Indie publisher Armor Games Studios approached us in early 2019 to work on a product launch campaign – but it quickly became apparent that there was an opportunity for a longer-term collaboration. Since then, we’ve worked with Armor on a range of successful indie game releases.
“Taking a personal approach, Game If You Are are able to surface key elements in our games to match them with press and players who will genuinely be interested. It’s that level of detail that gets results, and is one of the many reasons we’re excited to continue working with them.”Sean MacKenzie | Director of Publishing | Armor Games Studios
Project type: Long-term / Retainer | Services: Marketing strategy / Public relations
Historically known for their market-leading web game portals, Armor Games launched its publishing arm, Armor Games Studios, in 2015. They had handled all of their marketing and PR internally until reaching out to Game If You Are in early 2019, looking to develop more ambitious promotional strategies and – in particular – increase their foothold in the video games press.
Initially working together on a single product launch, it became quickly apparent to all of us that there was the potential for a more involved and longer-term relationship, seeking not just to publicise Armor’s individual titles, but also to put the publisher on the map as a key player in the indie games space.
We established an open, transparent and collaborative relationship, with a focus on the flexibility required when working across multiple titles, each in different phases of development and with different production challenges to take into account. One thing we immediately loved about Armor is their desire for openness and honesty. Rather than collaborating solely with Armor’s producers and executive team, we began involving the development studios themselves in our marketing planning sessions – ensuring the people behind the games could make their voices heard, and focusing our attention on the little stories that make their independent creations unique.
Working with focus groups, mock reviewers and media consultants, and in-depth competitor analysis, we identified key traits of Armor’s games and publishing ethos that were common to all the ostensibly different titles they publish. Positioning Armor as a publisher willing to take risks and invest in creativity and innovation, we then looked in depth at each individual title in their upcoming roster, matching their games with sub-audiences within the indie game community, and identifying journalists and influencers that were likely to be especially interested.
We collaborated on product-specific marketing timelines, co-ordinating with Armor’s own internal marketing department to ensure our work always sings in harmony with their own promotional endeavours – and that we can harness opportunities to go live with effective multi-channel campaigns at the most important times in each game’s development cycle. We also led comms ideation sessions and established key USPs, messages, story beats, promotional copy and imagery for each of Armor’s upcoming titles.
So far in our relationship, we have worked on pre-launch campaigns for the frenetic aerial dog-fighting game Jet Lancer and the ambitious story-driven pixel art shooter ITTA – both of which have already generated significant media attention from a range of outlets including PC Gamer, Nintendo Life and Gametsu. Additionally, we planned and executed a full PR cycle from announcement to launch for Nauticrawl – an unusual sci-fi-themed game that received glowing write-ups from the likes of Polygon and Rock Paper Shotgun, and a 98% positive user review rating on Steam. We are currently collaborating on projects to support Armor’s 2020 roadmap of releases.