Triplepoints of Interest: Jan.29

In this week’s TPoI, GDC withdraws award for Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell, Ubisoft cancels Rainbow Six Siege price hike, and EA CEO Andrew Wilson defends the company’s current games lineup.   

GDC Rescinds Pioneer Award for Nolan Bushnell Due to Past Sexual Misconduct  

The Game Developers Conference announced in a blog post on Tuesday the recipients for the special awards at the event, Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail, Double Fine Founder Tim Schafer, and Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell. Bushnell’s nomination for the award drew a huge amount of criticism from members of the industry, which The Verge collected and featured in an article which detailed reports of Nolan harassing and sexually exploiting women. Glixel reports that GDC acknowledged the feedback and has decided to rescind his Pioneer Award nomination. Nolan Bushnell also came out with a message on his Twitter account praising the conference’s decision to rescind the award and has apologized for his past transgressions.  

Ubisoft Withdraws Rainbow Six Siege Price Hike In Response to Community Backlash

Ubisoft’s tactical first person shooter Rainbow Six Siege has built up a large community over the last 3 years, with the game receiving regular updates and re releases throughout the game’s lifespan. While fans have generally enjoyed the updates that Ubisoft have brought to the game, a recent price increase announcement drew criticism from the community. Gamesindustry.biz explained that the price increase would affect all retail copies and would raise the price of the base game from $40 to $60. Paste Magazine reports that the developers have retracted their decision and are now offering rewards for player who play before the next content expansion as a way to give back to the community.

EA CEO Defends Company Line Up

During the company’s quarterly earnings call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson reportedly defended the studio’s recent releases, praising his employees for their hard work and the diversity of content they have put out. Kotaku reports that while critical reviews of Electronic Arts recent releases haven’t been overwhelmingly positive and some titles have underperformed, EA’s stock as continued to rise and the company plans to continue developing new titles while employing the same design strategies. Variety recently covered the company’s decision to reintroduce microtransactions into the controversial title Star Wars: Battlefront II so that it aligns with their current design strategy. While the company has prospered and generated lots of revenue due to big budget launches and microtransaction sales, this has come at the cost of their image, with Comicbook.com reporting that EA was named one of the worst companies in the world in Wall Street’s newest ranked lists, which cross references customer satisfaction surveys, employee reviews, and the American Customer Satisfaction Index to find out which companies are disliked the most.  

Triplepoints of Interest: Dec. 25

Happy Holidays from everyone at TriplePoint! In this week’s TPoI, the Nintendo Switch sets a new first year sales milestone, Apple apologizes for slowing down iOS devices, and a gaming-related swatting incident leads to fatal shooting.  

Nintendo Switch Breaks First Year Sales Record

Data from Media Create’s recent gaming market survey indicates that the Nintendo Switch has become the fastest selling console in the Japanese market, even outstripping Sony’s Playstation 2, which sold 200,000 less units than the Switch in its first year. IGN reports that these numbers were helped by the recent holiday season, where over 221,000 units were purchased from major Japanese retailers. My Nintendo News reports that the Nintendo Switch has now outsold Nintendo’s previous Wii U console, which sold 3.3 million units throughout its lifespan. Polygon speculates that these high sales numbers indicate the consoles cultural appeal and expect the console to sell well in the future.

Apple Apologizes for Slowing Down iOS Devices

In a lengthy blog post posted to the company’s website Thursday morning, Apple gave an in-depth explanation of why recent updates to iOS devices have been slowing them down. CNN reports that the updates purposely slowed down older devices in hopes to extend their battery life. The Verge praised Apple for temporarily discounting the price of battery replacements on older devices from $79 to $29 while nothing that Apple’s decision to slow down devices greatly impacted the performance of devices for heavy tasks like app use and gaming. Business Insider reports that Apple will be adding new features to indicate battery health and increase performance, which should help consumers decide if they want to upgrade or fix their current device.

“Swatting” Incident Leads to Fatal Shooting   

Swatting, the act of calling in a fake threat of violence to the police which has seen a rise in popularity in the gaming and live streaming community due to an increase in internet trolling and doxing, may have led to the deadly police shooting of Kansas man earlier this week. The Wichita Eagle reports that the false story reported to the police may have been made by a disgruntled gamer who lost a small bet while playing Call of Duty with a friend. The Verge reports that Andrew Finch, the victim of the fatal incident, opened the door for the SWAT team and was shot down in response. The Chicago Tribune featured a statement from Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston who said that they had reason to believe that the shooter was holding his mother, brother and sister hostage and that the police force is investigating the incident and hope to find the instigator soon.    

Triplepoints of Interest – Dec. 4

In this week’s TPoI, Sony’s PlayStation 4 sells over 70 million units worldwide, Ubisoft delays their 2018 lineup, and EA reevaluates monetization strategies for Battlefront II.

PlayStation 4 Sells Over 70 Million Worldwide
Early Thursday morning, Sony announced that over 70.6 million PlayStation 4 consoles have been sold worldwide since the system’s launch in November 2013. The Nikkei reports that Sony, which expects to log it’s first record profit in over two decades, has benefited greatly from the PlayStation 4’s record sales as well as the success of games and other media built for the platform. Polygon reports that the console’s continued success has pushed Sony to revise their sales goal for the 2017 fiscal year from 18 million units to 19 million units. Forbes speculates that the PlayStation 4 is on track to outperform last generations PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 but it may not outperform the PlayStation 2, which sold over 155 million units over its lifetime.

Ubisoft Delays 2018 Lineup
In an effort to develop more engaging and higher quality experiences, Ubisoft has delayed 3 of their upcoming titles including Far Cry 5, The Crew 2, and a currently unannounced game. Eurogamer speculates that this announcement comes as a result of Assassin’s Creed Origins achieving critical acclaim after the game was delayed to improve the gameplay experience. Forbes featured the new release dates for Ubisoft’s upcoming games, which have been shifted between a month to a quarter from their originally planned dates.

EA Rethinks Star Wars Battlefront II Microtransactions
Only a week after launching to mixed reviews and a sharp backlash from fans, EA has annouced that they are considering alternative microtransaction methods for Star Wars Battlefront II. Seeking Alpha reports that EA projected revenues have fallen to $1,149 million. Glixel speculates that EA and Dice may have been pushed to pursue alternative strategies not only due to community feedback, but also due to government pushback as the US government evaluates the legality of microtransactions in games. While PC Gamer note that while the developers have made progress in updating the game’s character progression system, the community is still upset and hope that the game will improve in the near future.

Triplepoints of Interest – Nov. 27

In this week’s TPoI, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds gets a mobile port in China, Destiny 2 fans are upset by dishonest XP system, and the Nintendo Switch tops sales charts over the Black Friday weekend.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Goes Mobile

The PUBG Corporation released a cinematic trailer on Thursday showcasing two new mobile versions of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds which will launch first in China. Polygon confirms that the two games, Army Attack by Timi Studios and Battlefield by Tencent, will try to bring the PUBG experience to the Chinese audience by adapting the games to better fit the Chinese mobile space. Comicbook.com reports that PUBG Corp has partnered with Tencent and Timi to adapt the game for the Chinese region by porting it to a more accessible platform and incorporating “socialist values” into core gameplay. PC Gamer featured the newly released trailer and highlighted new features including attack helicopters, large squad-based matches, and a large naval destroyer.

Destiny 2 Fans Upset Over Experience Scaling Issues

Bungie received negative backlash from fans this week after the discovery of an experience scaling system which some believe was created to encourage players to purchase microtransactions. GameSpot reports that the system, which limited the amount of XP which players can earn during a play session, was meant to restrict the rewards which a player can receive by leveling up. PC Gamer featured a blog post from Bungie which confirms that the developers will be removing the system, but also doubling the amount of XP required to level up, which also upset the fanbase community. True Achievement reports that head game designers Luke Smith and Chris Barrett are aware of the community’s criticism and are actively adjusting the system to match the expectations of their fanbase.

The Nintendo Switch Tops Console Sales Charts During Thanksgiving Weekend

Despite the fact that the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro were on deep discounts during Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, data from Adobe’s Digital Insights Initiatives system shows that the Nintendo Switch was the highest selling console of the weekend. Gamesindustry.biz reports that the Nintendo Switch was able to secure the highest selling spot during the period without receiving major discounts at any big-box retail store. VG 24/7 notes that these numbers are not surprising after the system approaches its 4th month as the highest selling console in the United States but that the continued sales should help the platform reach a large audience in the west. IGN reports that Nintendo’s recent success is reflected in the company’s stock, which has gone up 88.5% in the last year alone.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – AUGUST 7

In this week’s TPoI, VoIP service Discord adds video chat and screen sharing, studies show that games affect the brain differently depending on mechanics and genre, and the International Olympic Committee is considering esports for the 2024 Paris summer games.

Gaming-Focused VoIP Service Discord adds Video Chat and Screen Sharing

Discord announced early Thursday morning that they will be testing new video chatting and screen sharing services with 5% of their active userbase. Since it’s initial launch in 2015, the gaming focused Voice over Internet Protocol service has grown to be the most popular voice solution for gamers around the world. TechCrunch reports that users with access to the service will be able to chat with up to ten of their friends with resolutions up to 720p at 30 frames per second, twice the framerate that their main competitor Skype provides. Engadget provided images and gif of the video feed in use and shows that users can move video feeds around their screen for easier visibility as well as allowing users to view video feeds on top of their games. Although the service is being rolled out over time, Destructoid notes that video calls may be turned off during the testing period due to bandwidth restrictions.

University of Montreal Study Shows that Video Games Affect the Brain Differently

New studies by the University of Montreal show that different games have varying effects on the brain. NPR columnist Courtney Columbus interviewed scientists from the University of Montreal that said that playing puzzle games like Super Mario can lead to the growth of the hippocampus. SYFY Wire notes that the study also shows that first person experiences like shooters can lead to the reduction of the same brain region and that lower levels of gray matter in the hippocampus can lead to elevated depression, Alzheimer’s and a higher risk of PTSD. The Telegraph reports that the study was conducted with the help of 51 men and 46 women that were asked to play a variety of games for a total of 90 hours each.

International Olympic Committee Considers esports for 2024 Paris Summer Games

The Guardian reports that the International Olympic Committee is considering esports medal events for the 2024 summer games as the sport genre has raised in popularity. The esports industry has increased in popularity dramatically, with CNN reporting that the global audience rose to over 292 million viewers in 2016. The Washington Post reports that there are still barriers before esports is accepted however, with International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach disapproving of the medal events. The Asian Games will debut esports as an exhibition event to test if there is an audience for future esports events at international competitions.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – JUNE 26

In this week’s TPoI, Twitch revamps its mobile app, the SNES Classic hits stores in September, and Super League Gaming raises $15 million in funding.

Twitch to Update Mobile App With Major Changes

Twitch has announced that their mobile app will receive an upgraded design alongside new features that will launch in the next two weeks. PC Mag disclosed that the app will feature a social feed called Pulse, allowing users to like and comment on posts from other broadcasters. VentureBeat adds that streamers can livestream directly from their phone’s camera allowing for vlog-style broadcasts, but gameplay footage will still be unavailable. Nonetheless, Engadget surmises that this may help Twitch expand its platform beyond games, and is curious to see how these changes will impact Twitch. TechCrunch states that the app is slowly rolling out to iOS and Android and will be made available to all users by early July.

SNES Classic Released in Late September

Nintendo revealed that the Super Nintendo Classic will be available on September 29 for $80. Kotaku reports that the SNES will come with 21 games along with the unreleased Star Fox 2. Washington Post feels that the throwback to old school consoles is a great way for Nintendo to boost its revenue and success, since this launch will follow the release of the Switch and the NES. Thrillist expressed excitement for the release and hopes that the SNES won’t sell out as quickly as the NES Classic. Forbes reports that Nintendo has promised that there will be a significant increase in production this time around, but advises consumers to pre-order a console as soon as the option becomes available as the SNES may still be difficult to find.

Super League Gaming Raises $15 Million from Nickelodeon, DMG, and Others for Amateur Esports

Thursday, Super League Gaming which hosts esports competitions in movie theaters and online for amateur video game players, announced it raised $15 million in Series C funding. Backers include entertainment players like DMG and Nickelodeon, as well as traditional sports owners like the Tampa Bay Lightning ownership and esports VC group, aXiomatic. IB Times believes that Nickelodeon’s investment in Super League Gaming is a notable move due to the kid-friendly focus and predicts that the network will launch potential new competitive shows or partnerships in the near future. GameIndustry adds that Super League Gaming has now raised more than $28 million to date since launching in 2014. Engadget states that investors are becoming interested in esports because the industry’s estimated worth was recorded at $1.13 billion this year.

The Brand Benefits of Publisher Conventions – BlizzCon

Conventions and the video game industry go hand-in-hand: there’s the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), Germany’s Gamescom, Comic-Cons, and more. Other than QuakeCon (and EA Play this year), it’s rare for publishers to host their own consumer-facing “mega event.” Most companies like Capcom, Ubisoft, and Nintendo share the stage and make special reveals during E3 (which is no longer open to the public) and other general gaming events.

Blizzard Entertainment is not like many companies, though as its 10th annual BlizzCon wrapped on November 4-5 celebrating all of the brand’s biggest franchises. Selling out in roughly 10 minutes, it is safe to say this annual convention is one of the most popular in the industry with no signs of slowing down!

Hosting a convention to promote your own properties and celebrate your fan base can be an extremely effective brand marketing strategy — evidenced by Blizzard. Publisher conventions can make fans feel rewarded, important,and valued. It gives attendees a chance to meet the artists and developers behind their favorite games, creating a personal connection that helps strengthen their brand affinity.

In order to understand why publishers should host conventions of their own, TriplePoint takes a look at what makes BlizzCon an impressive marketing tool, unique from other experiences, and what other companies can do to provide that same value. TriplePoint has taken all of this into account and has established five key BlizzCon 2016 brand marketing takeaways:

 

Surprising Announcements / Unique Information Distribution Structure

Each year, BlizzCon is home to new reveals and big surprises surrounding its IPs (World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch). Key highlights from this year’s BlizzCon included the eagerly awaited new Overwatch hero, Sombra, the Overwatch League announcement, Diablo 3’s upcoming Necromancer class, and Hearthstone’s new expansion Gadgetzan, and more. Interestingly enough this year Blizzard chose to separate its product news from esports news, with product on the first day and esports on the following day.

Blizzard’s strategy to lead its announcements with product news is because unlike product, which has more timing flexibility, esports stories need time to develop — tournaments need to be played and winners need to be determined. Having designated days for both types of stories ensures a steady flow of information for the press and consumers. Press will have enough time to cover, news will be easier to digest, and information won’t get lost — they can dominate the news cycle.

 

Watch the Best of the Best Play

Esports are another unique aspect of BlizzCon that is surprisingly not explored by other video game conventions.The best players from around the world gather to BlizzCon to showcase their skills and compete for huge prizes. The convention center is split into several parts where each space is devoted to specific tournaments in Blizzard’s gaming library. Having world championship tournaments during BlizzCon generates tournament results and team interview coverage, fandom, and an overall event spectacle.

 

Green screen by PhotoBoothless, find out more at http://www.photoboothless.com/

Network with Industry Professionals

BlizzCon serves as a mecca, drawing in fans from all over the world and from different backgrounds. Since there is something for everyone, BlizzCon was filled with cosplayers, community managers, artists, press, developers, representatives from other games, tech companies and more. BlizzCon is a dense concentration of video game industry professionals and offers immense opportunity to connect with key industry players.

 

Get Up Close and Personal with Devs and Artists

One of BlizzCon’s greatest strengths is being able to generate a personal connection with fans through intimate events like Signing Areas and Q&A’s. Often times at conventions developers have little time to talk about their games, only showing cutscenes and trailers of games without being able to provide details on other aspects — not the case at BlizzCon. Not only should developers and artists interact with press, but the community itself is just as crucial. Q&A’s set time aside for the community and helps them understand where developers and artists are coming from when designing a game. Blizzard understands this and does it well.

 

Hands-On Experiences

BlizzCon had many demo stations for Blizzard’s key titles, filled with new content yet to be released to the public. This concept is not new for video game conventions, but BlizzCon has the advantage of knowing virtually all consumers will be interested in all demo stations; therefore can optimize and personalize the content for the trade show attendees (vs. a content free-for-all at an event such as PAX). BlizzCon’s demo stations allow players to take their time, experience the new changes implemented into franchises they are deeply invested in, and provide valuable feedback. Sure, companies can host events for press to test a demo, but it’s equally important for the game’s community to experience it. It brings insight from different skill levels and backgrounds as well as tests what works and doesn’t work with its most important stakeholders — the fans.

 

Red Shirt Guy!

BlizzCon is a celebration of not only Blizzard’s video games but also its dedicated community they’ve cultivated for many years. Conventions can serve as an effective marketing tool, providing long-term value and building faith with your audience. In the end, players want games to succeed and to have fun. Personalized trade events such as BlizzCon are a great way to connect and celebrate with the fans.

 

TriplePoints of Interest – Week of May 23


Calling all agents: Overwatch has finally launched this week — and we’re not the only ones excited about it! The game has been getting rave reviews and the hype train shows no signs of stopping. In other news, Tencent could soon be the proud owner of Clash of Clans, and the company behind Rolling Stone will be adding a new site devoted to gamers.

Continue reading TriplePoints of Interest – Week of May 23

Join TriplePoint for PR Workshops at Parisoma This Summer!

TriplePoint is teaching a series of workshops on the basics of PR this summer in San Francisco. Intended for entrepreneurs and useful for anyone who wants to understand how PR works, the classes are offered in partnership with Parisoma. An incubator and coworking space, Parisoma has a great education and mentorship program that we’re proud to be part of! Continue reading Join TriplePoint for PR Workshops at Parisoma This Summer!

How to Leverage Content Marketing for PR

Developing a consistent and useful content campaign is time-consuming, but it’s a non-negotiable for today’s marketers that want to amp up search results and engage potential customers with thoughtful blogs, webinars and whitepapers.

To make the most of this hard work, marketers can “double-dip” by leveraging the content development process for another element of the marketing mix: PR.  Continue reading How to Leverage Content Marketing for PR

What Working at a Steakhouse Taught Me about Media Relations

The summer of 2007, I volunteered as a marketing intern at my hometown radio station. My job was to attend local movie premieres (the kindof events you can win tickets for if you’re the fifth caller to the station), check tickets, and hand out swag. I’d even get to watch the film afterward. While watching the best of 2007’s summer movies was a good way to escape the heat, it didn’t pay my college tuition, so I took a part-time job waitressing at a steakhouse.

After a summer in the hot kitchens and a few years working with journalists, it occurred to me that a few months with wood-polished tables and Surf ‘n’ Turf specials prepared me as much for media relations as my more formal training. Beyond learning a few tricks for getting grease stains out of Oxford shirts, my time at the steakhouse allowed me to work with a variety of different people in an environment where each request was time-sensitive. The relationships between customers, restaurant management, and chefs are not unlike those of a journalist, PR staff, and a brand.

Continue reading What Working at a Steakhouse Taught Me about Media Relations

The Six Principles of Influence, and How to Use Them: Part 2

Two weeks ago we debuted part one of our Six Principles of Influence, and How to Use Them, and today’s post will focus on the remaining three principles: Reciprocity, Commitment/Consistency, and Liking/Rapport.

4. Reciprocity

Reciprocity, or the Law of Reciprocity as it is known, states that people want to give back to others who have given to them. Like consensus, this dates back to hunter-gatherer times, where the hunters would go out to get food while the other tribe members stayed and watched over the village and tended to other needs. Reciprocity developed here because the village knew that they would be getting meat and food when the hunters returned, which they needed to survive. On the flip side, the hunter who brought the food needed to know that if they returned frail or hurt there would someone in the village to take care of them and nurse them back to health.

Reciprocity started out mainly as a symbiotic relationship and has stayed ingrained in our consciousness and subconsciousness ever since. Reciprocity can be seen at play with holiday cards, a tradition that many people take part in each year. If the Smith family sends you a card, you will feel indebted to them and want to send them a card back, even if you don’t like the Smith Family! With the law of reciprocity in play, we often find ourselves in situations like this with gifts, favors, and help, because people want to give back to those who have given to them. They are compelled to give back in order to remove the feeling of indebtedness they have from the original action or deed. Continue reading The Six Principles of Influence, and How to Use Them: Part 2

The Six Principles of Influence, and How to Use Them: Part 1


Back in the end of June, I had the opportunity to attend a massive marketing event in Atlanta. Titled “Conversion and Compliance 3.0,” the event was held over two days, bringing in a range of speakers who covered a number of different marketing and communication topics.

One such speaker was Dr. Robert Cialdini, who is internationally known for his best-selling book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. In it, Cialdini breaks down what he describes as the six core principles of influence. They include Scarcity, Authority, Consensus, Reciprocity, Commitment/Consistency and Liking/Social Proof.

All of these principles are incredibly powerful and can be utilized in many different daily environments. This post delves into the first three, giving an in-depth look at what each principle is and how they can be used.

1. Scarcity

Scarcity is based around the idea that we want more of something the less there is of it. Scarcity can apply to physical items, such as a popular menu item that is being discontinued, or an offer that is only available for a limited time. Think back to every infomercial you have ever seen on TV, “order in the next 20 minutes and receive double the offer for no extra cost!” This is scarcity in action: if you don’t act soon you’ll be stuck with only one of the thing that you don’t really need, and thus your life will be worse.

Applying Scarcity to your life can be done best in relation to time. Your time is finite, and thus incredibly valuable. However, if you are always giving it out to people, they will not respect it and you will be worse off for it. If your time is scarce, people will value the interactions they have with you even more because they will subconsciously know that those interactions are not something they have whenever they please. A few months back, Apple CEO Tim Cook took part in a charity auction for a coffee meeting with him. The initial offering valued his time at $50,000, but the auction ended up closing for $610,000. How could one person’s time ever be worth that much? Scarcity.

2. Authority

Authority is important for people because authority builds credibility and trust. If you’ve ever had someone break into your car or steal something from your home, you call the police because they are the “authorities,” someone who you can trust to help with your problem and help you obtain a desired solution, whether that is getting the stolen goods back or finding the perpetrators.

Authority extends far beyond law enforcement, and can be seen in many different business settings. Think of Best Buy, who has brilliantly branded their computer tech and service department as the “Geek Squad.” When everyday people don’t know what is wrong with their computers, they go to the Geek Squad because they have a link to geeks being an authority in fixing all things technical.

You may be an authority figure in a given field; however you must tread carefully when peddling your wares. Telling others you run the hottest new startup in Silicon Valley will not showcase you as an authority figure, but instead will make others look at you with disdain as someone who is pompous and egotistical. What is better is to have others validate your authority for you. If I tell someone that my friend John is an incredibly smart guy who runs Silicon Valley’s hottest startup, this will seem much for credible to the listener. Whether or not this is true doesn’t necessarily matter; subconsciously, my building up John’s company is perceived as true, because it is coming from a second party who the person knows and who seems to have no reason to lie.

With Authority comes great power, so it is important to not abuse the power given to you by authority.

3. Consensus

Consensus refers to the idea that people look to others around them, who are like them, to see what they should be doing in a given situation. This is ingrained biologically from our hunter-gatherer times, where if one member of a given community didn’t follow the pack and acted differently from others (whether in hunting, traveling, or mating) they were not as likely to survive. In a behavioral sense, consensus makes it easier to fit into an unfamiliar situation. If you’ve never been to an opera, you’re going to look at other members of the audience for cues when to clap, when to stand, and when to stay quiet, because it is easier for you to follow the crowd rather than test out new behaviors on your own.

A big part of consensus also revolves around relating to others: if we have like behavior or find something in common with another person we are more open and receptive to them and are more likely to find them friendly.

Where this applies in an influence sense is that consensus can be used to elicit specific behaviors from those you interact with. As a Doctor, you could use consensus to help guide people towards particular procedures that are beneficial but which the patients may be hesitant about: “Most patients who are like you with X ailment choose to go through with this procedure, and most of them have a quick and easy recovery.” In this case, the patient is more likely to be convinced to have the surgery because others like them have done it before. This is consensus in action.

Ready for more? Check out The Six Principle of Influence, and How to Use Them: Part 2.

8 PR Tips for Kickstarter Projects

Over the past year, we’ve been hearing from developers who want PR support not for the launch of their game, but for their Kickstarter projects. Promoting a Kickstarter project bears some similarity to a traditional product PR campaign; however, there are some major differences that will influence the way you approach a PR effort. Like any game, product, or service, it must be of high quality and there must be a demand for it in order for PR to be effective. If you’ve got that covered, then the next step is getting the word out in the right way; here are some tips and best practices we’ve learned through experience and observation.

1) Ask Not for Money

A common complaint we’ve heard from members of the press is that writing about Kickstarter projects puts them in an awkward position, or worse, a conflict of interests. The reporter’s job is to inform their readers, not to help a struggling artist raise money. If one goal accomplishes the other, so be it, but in your outreach to press, you must avoid asking for help or assistance in reaching your fundraising goal. Your objective should be to show and tell about the amazing game you’re developing, not to put the pressure you feel to reach a fundraising goal on other people.

2) Early Access for Media

One of the greatest advantages any game developer has in terms of PR is being new and unannounced. Once you’re live on Kickstarter, you’re not quite as new anymore. So treat your Kickstarter launch as a proper launch and offer a select handful of press some early access to the info, assets, and/or game preview you plan to share when your Kickstarter goes live.

3) Target Wisely

Some journalists have tweeted or written about “Kickstarter fatigue” and not wanting to hear about or write about any more Kickstarters. Avoid these people. Before you contact someone, read their work to make sure they are interested in the type of game you’re making, and that they’ve shown interest in promising Kickstarter projects before.

4) Update Often

We’ve seen a direct correlation between Kickstarter project updates, and the flow of donations, so keep your community informed with lively and regular updates and your chances of success and building a fanbase will increase. You should prepare a schedule of updates before you go live so you can drip-feed them over the course of the campaign. Hasty or hollow updates can actually deter backers.

5) Tap into Nostalgia or Unmet Demand

The projects that fare the best on Kickstarter, for the most part, all have something in common. Some tap into a nostalgia we all have for a long-forgotten game franchise or defunct IP from our childhoods and the collective desire to bring it back. Some play into a sense of unmet demand for a game or product that people clearly want to have but no big company has yet devoted the resources to produce. Others instill a sense of confidence in their backers because the team behind it has an incredible pedigree and a track record of success. Most successful games on Kickstarter will tick one of these three boxes. Note that the successful “nostalgia” projects typically also offer something new and innovative, not just a revival of something old.

6) Get Ready Before Launch

You need to have a working game to show before you launch the Kickstarter. Don’t let Kickstarter be the debut of your concept — you should have a working prototype or more. John Rhee, an indie developer who recently ran a successful Kickstarter for his game Liege, wisely advised, “Your development progress should be inverse to your studio pedigree. Only established studios can expect to get funded off a concept. If you don’t have recognizable IPs under your belt, you’ll need to be well into development and have a lot to show.”

7) Time Your Project Deliberately

Think carefully about the launch, middle and end of your project. Be ready to wow people at launch, but sustain the flow of info and updates over the course of the campaign. Prepare for the “middle dip”, knowing support for projects tends to slump around the halfway mark. Know where your final 48, 24 and 8 hours will land. Like any other online business, purchases tend to increase on Sunday evenings. You’d be wise to end your campaign near standard paydays, when people have more disposable income handy. Likewise, avoid launching during major holidays, particularly shopping holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving (Black Friday).

8) Leverage Kickstarter for PR

Use Kickstarter as the powerful marketing tool it can be. Around 50% of your backers will originate from within Kickstarter, as opposed to referrals from external sites. Pay close attention to your project blurb and how it appears on Kickstarter and in search results. Also, look for opportunities to cross-promote your project with other Kickstarter projects. Many successful Kickstarters got a huge bump in backers from working with fellow projects in similar genres. You’re reaching an ideal demographic of existing backers who’ve already linked their accounts to Kickstarter and have shown interest in similar projects.

Just like the App Store, Kickstarter is a crowded marketplace full of many different products for sale. Both marketplaces share a common problem: discovery. It’s hard for users to find the content they want, and the platform owners struggle to surface the right content for the right people. Until this problem is solved, you must take it upon yourself to promote your Kickstarter and use PR to your advantage. Follow these tips and you will improve your chances of success on Kickstarter.