30 May 2017

CONCLUSION

To get to the conclusion, I’ll first have to answer the subquestions. I refer to the research I have done and other related articles. In the end I answer the main question which will be a result of answering the subquestions.

Main question:

How to create a successful system that can be used by multiple game studios to engage with broadcasters?

Sub questions:

  • What are examples of marketing systems? 
  • What types of broadcasters are there?
  • Which social media platforms do these broadcasters use and what are the best ones to reach them?
  • What is the behavioral pattern of broadcasters?
  • What are successful examples of the use of broadcasters for game promotions?
  • What drives broadcasters to play/broadcast your game?  

What are examples of marketing systems?

During my research I’ve found a couple of marketing systems that work in a variety of ways. The one that caught on me the most was the one that Michael Crox showed at GDC the conversion system. It’s a clear system that can be easily used to solve problems but also to measure results. The way he and other people describe marketing it’s technically what the system is. A system that creates process and guides the user, in this case the game developers. In case of my infographic it helps the developers choose the right broadcasters as well as give them information on how to contact them and advice them on tools that can help them in their process. A system is important because it prevents developers from getting lost on what to do and how to work with broadcasters. 

What types of broadcasters are there?

Obviously every broadcaster is unique its own, but some have overall similarities which I went to research and created a couple categories.
Searching for different broadcaster that were interesting for our game Streamline was a part of my tasks during my internship.
I’ve also already spent 4 years on Twitch prior where I’ve met a lot of different broadcasters.
Some broadcasters fit in more than one category but those are often closely related.
The broadcaster categories that I have created based on my research are as followed:

Pro gamers:
Professional gamers that are extremely good at a certain game that also made money at tournaments, these people often times have a channel they broadcast on when they play for their leisure or to practice.

Community driven broadcasters:
As the name implies, these broadcasters are all about their community, high chat interaction and games that involve the community.

Mobile gamers:
Mobile gamers usually only stream mobile games, they are a niche group of broadcasters. There are times that they play regular games but the majority will stick with just mobile.

Creative broadcasters:
Creative broadcasters are the painters, sculptors, body painters, you name it. They create! Twitch has dedicated a special page for these broadcasters to show their trade.

Money driven broadcasters:
Money driven broadcasters are in it for the money, they often “Sell out” which means doing anything what the viewers want for more money. You usually also see them do a lot of give aways to pull in new viewers.

Hype broadcasters:
These broadcasters play the newest of games before release or on day of release and switch to the next new popular game once it comes out. They manage to pull a big group of people but they’ll always try to stay relevant with the newest games that are coming out.

One game/genre broadcasters:
These broadcasters stick to either one game or genre, you see this a lot for broadcasters that for example stream a lot of survival games, they have a big community that mainly prefers watching just survival type games.

Which social media platforms do these broadcasters use and what are the best ones to reach them?

During the research I’ve asked (partnered) broadcasters which social media platform they use and how much they prefer using them. I didn’t only look at social media website but I also added email and Twitch messages as an option, this to get a clear view on how broadcasters like to be contacted as a whole.

Email is the most preferred by partners and non partners with twitter as second.

Facebook is for both partners and non partners completely dead, nobody wants to be contacted there and is the least favorite of all the social media.

Discord is quite spread for both groups, some really don’t want to be contacted there while some see it as one of their favorite or somewhat preferred place to get contacted.

The biggest difference for partners and non partners is Twitch messages, where partners don’t want to be contacted there as second to Facebook, non partners are pretty divided about Twitch messages. All 5 options (0 being least and 5 most) are almost all equally chosen by this group.

What is the behavioral pattern of broadcasters?

Emails are usually checked at least once a day with most people checking their email all the time of that day. Non partners and smaller streamers check their email almost as often as partnered streamers do. Compared to partners they don’t own a business email as often since there is no real need for one at a smaller size. Al though I did realize when I was trying to meet with a few broadcasters to have an interview with that many of them were either late or overslept. I feel it really depends on which broadcaster you have contact with. Even while working for Proletariat it would sometimes take a lot of effort to get a broadcaster to get back to you. Either they are super busy or they are just not professional enough to simply remind you that they are late to a meeting. Almost nobody deletes PR emails of which a couple if they see that they receive a free game key. For non partners the free key seems to be slightly more important.

What are succesful examples of the use of broadcasters for game promotions?

Survival game Ark held a Survival of the Fittest battle tournament during the launch of the game where 35 teams of 2 broadcasters each would compete for their lives in the Survival of the Fittest game mode. The last team standing would win a prize of $20,000, although this might seem like a lot of money those 70 streamers were all streaming the game towards the competition during practice rounds and during the tournament itself. Over 200k people were watching their favorite streamers play this game battling each other till the death in the hope for wining first place. During the first month alone, the game had sold 1 million copies, which is huge for a new early access game!

Another survival game that came out more recently called Playerunknown’s Battleground was another big success on Twitch. During the closed beta the game had a bunch of broadcasters playing their game which created a huge excitement. Among features that the developer anticipates adding include custom games, modding support, and means to incorporate the game with streaming services like Twitch.tv that would enable replays or other features amenable to treating Battlegrounds as an eSport. When the game finally released in open beta, people were very excited and the game quickly surpassed two million copies sold. To celebrate the game surpassing such a huge number the game developer Bluehole announced a 2017 Charity Invitational event, inviting 128 players to compete over their official Twitch.tv channel to raise money for the Gamers Outreach Foundation, with Bluehole matching all donations up to $100,000. The competition ran in early May 2017, and raised at least $120,000 from viewers along with Bluehole’s $100,000 match, and served as a prototype for future eSports events.

What drives broadcasters to play/broadcast your game?

Getting a dedicated community manager that knows his/her way around broadcasters with established contact is helpful. This person should also help selecting the broadcasters that promote the game. It’s better to ask a select amount of broadcasters that are a good fit for the game rather than a lot or just aim for the bigger broadcasters for their numbers (this was mentioned not only by non partners but also partners). Broadcasters won’t promote a game they aren’t into themselves, else it won’t sell either. Make sure that the game you’re trying to promote fits their interests for the best results. Building a lasting relationship where you also show your human self is important and will improve the relationship. If you show interest in the broadcaster, they are more likely to show interest in your game. Some broadcasters will expect money for playing a game on their stream, make sure you have a clear budget and let this know to the content creator what you’re willing to spend. Bigger broadcasters have a select and full schedule so they prefer an easier and straight approach. The broadcasters that are getting played to play a game will depending on your budget always play a game even if it’s not their thing, they we’ll usually show it’s an advertisement #ad in the title. It still depends on how professional the broadcaster is how well they’ll promote your game, sometimes it has a negative effect on the game if it’s a total misfit.


How to create a successful system that can be used by multiple game studios to engage with broadcasters, to get publicity for their game?

To create a successful system that can be used to engage with broadcasters you will have to think about multiple things. Since the research showed us that a lot of ways to contact a broadcaster aren’t always effective. The game that certain broadcasters play normally is an important factor to keep in mind when you want to use them to sell your game. If you want to invest in your game you will also have to invest time in the broadcasters. If have to find your target broadcasters for your target audience. Even for broadcasters that do play you game if you pay them money for it still have to be the right target audience else the effect will be reversed and people get a negative expectation of your game. With the info graphic and my research I hope to help game developers create a more targeted approach for certain types of broadcasters but also have a better way of working with them because of the advice on the tools that they can use. 

Main Question:
How to create a successful system that can be used by multiple game studios to engage with broadcasters?

Sub questions:

  • What are examples of marketing systems? 
  • What types of broadcasters are there?
  • Which social media platforms do these broadcasters use and what are the best ones to reach them?
  • What is the behavioral pattern of broadcasters?
  • What are successful examples of the use of broadcasters for game promotions?
  • What drives broadcasters to play/broadcast your game?