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  • Writer's pictureBart Padjasek

Top game marketing sessions you should see at GDC 2022

GDC is almost upon us. It's bound to be a busy time for developers from the exhibition floor to meetings with potential partners and investors. Last week we brought you our indie dev survival guide on trade shows and exhibitions, but today we’re going to focus on another aspect GDC does well. Sessions and talks.

This year's conference has hundreds of great events to choose from. There is something for everyone from career development and education to marketing and game design. If you don’t know where to start, make sure to read this article. In this week’s blog, we’re going to do over 9 must-see sessions that you can’t miss at GDC.

Effectively communicating what your game is and setting expectations for players is critical to the success of your game. From the initial impressions to the in-game experience, there are multiple key points you need to succeed at along the player's journey.

In this 2 part round table, Andrew Pappas of RenGen Marketing helps attendees understand how their marketing can create an impactful and engaging journey for players that will result in creating more effective marketing campaigns.

When it comes to social media marketing, TikTok has proven itself to be a valuable tool in promoting and sharing video game content. If you're an indie developer running your own accounts, you have definitely at least considered jumping into the fray. But what's the best approach?

Victoria Tran, Community Director at Innersloth, breaks down strategies that she and her team used on Among us that landed more than 2 million followers and 15 million likes. Learn what worked, what didn't and what might be best for you.

If you’re an indie dev, there’s a good chance that you are looking at publishing deals as the Holy Grail. And with good reason. From funding, production and marketing support, a great publisher can mean all the difference between your game and studio being a success or not. If you’re not careful though, you may not get as good of a deal as you think, as by default any publishing agreement is likely to weigh in the publisher's favour.

As part of the Independent Games Summit, UK-based Games Lawyer Tim Repa-Davies looks at those provisions that publishers can sometimes use to impact a developer negatively, explain in-depth what certain clauses actually mean in practice, and hopefully give you some confidence heading into a negotiation that it is ok to ask for certain clauses to be changed before you sign on the dotted line.

For Developers, the value of online communities has never been higher. We’re always asking about how to effectively engage and motivate these communities to grow with us and our games. Co-creation can be a valuable tool and, if done right, can create a value-rich experience that continues beyond the game experience.

Join Eylul Ozekes, a Marketing and Community Manager at Sarepta Studio, as they explain what co-creation can mean for game devs, how to target with psychographics in mind and how the understanding, motivation and co-creation loop feed each other with examples from theoretical frameworks.

Do you believe if you build a good game, it will automatically attract your intended audience and reach players? Do you think a good trailer and a good trailer alone is enough to sell your game? Do you believe your first screenshots don't matter or that a launch trailer is all you need? Derek Lieu and Dana Trebella are here to tell you why you are wrong.

If you’re an indie game developer doing their own marketing or trying to understand why their past marketing didn’t work, this is a must-attend session. Derek and Dana will dispel common misconceptions and pitfalls that many devs rely on too often to market their game as well as discuss some impactful and often missed marketing opportunities that can make a real difference in selling your game to your target audience.

With the likes of Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation Now, Apple Arcade and other services building libraries and subscribers, the gaming landscape may be forever changing. But what does this mean for indie developers like you? Should you be designing games with this in mind? And what will the market look like?

Piers Harding-Rolls of Ampere Analysis breaks it all down in this session. Drawing on unique games subscription catalogue data and insight, he will delve into the evolving landscape of content opportunities across this fast-evolving part of the market. The session will also profile the subscription gamer, their habits, and how they differ from the average gamer.

Over the last year, Blockchain and NFTs have exploded into the public consciousness and become popular topics in the games industry. Whether you are a skeptic of the technology or a developer looking to break into this market, you should understand just what’s involved and where blockchain plays a part in gaming today.

In this session, David Kim and Michael Rubinelli of WAX Studios will present best practices in the space so far, give insight into how games have incorporated blockchain and NFTs to date, what may be coming, pitfalls and issues to be aware of and potential solutions for handling such problems.

As a games developer, your game’s demo is just as important, if not more, than any piece of marketing material you create. It’s your first chance to impress potential players and their networks after all. But what goes into making a successful demo? What do you show off? How do you entice players to learn more and buy your game?

In this session, Chris Zukowski reviews real-world examples and feedback from industry veterans on how you should design your demo to increase wishlists, boost your following on social media, and get covered by streamers.

Do you remember Neopets? It turns out community managers can take some important lessons from this popular early 2000s pet site. Neopets established itself as a pioneer in the field by integrating its community into every asset of the site—from an in-game guild system to transformative story-driven events and everything in between.

Catherine Litvatis of Armor Games Studios will give you a history lesson of the longstanding web game and give attendees an understanding of effective community management and development strategies as well as ideas for improving their community strategies.

Those are just a few of the fantastic sessions going on at GDC. If you want to learn more, check out their online session viewer.

And if you're an indie developer at GDC, we would love to meet you and learn more about your game. Email us, and we can set up a meeting in or around the show.

That's it for now! Follow us to keep up to date and learn more tips and tricks for video game marketing.

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