Episode 3: Find the influencers to make your game a hit

The Games PR Podcast helps you level up your PR skills to get your game noticed by media and influencers. With years of experience working with innovative indies and gaming giants alike, join the Games PR Podcast team and special guests for a wealth of tips and honest advice. From writing pitches and getting Metacritic reviews to avoiding common mistakes and working with influencers, The Games PR Podcast is your personal PR cheat code.

From Twitch to YouTube, influencers are an essential part of a modern games PR campaign. But the world of influencers can be tricky, especially when working without a big budget to spend on paid partnerships – and how do you even find the right people to reach out to? In this episode, the team will chat about all this and more – with a little detour into the physical vs digital media debate!

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Here’s the things we will cover in this episode:

  1. What is an influencer and why are they different from the media ?
  2. Micro, Macro and finding the right influencer
  3. Fortnite, Among Us and how influencer schedules can be late
  4. More on Twitch vs You Tube
  5. What to send to influencers

If you’d prefer to read – here is the full transcript below

Introduction

Automated: Welcome to The Games PR Podcast, your regular dose of video game PR goodness. Sit down, relax as our team of experts and special guests share tips and tricks to help you level up your PR game with media and influencers.

Alex: Hello, and welcome back to The Games PR Podcast. The game that does exactly what it says on the back of the box by helping you PR your games. [00:00:30] I’m here as ever with Tom and Jack. I say as ever, but three episodes in, so we’ll get there. Today, we are going to be discussing influencer campaigns, how to run them, their timings and what to look for when you’re doing that, but we’re going to get to that in a minute. First, Tom, tell us who you are, what you do, and do you buy games in boxes anymore?

Tom: Hello, my name is Tom. I love collecting physical games. I am someone who will die on the hill that physical media is far superior to digital media and I am a account [00:01:00] executive at Big Games Machine.

Alex: Perfect. I’m going to say I’m going to send you my eBay page link after this. I’m going to have you shopping for me, Tom. I’ve got a lot of physical media that I need to get lost. I’m also here as I mentioned with Jack. Jack, who are you? What do you do and do you buy games in boxes?

Jack: Hello, I’m Jack. I am mainly in charge of the influencer stuff, which is the topic for today’s show. Do I buy games physically? Sometimes. Every year or so the new Pokémon game comes out [00:01:30] I will get that as a physical copy, but that’s pretty much it. Everything else is just digital. I don’t have a disk drive on my PC, so it doesn’t really work. Otherwise, it’s not practical.

Alex: Fair enough. Pokémon only, fair enough. I’m Alex, Senior Account Manager here at Big Games Machine and I buy games pretty much exclusively digitally now to the point that I have bought the disk drive less PS5. That’s where I put everything. Tom for those that can’t see, Tom is clutching his head.

Tom: I don’t like that. You have to–

Alex: I’ve sold pretty much everything. [00:02:00] The only physical games that I now have are GameCube games that I really wanted to hang on to, so I’ve got the full set of Resident Evil games, zero through four.

Tom: You’ll struggle to get the GameCube games digitally though, so you don’t really have a choice with that one. I don’t think you can count that because you don’t have a choice.

Jack: What are your opinions on when they say it’s a digital download, but they put it as a little card in the box itself?

Tom: It’s disgusting.

Alex: I think that’s very wasteful. Although I did quite like– [00:02:30] I’m trying to think what game it was, wracking my brain for it now. There was one Collector’s Edition they put out a while ago that didn’t come with a game, so you could buy your own game. They didn’t need to have the PS4 Collector’s Edition and then for somebody that had an Xbox one of the Collector’s edition but they’d all sold out. I guess it was a statue in a box at that point really, wasn’t it.

Tom: You’re just buying a toy basically.

Alex: Exactly.

Jack: For the price of the game.

Tom: With the box, you’re just buying a load of plastic for no reason. At least when I do it, I can do it in [00:03:00] good conscience knowing that there’s a tiny little switch cartridge in the middle of it and it could be 10 times smaller.

Jack: You don’t even get a manual these days.

Tom: Only in two indie games, they’ll give you a little five-page manual.

Alex: We are not talking about [unintelligible 00:03:22] today.

Jack: [unintelligible 00:03:19] appreciate banter, it’s all right.

Alex: It also says that we’re gamers. We sit here and I’ve got my 2,500 Steam games digitally that I’m never going to get around to playing but at least–

Jack: Doesn’t matter if they were disks.

Alex: Exactly. That was [00:03:30] exactly my point.

Jack: That’s the situation I’m in. I just like having the displays for–

Alex: We’re doing a bad job getting back on topic.

Jack: We are. I’m sure.

Alex: [crosstalk] instantly.

Jack: Carry on.

What is an influencer and why are they different from the media?

Alex: Anyway, today we are going to talk about influencers. Jack, you are our influencer manager, our influencer guru. Why don’t you take us through what we mean by an influencer campaign?

Jack: [00:04:00] Yes, for the purposes of this, we’re going to be mainly talking about Twitch and YouTube. As a umbrella term influencer, refers to what you might call content creators, streamers and YouTubers. James says Twitchers a lot and I really hate that word and I never hear anyone use it except him. If anyone does use it fair enough, but I will not subscribe to Twitchers.

They’re called a lot of things but really, we’re talking about people who you as a game developer are going to try and get into the hands of these people your game to play either on stream, live [00:04:30] or produced in a classic YouTube video and how you go about doing that. The benefits, advantages, disadvantages of it.

Alex: Absolutely. I think we should mention it’s the elephant in the room, that we’re not really going to touch on, TikTok today is emerging now as more of a gaming thing, but it’s still in its infancy. I don’t think anybody’s quite mastered how to advise on it. Maybe sometime next year, we’ll come back to it when it’s a bit clearer as to what that’s going to look like.

Of course, [00:05:00] if somebody’s listening to this next year, then this is going to feel horribly dated, but if you’re listening to this when TikTok influencers are a thing, have a look through our podcast feed and somewhere we’re probably going to have a wholly separate–

Tom: When TikTok has replaced podcasts altogether because nobody has [crosstalk].

Jack: And it has replaced all of media. There’s no websites, or YouTube or Twitch, it’s just TikTok.

Alex: I guess, why are we doing this separately from the media stuff that we’ve done previously, which was far more focused on websites reviews, [00:05:30] traditional media, its websites, but they’re content. Basically, we treat it differently because more so traditional media is a monolith in the sense that you’ll get people who are multifaceted covering all kinds of styles of games, all kind of broad genres, whereas influencers are in their niches.

It’s the difference between little puddles and a lake, [00:06:00] you’ve got all these little things everywhere and they’ve all got their own thing they’re into and then over with media, you can approach all of them and at the very least, there’ll be somebody in the organization that they’re more inclined to direct to, especially if you’re approaching an editor who’s obviously handing things out to staff writers.

Also, I think the other difference is that with influencers, it’s not really their full-time jobs, so the time of day you want to approach them is a bit different, isn’t it, Jack?

Jack: Yes, it’s more likely they’re going to [00:06:30] check their influencer inbox over the weekend or on a Friday evening, or just in the evenings. That’s also something you have to keep in mind for later when we discuss messaging and follow-ups is their time zone works pretty different. Where with media, you’re trying to hit them when they’re in the office, and with influencers, it’s the opposite. you’re really trying to hit them when they’re out of their office if they’re not full time and they’re in their influencer headspace, as it were.

Alex: Full-time is pretty– [00:07:00] I mean, there’s not many full-time influencers, certainly, not many full-time influencers that are going to easily be approached for organic [crosstalk].

Jack: Yes, not on a free strategy, or without paid content.

Alex: There are two kinds of streamer, by the way, we run campaigns, at least, and then that’s paid and unpaid.

Jack: We’re talking about unpaid for most of this, which is you’re trying [00:07:30] to approach an influencer organically without paying them and disclosing as sponsored content, no money is exchanging here. You often will give an influencer some in-game bonus or reward, because you want to give them something exclusive.

Alex: The game early and for free.

Jack: Yes. The game itself, of course, but we did have an interesting discussion earlier about demos really quickly, which is Steam demos, are especially becoming way more prominent than ever. If the gamers have long time away, but you still want to get people playing, you want to give someone a reason to get the demo through you, [00:08:00] rather than waiting or just going on Steam going that way.

You could definitely give them some incentives, almost like a Kickstarter, where you want them there. You might have their name in the credits, so they get some sign of early access before it’s even in early access kind of thing. We can talk more about that later.

Alex: That also has the advantage of driving legitimate enthusiasm, going back to the sponsored content. Which obviously, paid influencers, the content is marketing, essentially. [00:08:30] One of the reasons we’re going to focus on the unpaid influences is because ultimately paid is as successful as you can afford. You know when you place it, how big it’s going to be, at least in the opening window.

Obviously, videos have the opportunity to grow after the fact or they can blow up, but in that instance, you know [00:09:00] you’re paying for their subscribers, you’re paying for what you know pretty much their performance of each of their videos is. In the case of unpaid stuff, it’s a lot more you going there and you’re building up that interest from a smaller point and hoping they come back to us.

Jack: There is a risk with bigger influencers in that their audiences now are a lot more wise to seeing content that is sponsored and most of them want their preferred, the content creators they like they want them to be successful, but [00:09:30] there is still a quite a negative reaction to paid content. This leads us into micro versus macro because where an audience may be smaller, they may be more willing to watch content that is technically sponsored because you’re working with this influencer to make something even if you’re not paying them.

Whereas a larger audience, if you directly are giving that influencer money, they may not want to watch that video and you can see certain channels, you look at the [00:10:00] videos that don’t get as many views and you look at them and you go, “Oh, that’s sponsored.” And then you can sort of see a pattern emerging where people avoid sponsored videos. Tom, if you want to explain what we mean by macro versus micro influences.

Tom: Yes. Just carrying on what you were saying then, I think one of the lessons with that is in terms of, if you’re going to go for sponsored content, it’s almost as important to make sure you’re actually picking people who suit the game itself for the reasons that you’ve just said. You can’t just kind of have a scattershot approach and go for big channels and pay them and hope that the [00:10:30] sales come in, because if you can find a smaller channel, set up a sponsorship, but that’s actually reaching a viewership who will be engaged in your game, in the genre it’s about doing your homework.

Do they play similar games? Do they play games in the same genre? How well do the audience react to that? I just wanted to add what you said, then these videos can do really well if you actually approach them in the right way.

Jack: It’s genuine.

Micro, macro and find the right influencer

Tom: Yes. You should be looking to try and make it work as well [00:11:00] as you can and that is about doing your homework and finding the right creators and the people who– A sponsorship is a sponsorship, but you should be able to find people who are genuinely interested in your product as well, who have audiences that will be. In regards to micro and macro, how I always see it is that micro tends to be– Obviously, it’s micro, it’s a smaller creator, and they’ll focus on more specific things.

It might be as small as [00:11:30] only one or two games. There are YouTubers who will play one game every day for years. With them, it might be a bit harder to– even if your games of the same genre, to break into that and get your game on show. There’s also others who will stretch to two or three games or maybe cover a whole genre.

I think for me, they’re a great target because you’ve got someone who’s knowledgeable about the genre, you’ve got someone who’s probably got an audience that’s engaged in that and most of the time because of the size, they’ll probably more engaged [00:12:00] and better relationship with their audience, which will be a lot more helpful in terms of hopefully driving people towards your game.

Alex: Yes, and I think those micro influences, that conversion rate is obviously higher. If you’ve got that for the number of people that watch they’re probably going to follow through, like you say, more actively on the advice of the person they’re watching, cause they’re there for more than just the entertainment that they offer.

Jack: You can see that, [00:12:30] especially with Twitch streamers. Again, it goes back to about being genuine and authentic. The devs are actively interacting with the streamer and their audience being helpful and cultivating that we generally love you playing this game and we really want to make you have a great time with the game and we’re going to do what we can to help. Dropping in on that stream shows that they’re taking a time out to [00:13:00] help with this content. That’s a good sign.

Alex: The odd thing that’s being unsaid, I guess, is that the smaller people are and the newer they are, the happier they’re going to be essentially to be approached with this exclusive stuff, with these partnerships and ongoing help and devs dropping in. It’s going to be a lot more kind of exciting for somebody that’s either new or smaller than a massive influencer. When you start getting up to– There’ll still be– Don’t get me wrong, people will still be enthusiastic and happy, but when you hit that half a million [00:13:30] upwards, they’re starting to build like careers based on this and it’s a lot more [crosstalk].

Tom: It’s a business. You get to that point where it becomes — Yes, 100%. You get to that point where it turns from being a hobby to a job. When that happens, those people– and for perfectly good reasons are going to be a lot harder to get on board, which is worth bearing in mind. Then obviously being bigger does have its merits. With like macro influences, obviously the biggest [00:14:00] benefit is that you have a fairly substantial audience size.

You’d like to think that say, if you work with someone who has half a million subscribers, depending on how old the channel is, you might be getting 100,000 200,000 views, obviously some channels just to divert, just go off, even model very quickly with your big influencers, it’s okay if they have a million subscribers, but you actually need to look at how old the channel is, how many views do [00:14:30] they actually get now.

There are a lot of YouTubers in particular who have millions of subscribers and you’ll go on the channel and they’ll get 5,000 views. How much is that actually worth? Not a lot.

Jack: It’s those legacy channels they might have lots of bots or just inactive subs. It’s really important that you’re not only doing your research into targeting the [00:15:00] right audience and demographics, but you’re also looking at channels that are active or still relevant where possible.

Alex: I guess that also plays into, if you are doing a bigger, a paid campaign, if you’re going out there and finding the right people, finding ones with engaged audiences that they engage with and they get good view to view counts to sub ratios, is just an very important thing to do if you are going to go out and put that money in to ensure you’re getting a return.

Jack: Which I think brings us to the next point of how do you know who you’re approaching is going to be interested? We’ve touched on it, [00:15:30] doing the work to make sure that their audience and the influencer themselves share these interesting games and that starts with drawing up a list of similar games or influencers– influences, sorry, inspirations, competitors, any game that you think is relevant, almost like a Venn diagram, you put your game in the middle and the things around it.

Alex: This comes down to that idea of also looping back to people who’ve made entire careers off playing a single game, because while you might have a Battle [00:16:00] Royale game that looks cartoony like Fortnite with building in it. You’re like, “Oh, the Fortnite audience.” If you go out and just look for people that play Fortnite games, you might get people that just play fortnight games and they’re not going to change. There’s no pallet cleansing for these audiences that they’re in there for Fortnite.

Tom: It’s quite funny that this has come up because the other day, I was talking to someone else who works at the agency. One of the things we were talking about was the fact that there’s a lot of people who buy [00:16:30] a system and play one game or they might have an amazing decked out PC that they’ve spent thousands of pounds on and they play one game and you are not going to persuade them to play your game, there’s probably hundreds of other developers or publishers who have tried to convince this person to play their game and they’ll say it might be so similar to the one they love and it might be amazing, but they won’t play it. That’s something that you can research and know beforehand and then you don’t have to be [00:17:00] wasting time on it.

Jack: I’m guilty of that. I didn’t need a 4K screen and all that RAM to play Cyberpunk, I needed it for Football Manager.

Tom: It’s just worth fair to mind, isn’t it.

Alex: Boy, does it look good when you’re running it?

Jack: Those spreadsheets never looked better.

Tom: When we are looking at searching for influencers and trying to build up lists, one of the things that we all always try and do then, is make sure that if we have an idea or if we are working with a game and we have an idea of four or five games that are similar, it’s not about finding influencers who play one of those games, [00:17:30] it’s about finding ones who play a couple or play games within that genre.

I know we said that earlier, but that is such a big thing to emphasize is that you need to be getting people who are playing lots of games that are like yours, not just one, because you will not be able to drag them away from the one that they do play.

Alex: You can probably convince them to play your game with money, [00:18:00] but is their audience going to make the switch as well?

Jack: That’s where it becomes way more obvious for audiences when they suddenly divert or they something completely new and seemly quite random. That’s why it’s not going to get the same amount of views for stuff they do normally is because of that.

Alex: I think the one thing we haven’t touched– Well we mentioned it, but essentially the sky’s the limit with how much you can put in to doing this and the channels you can get if you’re paying, but earning it organically is done this way. It’s going out and finding the right people, but by the same token, that same effort should be [00:18:30] put into the paid campaigns if you want to get the best return.

Fortnite, Among Us and how influencer schedules can be late

Jack: There’s something I wanted to touch on just as we move into the timing of things. A lot of the influences, YouTube, more so than Twitch, but cause Twitch is live and in the moment, but YouTube, you could be at the mercy of the algorithm, you might have done all your research. You reach out to a channel, they play the game, doesn’t really get that many views, but then a few months down the line, even years, it starts picking up. You’ve only going to look at [00:19:00] Among Us released in 2018 and its breakout year was 2020.

Tom: I think in the same way, that’s really what happened with Fortnite. Obviously, it was different in the fact that Battle Royal mode blew up around the time it came out, but Fortnite was the thing that was known within the community quite extensively for years beforehand. All it really takes sometimes is a couple of what– The right person to play a game at the right time and things can blow up and it can make all the money and research and time you [00:19:30] spend look stupid in the end because sometimes it’s just one random event which make things happen, but sometimes that is the case and you do have to be prepared for that to happen and that could be months or years after.

Jack: The algorithm at work. You can’t factor in that. You just have to hope that maybe your game does take off if it doesn’t straight away, because nobody knows.

Alex: Hang in there. Maybe two years later, you’re going to be– [chuckles] Don’t know if that’s helpful advice for us to give, [00:20:00] but yes, you’re right, fortunes can change when it comes to influencers.

Jack: That’s why I really like YouTube as a platform because you have– The content stays there. The thing I don’t like so much about Twitch from a PR point of view, is that the content is streamed and then it goes. A streamer might archive it, but then someone’s got to be actively looking for it. With YouTube, [00:20:30] it’s there. It will always be there unless it gets taken down or delisted, but somebody could search for it, it’s there or again, it might pop up in their feed and then they click on it that way.

With YouTube, you get the constant visibility, whereas with Twitch, you get in the moment. There’s different pros and cons.

Alex: We’ve discussed size of campaigns, paid, unpaid. As we’ve said, we’re going to deal with unpaid primarily throughout this and what could happen [00:21:00] when everything goes incredibly right. What do you do? How can you run this campaign to give you the best chances of it going right?

Jack: Avoid January. It’s twofold. January is a really bad month for content creators because that is the month that’s lowest for views. The flip side of that is that that’s the month that they’re looking to fill. They have nothing really good to put out.

Alex: Nothing fresh.

Jack: Nothing fresh. [crosstalk].

Tom: [crosstalk] [00:21:30] quick. YouTube, January tends to be the month that has the lowest ad revenue, which is obviously something, if sponsorship-wise, because– from what I understand, because there’s such a December rush, obviously, with holidays and stuff, January is always very– most YouTubers will have a very poor January financially because there’s very little ad revenue. There is potential there if you can work it in the right way with sponsorship [00:22:00] stuff because people are probably more inclined to do it at that time.

More on Twitch vs YouTube

Jack: If we go back to the comparisons we made to what is similar and different about influencers compared to media, having review windows, still important. I think, again, this shows the difference between Twitch and YouTube. Someone on Twitch, I would rather approach them and give them the keys so they can go play it straight away because it’s livestream, whereas a creator on YouTube will need time to make that video and then [00:22:30] produce it afterwards, so a one to two-week window between sending a code and then the game coming out.

Alex: There’s to this a couple of sides to that obviously, but it’s quite similar to media in that regard. With anybody that’s going to do a produce video, that is going to put in any production on it probably wants a bit of time to get a handle on the game, so you want to get it to them early. Like you say, Twitch streamers can go live the moment they get their hands on it technically. Most don’t. They like to get an idea of what they’re about to play before that, [00:23:00] but it’s certainly in there as a fact that affects things.

I guess, there’s also the other side of that, which is quite often with the more reactive nature of Twitch, quite often you’ll see things start snowball after the embargo lift because one personal streaming, somebody else will look, see that and then their interest will be peaked. Going back to, as we said when we were talking about media a while ago, sometimes you won’t get an answer off those first few emails and it’ll be the one after.

With influencers, that’s even more true because [00:23:30] suddenly, there’s a chance there’s going to be name recognition around the game name because they’re seeing other streamers cover it.

Jack: I really want to quickly touch on because I can hear friends and family screaming at me who make videos, is that editing takes so much time. When you approach an influencer and give them a key, you really can’t expect results immediately, especially if they are going to produce a YouTube video because they have to work into their schedule, they might already have stuff planned or that other people have approached [00:24:00] them already and they got to fit it in and then they got to make the content as best they can. It should never be spamming them between check-ins and follow-ups, just like you would someone in the media.

Alex: Absolutely. We’re talking primarily here about email I think. Technically we might run most of our campaigns either via email or influencer platforms, which are several out there and we’re going to be talking about those in another podcast in the future. I think [00:24:30] there is a different way if you’re a smaller developer and you’re going to try and approach people through social media, then that’s a different thing again, right?

Jack: Yes, I think approaching through DMs, we might do another time, because I think that’s an art within itself. It’s a viable strategy, but you got to be careful about things. It makes me think of stuff to avoid doing straight away. It’s interesting you brought up DMs is that if you’re going to do something via Twitter, it might be a good way of verifying who an influencer [00:25:00] actually is, because there are so many scammers who impersonate these influencers and will basically create usually just a Gmail because it’s the easiest one to do and slapping the channel name or the influencer’s name.

That Gmail they send to you asking for keys is different to that influencer’s actual email, which is usually viewable on YouTube under the view email address. It goes back to doing your research. When you’re looking for these people, make sure you know who you’re looking for, because chances are if an influencer [00:25:30] comes to you out of the blue, sadly, it usually means they’re fake.

Alex: I’d also say, this is for clients, we have to verify a lot of people quite often. I’d say the one immediate red flag I get if it’s not a multiplayer game, is somebody asking for more than one key.

Jack: Yes. Steam curators do that a lot. I’m of the opinion that Steam curators aren’t that valuable, even the real ones, as opposed to just the fake. I don’t think they are as useful as they used to be.

Alex: [00:26:00] Going to step out of that simply because it’s a very hard thing for us to track in a PR sense, to give any metrics back to our clients, so we avoid it. I’m going to let people decide for themselves whether they think it’s valuable. There’s a lot of very legitimate curators, there’s a lot of traditional outlets, a lot of influencers that have their Steam curator channels, but obviously, they’ll get codes via other routes.

There are certain communities out there that I think are probably if it’s the right community for you, then [00:26:30] maybe, but the whole, can you give us this many Steam keys thing? I’m like, “No.”

[laughter]

Alex: I guess another thing, talking of the fact that we do a lot of work on behalf of other people as an agency, quite often people will approach us because our email will be on press releases and things out in the world, but also approach the company via different emails. With that in mind, if you do get an agency to help you run PR [00:27:00] on your campaign, keep that back and forth communication going.

Generally, we recommend that our clients forward everything to us and let us handle it because we’ll verify it for them, take the time and effort out of their hands. We also make sure that we inform them if something is successful and it’s a real person, we obviously let them know. If they want to engage after our campaign’s finished, because ongoing relationships with influencers who might be creating ongoing content for you, you need that relationship. You need to make sure that relationship’s handed over in [00:27:30] good faith.

Jack: Yes, that sharing of information is important, especially during the campaign itself, because we don’t want to overlap. I know someone who recently got two keys for a game, one from the developers and one from the PR agency. When they asked, it didn’t seem the PR agency and the game developers knew that each other was reaching out to the same people.

Alex: We’ve done it even when we’ve been communicating. Sometimes you’re looking at hundreds of names and you miss one. [00:28:00] A name is dropped, but yes.

Jack: The more you do to avoid that, the better.

What to send to influencers

Alex: Absolutely. I guess that brings us to the last point, which probably should’ve been the first point when I look at it. When you are running an influence campaign, what should you send the influencers? I like leading to the end just like an Easter egg.

Jack: Aside from a copy of the game.

Alex: Aside from a copy of the game.

Tom: That’s a good start, actually letting somebody else play the game. Only if it’s ready to go through, probably a good point to bring up. Don’t be sending out bad builds.

Jack: Or wrong builds.

Tom: Or wrong [00:28:30] builds. If you send out a version of a game and then say, “Oh, actually there is a patch coming soon that will fix this, this, this and this.” As someone who has worked in journalism, it’s not being harsh when I say in my experience I’ve done it, I’ve just gone not touching it then. Don’t have the time to do it.

Alex: I’m going to say it’s a tricky one just because sometimes it won’t be game-breaking, it will be a visual foil here or there and you just want to make people aware, but if it’s something’s that’s got a significant [crosstalk].

Tom: Oh, yes. Definitely. [00:29:00] People will be willing to work with if it’s something quite minor, but just from my experience, I’ve had a couple where there’s been a big problem with the game and obviously not going to name any names, but it’s coming to the point where launch the game isn’t in a state– It might be in a couple of day’s time, but if you’re expecting people to do launch day reviews and videos, but then you’re also saying, “Oh, well this will be fixed at some point.” People can’t write reviews based on what will be fixed in the future. If there is something major, [00:29:30] it’s good to give people the heads up, but then you also do have to bear in mind–

Alex: Is it a full year ago that the most prominent example of this happened?

Tom: I don’t know what you could possibly be referring to.

Alex: By the time this goes up, it won’t be a year ago. We’re recording this around October, November. [laughs]

Tom: Happy birthday to Boogie game.

Alex: Oh, I was going to say people born in October. [laughs] This will probably go up later than that, but it’s just interesting that we’re talking about that right now. [00:30:00] A working copy of the game, bonus, assets, and thumbnails. You’ve got to think that people are going to be making thumbnails, obviously you can take screengrabs, but if you’ve got key art and things, if you can make exclusive borders for people, then great.

If you are having a good back and forth with the dev and you want to send them some bespoke stuff, that’s– You’ve put in the time on production. We’ve done that on occasion for people, right Jack.

Jack: Yes, sometimes it’s been, again, what we referred to earlier has giving them incentives or exclusives. With some games, [00:30:30] if the channel sizes warranted it, they can get their logo in the game or some skin-designed for them. There’s been a few options available. That’s always a good way of incentivizing where possible. Just again, on the thumbnails, it can be really helpful if everyone’s using good quality assets and they might usually use the same one or two key arts, it really helps audiences instantly recognize that’s your game so if there’s somebody who’s watched one or two videos really enjoyed it and wants to [00:31:00]watch more, they actively spot, “Oh, this is the one I’m looking at.” Pretty quickly.

Tom: Again, the perspective I can offer being on the other side, for me, the most important thing is obviously high-quality logos, possibly. If there’s different versions of the logo, that’s great to include them, high-quality versions of them. Key art is obviously a brilliant one. Characters maybe, like PNG versions of the characters is another good thing. I think what I always enjoyed and what I always loved in a press kit was having [00:31:30] just lots of high-quality assets, different characters and different poses because it gives the creators and obviously, this is influencers we’re talking about, it gives them a lot of creativity in terms of how they go about because creators have different styles, they like to do things in different ways.

If you can tie them back to the same– a key few assets or a key few themes in the assets, that’s great. Giving them that creative freedom, they love it. These are the [00:32:00] people that love making thumbnails giving them the free reigns to–

Alex: [crosstalk] not just thumbnails, right?

Tom: Oh, no. Definitely no.

Alex: I guess the last thing we can do, and sorry to shoo us on there, but very relevant points, the high-quality stuff obviously, as resolutions get higher, the more important it is that your assets follow suit, but I guess the last thing that we can really touch on is just being there. If you are going to be engaging with an influencer engaged with them. [laughs] [00:32:30] Jack said before, developers are willing to jump in the stream, be involved, talk to the community alongside the streamer, or just be there to answer the streamer’s questions if there are issues.

That can be especially true and not harp onto buggy games again, but that can be especially true if you’re putting out a multiplayer game and there’s the possibility of server issues and things. Being around when you’ve put something live that is having issues to answer questions, it can be invaluable because again, having those issues can be mitigated [00:33:00] if you’re there going like, “Yes, it’s more popular and we thought it was going to be. It should be fine in a few hours. We’re going to spin up some extra servers. Just bear with us we’re really sorry.”

But if you are not there and all the influencer is getting is silence, while trying to entertain an audience with a spinning loading icon, then you’re going to lose that audience and that influencer. That was a really negative way to end, wasn’t it? Super negative.

Tom: Harsh realities.

Alex: I think it’s going back to the actual idea you said before Tom, of [00:33:30] giving people a build that works. Sometimes that’s outside your control if it comes down to multiplier stuff, being on hand to answer those questions is key.

Tom: Having a human face–

Alex: That’s another podcast. That’s a whole other podcast.

Tom: Through the process of giving stuff out, having a human face which people can work with is invaluable.

Alex: Thank you very much both. I think we have not stuck to our plans of keeping these a bit shorter and punchier. We’ve definitely gone on quite a lot here, but I think it was all relevant, even if we did backload the information for how to run it, [00:34:00] it’s fine. People will get here, we’re entertaining. [laughs] I think next time we’ll be coming back–

We’ve got a lot of ideas for what to do and we also do want to invite some guests for people within the industry that will address certain topics, but we’ll let you know when we start to put things out, obviously before we put things out, we’ll have them on the Twitter feed or where we post, so you’ll know who’s in future podcasts and what future topics will be before they go live.

Tom, thank you very much for joining us today, again and [00:34:30] Jack to you also, and we’ll be back with the next episode of The Games PR Podcast soon.