Last week saw the release of Diablo 4, and with it, one of the largest marketing campaigns I have ever seen for a video game. Featuring billboards all around the world, partnerships with KFC, converting a church in France, creating a drink, celebrity collaborations, a music video, and much more. It’s not surprising, Diablo 3 has been one of the most successful games of all time, and Diablo 4 has a lot to live up to.
This type of marketing is well outside the budget of most companies, let alone board game publishers, but there is one thing that has intrigued me for a while. A campaign offered through the live streaming platform Twitch known as Twitch drops.
Twitch is the home of live streaming and features hundreds of thousands of people streaming gameplay, music, game shows, and many aspects of their lives, including playing board games.
Twitch drops are a reward where watching a live stream that is currently featuring the game in question, in this case, Diablo 4, rewards you with an in-game reward for free after viewing 3 hours of content. In other words, if you go to Twitch and watch someone playing Diablo for 3 hours, you will be given a free in-game item in the form of a unique code you enter into the game.
I wonder how effective this could be in board games and how it may be implemented.
One method might be during a crowdfunding campaign to provide people with a unique code for viewing a live stream, and then upon entering that code into a system, it adds a free promo pack to their order.
Another feature Diablo 4 has used on Twitch has been the sponsored segment, which I believe offers a lot of benefits to everyone involved. Twitch streamers must apply for this, and then during a set week, any viewer may gift any 2 viewers a 1-month subscription to the channel being watched in order to receive an in-game reward.
The benefits here are as follows:
- The content creator earns money from the gifted subscriptions; it does not go to the advertiser.
- Twitch also takes a cut, adding value to them.
- The recipients of the gifted subscriptions now receive special benefits while watching the stream for the next month, encouraging them to engage further.
- The gifter receives a unique item.
What I like about this system is that the gifter is paying their favourite content creator to receive a promotional item for something they enjoy. The content creator and platform (Twitch) are both earning money, and the advertiser is getting great promotional coverage.
It would be interesting to explore how these concepts could work with board game content creators and how, as a publisher, I could partner with people to provide extra content for my community while promoting the content creators and rewarding them for their efforts.
Can you see this working in the board game industry?