Case Study – Armor Games Studios

Case Study – Armor Games Studios

Indie publisher Armor Games Studios approached us way back in 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.

What started out as a simple product launch campaign quickly turned into a long-term agency relationship, and Armor brought us on as their long-term PR partner for their entire catalogue of PC and console games.

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.

Nauticrawl is short, sweet, and delightful… I loved it.”

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 regularly meet with Armor’s producers and leadership team to discuss their upcoming roster of titles. For each game, we identify key messages, USPs, target audiences, and suitable media figures to help spread the word. We then work with Armor’s team of producers, and the development studios behind the games, to create specific PR and marketing timelines – coordinating with Armor’s own marketing team to ensure all of our work sings in harmony and that our PR work can bed into their wider marketing plans.

We then manage all PR outreach on behalf of Armor Games Studios – coordinating game announcements, hands-on previews, interviews, reviews, influencer coverage and more – timing our media beats with key moments in each games’ marketing cycle for maximum impact.

During our almost-two-years working with Armor, we’ve been privileged to work on a slew of fantastic games, created by some of the most inventive developers working within the indie scene. From Nauticrawl (a critically acclaimed roguelike puzzle box set in a hostile alien world), to ITTA (a bullet-hell shooter that bravely tackles topics such as grief, loss and redemption), to Soda Dungeon 2 (a laid-back dungeon-crawler with more than 2,500 glowing Steam reviews), Armor’s roster of titles underpins their desire to be an ambitious, forward-thinking and courageous publisher that trusts in its developers’ creativity.

Across these projects, our work has involved not just core PR but also creative and strategic input – including release scheduling consultation, feedback on trailers and promotional artwork, writing and editing promotional copy, and more.

“ITTA isn’t your usual bullet-hell experience. Those with a taste for danger who want a new bullet-hell extravaganza might just find their new obsession.”

Central to our work with Armor is the idea of a flexible but reliable package of work each month. In addition to our precisely planned out activities, we also reserve a bucket of hours each month to respond to ad-hoc PR and marketing needs – the odd bit of consultation here, an occasional press release there – to ensure Armor and its team of producers has a resource ‘on tap’ that they can call upon.

After a successful 2019 and 2020, we are currently collaborating with Armor on plans for their 2021 roster.