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Marketing Strategies that Impact How Online Games are Played

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Marketing Strategies that Impact How Online Games are Played

Marketing departments and agencies have their fingerprints over everything that’s online these days, whether it’s creating content that boosts the search engine rankings of their clients or using affiliates to push increasingly aggressive promotional campaigns and special offers. The result can be a disorientating one for many online gamers, who rather than being left to simply get on with their gaming experience are pulled from pillar to post by competing marketeers, all who want their clients to get as big a piece of the gaming pie as possible.

Here we explore the possibility that marketing techniques in the online sphere have now gone so far that they are actively affecting the way in which online games are played, raising the question of: is a gamer the one really in control when they pick up their controller or mouse?

Marketing campaigns and techniques might just be having more of an affect on online gamers than the gamers themselves realize

Promotions Influence How Certain Games are Approached

While it is not always crystal clear exactly how marketing techniques directly impact the play in certain games, there are others where it is abundantly clear. One such sub-section of online gaming are classic online games like card games, table games, and dice games, which often require players to sign up to a provider’s site or app before playing.

However, signing up with one of these providers usually stems from a player having been advertised a sign-up deal or bonus. In order for said player to clear that bonus they are limited to which games they can play on the platform, while at the same time being set additional parameters and limitations that directly impact on the way they would otherwise play. This means that when applying the simple plans for many games – that are laid out in online blogs and chat rooms – it often becomes a little more complicated and blurred as to the best way for a player to approach the games at hand.

So much of what gaming platforms do to generate revenues is to give marketing and publicity agencies access to their client bases

F2P Games That Don’t Stay Free for Long

Another means of luring new players to a certain game or platform is to offer access to it completely free of charge, only charging at a later stage to give access to more levels or upgrades of some variety. The most high-profile example of this was Fortnite, which then spawned a whole host of copycats. Of course, a player’s willingness or unwillingness to pay for in-game upgrades directly impacts how they will approach gameplay.

This is especially obvious in battle royale games, where certain devices and avatar skins can increase a player’s performance markedly, but only if they’ve paid for them or found a way to unlock them by other means. Mobile games in particular are made this way, their developers hopeful that players will stick with a game they have fallen in love with, even if it costs them to do it.

In-game Marketing is Now Integral to Open World Gameplay

While the marketing techniques mentioned above are not always that visible and obvious to the uninitiated gamer, there are other in-game marketing techniques which are designed to be obvious.

Back in the days of games like Doom and Quake, it was unheard of for game maps to be littered with advertising banners or announcements, but that has changed rapidly in recent years, as developers cash in on the fact that they have almost limitless amounts of premium advertising space available to them, as long as their game designers create it. This now means that players of games like Call of Duty and The Sims are well used to being exposed to high levels of in-game marketing. Call of Duty’s post-apocalyptic landscapes and cities are packed with ads, and Sims characters can actually be dressed up in Moschino outfits that accurately mimic the fashion label’s real life clothing lines.

Bhanu Garg

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