Case Study: The Land of Pain

We were always sore this one would do well.

“Game If You Are came on-board at a vital time and helped us understand what the game needed in order to make an impact. Their director Lewis was very professional and helpful throughout, giving advice whenever needed. Lewis and his team helped us improve the game’s script, pitch and trailer. They went on to showcase the game to the media – achieving coverage in major publications and hundreds of thousands of YouTube views, and getting The Land of Pain onto Steam’s ‘trending’ list within hours of release!” – Alessandro Guzzo, creator of The Land of Pain.

The Land of Pain is a deep and involving horror adventure, made predominantly by a single person: first-time indie developer, Alessandro Guzzo.

Alessandro wanted to make sure his game was properly set for release. A demo had been broadly well-received by the gaming community, but hadn’t gained any mileage in the press – and the full launch needed to make a bigger splash. It was vital to create the right first impression.

What we did

With a couple of months to go until launch, we began by working to understand what may not have resonated with the media. We discovered that the English language script had lost some nuance in translation from the game’s native Italian, so we first helped Alessandro and his collaborators tidy it up.

We also needed a strong and immediate way to sell in the game to press and players alike. We developed a short, mysterious teaser trailer and a snappy new game description, which drew people into the game’s Steam page and helped us illustrate The Land of Pain‘s unique appeal to key media figures.

We knew the game’s suspenseful approach to horror storytelling, and its carefully crafted aesthetic, would make for some great video content. We also knew the game would be launching into a very busy window with tens of studios a week vying for coverage. So rather than relying on a traditional review campaign in the specialist press, we switched the focus to short-form coverage while also connecting with leading YouTubers and Twitch streamers in advance of the game’s launch – arranging impactful and effective content that could go live as soon as the game was released.

What we achieved

The Land of Pain enjoyed an immediately successful launch. With a range of high-profile videos and articles hitting the web as the game went live on Steam, Alessandro’s debut title found its way to the top of the portal’s ‘trending’ list within just a couple of hours.

We were able to secure dozens of articles in leading games and horror publications – including Rock Paper Shotgun, Bloody Disgusting, DualShockers and Adventure Gamers.

Meanwhile, video traffic soared as multiple channels with 1million+ subscribers raced to be among the first to cover an exciting new horror game. A week after release, The Land of Pain had already amassed over a million views on YouTube alone, without a penny being spent on promotions.

Overall, by improving the game’s first impressions before pitching smartly to key contacts within the gaming press and influencer space, we were able to take a debut horror title into a crowded market and deliver a launch that surpassed expectations for a first-time indie developer.