LUIS LEVY | SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA
mobile game pr
Luis is a co-founder of Novy Unlimited, a California-based pr firm focusing on mobile and indie games makers.
Follow Luis on Twitter.
Jovan Johnson: When should a developer begin working with a PR firm?
Luis Levy: For a traditional console or PC title, as soon as the game hits alpha. Assuming the studio is still in “stealth mode,” that’s when the first announcement usually takes place. For mobile games, we suggest at least three months prior to launch, one month for prep and two months for the pre-launch campaign.
Jovan: Do different types of games require different PR strategies?
Luis: Yes – in a way. The basics are the same, but bigger games might require a more substantial pre-launch campaign. A big budget and/or recognizable IP might make it worthwhile for the developer to announce the game early, while smaller games can often gain from a shorter campaign (and save some money in the process). It’s also possible for a bigger game (and a well-funded studio) to spend more money on PR, leading to trade show appearances – like PAX Prime – and social media campaigns.
Jovan: Is PR necessary for a successful game launch?
Luis: I wouldn’t say you cannot be successful without PR. That’s not true. There are many examples of games that made it solely based on word of mouth or support from specific communities like Reddit or NeoGAF. On the other hand, as a rule of thumb PR is very, very important to your game’s success.
Developers should worry about making the best game possible. They should not have to worry about drafting press releases and sending early builds to the press; it takes them away from the game. A PR professional will handle ALL press contact, from day-to-day management to interviews and PR materials like press releases, pitches and assets. We are paid so that our clients can focus on finishing their projects on time and, hopefully, on budget. 🙂
An effective PR program will always give developers their best shot at a hit. Without PR, a game can land with a thud; you’d be leaving your game’s performance in the marketplace to chance. In the end, success will depend on the game’s qualities/potential/relevance.
Jovan Johnson: What kind of impact can a solid PR campaign have on sales and revenue?
Luis Levy: It’s hard to make a direct connection between PR and sales. Apart from the coverage itself, measuring game PR is difficult. Still, a great PR campaign will always result in a stronger brand for the client, recognition among the industry’s greats (leading to new business) and an influx of new players. We help clients go out into the world and become more visible to press and gamers alike. We also make sure that the studio itself gets the credit, which often doesn’t happen if the publisher is the one doing the marketing/PR push.
Jovan: How important is a game trailer? Do you have any tips on making a great trailer?
Luis: Trailers used to be optional for mobile games. Not anymore. Nowadays, developers should have three types of video: teaser, trailer and tutorial.
Ideally, the teaser will showcase the game’s art, story and music. Length should be 45 seconds to a full minute. The trailer should leave concept art behind in favor of pure gameplay (lots of it), and it can be a little longer as well—around a minute and a half. The tutorial should be a lightly cut, straightforward playthrough covering the actual tutorial or the first level, including intro and title screen.
Without a trailer, some sites will simply not cover the game. Blogs today – like Kotaku – put a lot of value on video, so screenshots will simply not do. You need to get all those video assets ready in both downloadable and embeddable formats.
Jovan: Your site, novypr.com, makes clear that you specialize in mobile and independent game studios. What draws you to these two segments?
Luis: It’s a short answer: I’m a mobile computing freak, and I love working with independent developers. More so, I think that mobile is a growth segment with the potential to take the industry over in 5-10 years, essentially redefining gaming as we know it.
We are living in a second golden age of independent development. If you add the frantic pace of technological advances to all the talent floating around, it’s easy to see why AAA, social and mobile games are evolving so fast. I’m an early adopter and absolutely love to be on the cutting edge, so there’s no better place to be right now.
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