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The Marketing of Online Video Games

guy playing video games

Knowing about video game marketing is important not only for those who are specifically dedicated to this activity but also for every online advertiser because it is a field that is undoubtedly at the forefront in terms of applying new technologies to the marketing service.

Online video game developers are experts in capturing the user’s interest during the game sessions, as well as in the art of making his return so that the link with the brand is prolonged. In other words, they work on both attention and memory, and the level of engagement they obtain with players is surprising. No other business model manages to involve its users or customers so much as to make them dedicate several hours of their lives to it, with daily assiduity.

Video games for all ages

One of the aspects that makes certain video games a success and that we cannot fail to mention is the fact that they manage to cover a very wide age range. Back in the days young children were playing outside with their friends, entertaining themselves for hours and hours swinging at a houten schommel for example. Nowadays, it is increasingly common for children and teenagers to play video games for days straight.

Adults too, have the habit of playing online, either from the PC, mobile, or console, which goes hand in hand with the phenomenon of the emergence of the kidults market: adults who show consumption that was once considered exclusive to children. The result is that not only a very broad clientele is obtained, but the product has the possibility of being perpetuated transgenerationally.

Young girl playing game on smartphone


Video game marketing – How do they do marketing?

Some of the success factors of today’s video games, which can be applied to all kinds of online advertising actions, are the following:


By definition, every game is interactive: the user has the possibility to make decisions and each of those decisions has an immediate effect. Interactivity is so effective in maintaining attention that it is increasingly used in successful advertising campaigns for all kinds of products and services. Just to mention two examples, remember the Google logos that consisted of small video games, or the YouTube video campaigns Deliver me to Hell and A hunter shoots a bear. This trend is known as gamification.


A satisfactory experience in a gaming session may not be enough for a user to return every so often to play again. And as we mentioned in our article on remarketing, the general public requires several contacts with the brand before making a purchase. Therefore, it is essential to create and maintain communication channels with those who have already had some contact with the game to “remind” them to come back.

An exemplary case is that of Facebook games: the achievements of our friends in the game become instant notifications that continuously invite us to the game and encourage us to participate again.


No self-respecting online game lacks the social aspect, as it encourages virality (attracting new users) and stimulates competition. Many return to a game either to catch up and beat a competitor or because they have been beaten by a competitor. Nowadays, many Facebook games include inviting new players as a prerequisite to advance, something that is known as “multilevel marketing”, “network marketing” or “referral marketing”, a model that has never been as effective as in these cases.


In order to trap the player, many online video games use “experience marketing”: they provide free extra content with no other purpose than to involve us in the culture and mystique of the brand. This is why they are usually accompanied by a story or script, even when they are not necessary for the dynamics of the game.

The construction of characters with life stories also contributes to producing empathy. But content can go beyond that and be literally anything: wallpapers, music tracks, animations, comics, video clips, and so on, which extend and reinforce the brand identity. They should be distinguished from merchandising in that they do not constitute a business in themselves.

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