Mobile gaming is a fiercely competitive, fast changing field. Developers are under constant pressure to make games better. Meanwhile, advertising costs are climbing, as industry leaders like King Digital (maker of ‘Candy Crush’) buy up much of the available ad inventory via Facebook and Twitter.
Start-up ‘Seriously’ is taking a more creative marketing approach. Founded by two executives who previously worked at Rovio (maker of ‘Angry Birds’), the company successfully launched its first game ‘Best Fiends,’ on iOS in October. To get the word out about the game’s latest update on iOS (and its launch on Google Play), Seriously is teaming up with YouTube mega-star, PewDiePie. Here’s our Q&A with Co-Founder/CEO Andrew Stalbow:
How would you describe Seriously’s strategy?
We’ve seen an enormous audience shift, from traditional media to mobile devices (tablets, phones, etc). We believe the next generation of brands will be built on mobile first. That means the quality of mobile games will continue to climb. Our goal is to create games that look and feel like a Pixar movie.
When it comes to marketing, how do you compete with bigger rivals (who have big advertising budgets)?
Much of the marketing in mobile gaming tends to be performance based, which means buying app install ads through Facebook,etc. It’s very analytics driven and you end up fighting for installs. As a result, ad prices have increased over the last 12 months. While we’ll do some performance marketing, you can’t win buying installs alone. We look at it as playing defense. If you want your brand to cut through, you need to be creative.
As an example of that, you teamed up with YouTube star PewDiePie. Why?
We’re building an entertainment brand for millenials. That audience feels directly connected to the content. YouTube stars realize it’s all about the direct conversations they can have, they’re constantly engaged. PewDiePie is a great example of that.
So what’s the plan with PewDiePie?
From the start, we wanted to be a socially responsible company, so we partnered with ‘Malaria No More.’ We approached PewDiePie (and four of his good friends) and asked if they’d like to do a charity race to see who can get the furthest in ‘Best Fiends’ in a week. The winner gets to split a $50 thousand donation between ‘Malaria No More’ and a charity of their choice.
How often will you be embarking on marketing campaigns?
Christmas was a really important time to get the word out, since people are buying new mobile devices. Beyond that, we think of ‘Best Fiends’ as a service and it’s all about updates. We’re constantly adding new elements to the game. Our update cyclce is every three weeks. Each time we do the updates, we’ll be doing a big marketing push.
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