One of the most common misconceptions among developers is that everything is done after launch. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Post-launch support, marketing and development are the defining factors that make any video game stand the test of time. In fact, it’s only once a game is actually available for purchase that the fun really starts – and that’s from the developer’s perspective, too!
Armed with feedback and a healthy amount of sales, post-launch marketing builds a strong community that can keep your game in the spotlight for years to come. So beware ... if players start feeling that the developer no longer cares about the game, they’ll likewise stop playing – and the title will fade into obscurity.
In this post, let’s look at three of the most effective post-launch marketing channels to help make sure your hard work doesn’t come with an expiry date.
#1. An Official Developer’s Blog
For any business, regardless of their industry, establishing and maintaining an online presence starts with an official website. Video game developers are no exception. By starting a developer’s blog, you’ll have an outlet to provide updates and build a strong community. Step-up your blogging by guest-posting on established, high-traffic blogs to further raise awareness of your project.
More than anything, gamers like to feel that developers have a genuine interest in their projects. Blogs that are updated on a weekly basis are often much more successful than those with sporadic updates. That’s because players want a site where they can find everything – from patch updates to behind-the-scenes stories directly from the developers themselves.
#2. YouTube Videos
There’s a reason why video producer PewDiePie has the most subscribed channel on YouTube. In fact, influencer marketing is one of the most important of all advertising channels in the gaming industry, not least because of the enormous rise of Let’s Play videos and video-based walkthroughs and tutorials. That’s why one of your primary post-launch goals should be to reach out to influencers and forge relationships with some of the biggest names in the industry.
YouTube also presents a great opportunity for creating and publishing your own branded content. By adding launch trailers, patch announcements, behind-the-scenes content, walkthroughs and even interviews with players, you’ll be well on your way to building a strong fanbase.
#3. Gaming Communities
The previous two points focus on the most important factor in the world of video game development: community.
Community management is at the very core of modern marketing. That’s why every studio must actively lead and inspire its target audience across a wide range of platforms.
While it often makes sense to have your own official forum to serve as a hub for your online community, you must never neglect the importance of major social networks and other platforms tailored specifically for the wider gaming community. In addition to major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Instagram, it’s wise to maintain a strong presence on specialist platforms like Discord and Steam community pages.
The way you build, manage and promote your community is the way your video game will thrive and survive. The power of post-launch marketing gives you a chance to uncover many lucrative new opportunities, such as the launch of expansion packs, DLCs and even full-fledged sequels. You owe it to your players and the future of your brand to develop a loyal fan base – which will end up doing much of your promotional work for you.