However, one of the most important steps to take first, is to look at the necessary development processes to prepare your game for the Esports market. Before you can consider your marketing strategies, you must make sure your game is ready for the market, the Esports market.
You will need to consider how your scoring system works and how this will be displayed in a way that will be clear and eye-catching for an audience. You will need to think about how your game will be broadcasted. For example, if your game is a shooter that sees teams battling one another, how will you go about broadcasting this? Will there be a spectator mode, and if so, how will this be controlled for broadcast? Or, if your game is a strategic deck builder, how will the contests be viewed and what will make the visuals engaging for an Esports audience?
All of these are important questions to ask yourself before considering bringing your game to the Esports market. Once you have implemented sufficient development processes for your game and you are happy you have a clean, eye-catching and, above all else, marketable product, you can start to formulate your marketing strategy.
Esports Marketing Strategy
There are multiple ways for games to bring their game to the Esports market. This stretches across all marketing aspects from paid advertising, influencer marketing, PR activities and hosting an Esports tournament. To carry out a successful strategy to bring your game to the Esports market, you will have to carefully consider all these aspects.
- Bring in some knowledgeable people from the Esports scene to take a look at your game.
A good place to start would be to bring in some knowledgeable people from the Esports scene to take a look at your game. This can be formatted a small test tournament or take place as a private testing session. Gaining feedback from these people could be invaluable for your overall marketing campaign and will give you a good idea of whether your product is ready for the Esports market or if there is still some groundwork to be done.
- Get the word out through PR.
Another aspect to consider early on in your campaign is getting the word out through PR. Articles from Esports-specific or simply gaming-specific press can be a vital way to raise awareness for your title and to start making noise in the Esports scene. Press releases can be sent out announcing the release of your game, announcing that you are bringing your game to the Esports market or announcing any activities that you may be carrying out such as hosting a tournament.
- Work with the right content creators
Influencer work is another great way to solidify your game in the Esports scene. Working with the right creators can be hugely beneficial to your campaign and to getting your title in front of your target audience. You can work with individual influencers within the Esports scene, or you can look to partner with an Esports organisation as a whole to help market your game. This can all help in the build up to something bigger, such as a tournament.
- An tournament
Hosting a tournament is the most obvious yet challenging way to bring your title to the Esports market. Once you have carried out all the previous steps outlined in this article you can start to think about running your own tournament. There are many things to consider when doing this, from sourcing sponsorships or partnerships, looking for platforms to cast your tournament and, of course, sourcing teams or individual players to participate in your tournament.
Making your tournament feel as professional and well-rounded as possible will be key to successfully utilising a tournament as a marketing tactic. Gaining known sponsors will be the first way to making your tournament feel professional. Esports audiences are recognise brand sponsors as a major part of a tournament, so working with brands that they will have seen partnering with other tournaments and companies will be key. Finding a platform to host your tournament stream will also be a really big thing to consider. It's all well and good putting together a great tournament, but if you do not get the viewership on your tournament that you desire then ultimately the whole campaign will be a wasted venture.
In terms of sourcing participants for your tournament, a lot of research work will need to be carried out in order to find the right teams or individuals to work with. Building relationships with the participants in your tournament can be a really great thing and opens up opportunities later down the line. With these key aspects considered you can assure that you put together a tournament that will act as a vessel to bring your title to the Esports market.
Bringing your game to the Esports market is something that will require a lot of prep work before your game sees the light of day in the scene. Firstly, you must make sure that all in-game mechanics are optimised for Esports, taking how your product will be viewed into careful consideration and making sure that everything you do is with an Esports audience in mind. Second of all getting your name out there into the world of Esports through PR campaigns will be a key factor and set you up for the next steps in the process. Then finally actioning plans to work with influencers, Esports organisations and even hosting a tournament to really throw your game into the Esports scene, and building on this work to create a sustainable place for your game in the Esports market.
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