The biggest gaming event in the world is less than two months away. Crazy, right? It seems like all of these monster gaming conventions sneak up on us right at the last minute, and as a result, we tend to get caught up in the excitement and forget how to properly approach these types of events. Especially with a large event like E3, you need to be careful how you promote your game and brand during the events of the week. Let’s face it: E3 is primarily about the biggest AAA games of the next few years, with little room for indie developers to promote themselves. What PR tactics do you need to keep in mind before E3 2014 comes our way? Take a look below and learn for yourself.
Don’t announce any news during E3
There is so much news that breaks during the week of E3 that you don’t have a chance of even becoming a blip on the radar among journalists. It’s sad to say, but believe me: E3 week is devoted primarily to AAA games. Take it from me: every day is devoted to learning about the biggest games of the upcoming year, taking notes, and translating those notes to previews, highlights, news, and so on, and for at least that week, journalists don’t have time to write about news devoted to an indie game from an unknown developer. It’s sad to say, and in a perfect world this would not be the case. Yet, E3 is too noisy. It belongs to the AAA studios, so don’t bother fighting for media attention. Pick your battles, and you will be glad you did.
Furthermore, seriously consider not breaking any news the week after E3. Why? Again, so many journalists will be writing previews, features, and more detailing what they saw at E3. You can’t compete with that, so wait the week after until you announce news.
That isn’t to say E3 is not for indie developers. There is certainly a place for indie developers at the world’s biggest gaming conference despite the focus on AAA developers. If you have a chance to go to E3 2014 – go! You may even find members of the press that want to speak with you and learn more about your game. Just remember:
Choose quiet meeting spots
If you have the option to meet a member of the press at a quiet area, do it. Consider meeting the individual outside of the convention center, such as at a coffee shop, or even in a hotel lobby down the street. It’s difficult to conduct an appropriate interview where all the noise is, so pick a peaceful, semi-quiet spot, and let the interview commence.
Bonus points if you bring your laptop with you and allow the interviewer to play the game for a few moments. This will give them a better idea about the game, and who knows? They may write a preview of the game as well!
Don’t release your game/Kickstarter campaign during E3
Kickstarter campaigns that should have succeeded have ultimately failed because they were released during E3. Nobody is going to cover your Kickstarter campaign if it goes live the week of E3, and what’s more? Readers are not going to care, which will seriously cause your campaign to cease any momentum from the get-go. Furthermore, don’t release your game during the week of E3 either. If it is scheduled to go live that week, reschedule it for a few weeks after E3 so the press can have a chance to cover it. It’s the same idea behind the first tip: AAA studios are vying for the attention of the press, and they are going to get it.
And if you attend E3?
Business cards are a must
Again, you must have a business card ready to hand out at all times. One of our past posts detail exactly how to use business cards to your advantage, so follow that advice and make them work for you.
The takeaways from these tips?
- Don’t announce anything related to your indie game during E3.
- Possibly the week after E3.
- Important releases such as Kickstarter campaigns, game releases, even newsworthy DLC/in-app purchases shouldn’t be released during E3.
- If you attend E3, use it to network and possibly get a few interviews out of the trip.
- Just because E3 is tailor made for AAA studios doesn’t mean indie developers cannot get something out of it as well.
- Above all, use ‘good PR sense’ during E3 week. Your brand will benefit from it.
Any PR advice you want to give indie developers on dealing with E3 week? Let us know in the comments below!