How to launch a video game on Twitter

Friday, 21 October 2016

With over half of people on Twitter in the UK owning a console, gamers are fast becoming one of the most active groups on the platform. And when given the opportunity, gamers light up Twitter. They’re a community that’s really engaged: they post videos and pictures, and exchange tips. We saw that recently with @RockstarGames’s launch Tweets for “Red Dead Redemption”. It earned over 1M likes and Retweets with just-three-Tweets.

That kind of result shows the success publishers can achieve when launching a game on Twitter if you mobilise this incredibly passionate audience with exceptional creative that gets everyone talking.

#GearsOfWar4: Campaign Excellence

A game that has done just that on Twitter is Xbox’s latest exclusive release, Gears of War 4. With a title that has a lifespan older than Twitter itself, there’s heaps of nostalgia and a huge fanbase – one that needed to be excited to ultimately give the game the launch that it deserved. Working with Xbox’s agencies we created a plan with five key components that really got fans psyched for the launch.

  1. Drive impact and trailer views at launch with First View + Promoted Trend

    The best way to make a splash, own the conversation and get your key piece of hero content in front of as many eyeballs as possible? A First View with Promoted Trend. For Xbox (@xboxuk), this meant that on launch day, the very first piece of promoted content that people across the UK would see when they fired up Twitter was the #GearsOfWar4 trailer. Gamers’ excitement can be contagious, so making sure as many of them as possible see your content is important.

  2. Fuel conservation and discovery with a Twitter Custom Emoji

    One way to get gamers shouting loud about your title is with a custom emoji. Gears of War launched its emoji to build excitement before the title was out. The emoji created an increase in conversation across the globe and worked as a fantastic badge of honour as the launch day loomed closer.

  3. Use Periscope to activate your core fans and take people into the game without leaving Twitter.

    Xbox used Periscope throughout this campaign in two very unique ways.

    The first was a brilliant partnership with grime rapper @JmeBBK who is also a big Gears of War fan. Xbox set him up in a random location in London, dressed in full Gears attire. They told gamers that if they could find him, they could play the game with him AND get their hands on a bunch of cool prizes. Obviously they found him.

    Xbox also made full use of our newly launched Periscope Producer tool. This allows you to stream video and audio from most sources. In the buildup to launch it scheduled a series of “Let’s Plays” that streamed the prologue and showed off the cool things about the title.

  4. Seed key game visuals with Twitter Promoted Stickers

    Stickers are a cool new product that lets people customise and decorate their photos on Twitter. We offer brands the chance to buy a fixed one-week placement, with Promoted Stickers. Xbox was one of the first brands in the UK to use this new product by launching a four-sticker pack that gave gamers the creative tools to dress themselves, their friends or even their dogs into Gears-themed items. People on Twitter loved them! (So did I.)
  5. Encourage gameplay with #PartnerUp.

    The final piece of the launch was a highly bespoke auto-response campaign that we called ‘#PartnerUp’. Through a simple Twitter mechanic, Xbox gave gamers the opportunity to #PartnerUp with a like-minded gamer to play Gears in cooperative mode for a chance to win cool prizes.

    This activity brought to life the strong cooperative elements of the title, connected gamers from across the country and rewarded those that took part. It also racked up thousands of Tweets in just a few hours.

    How to launch a video game on Twitter