Top 10 Video Games With the Most Effective Marketing Ever

Jonatan Parski CEO

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Top 10 Video Games With the Most Effective Marketing Ever

The developing process of a video game is the beginning of the game studios’ journey. When the game is finished and ready for the players, the developers need to find a way to advertise it and get the traffic flowing. There are many ways in which they do that, but the most used technique is through marketing. Video game marketing combines marketing, advertisements, reviews, blog posts, etc.

The developers implement new things into their marketing strategies to make the players show interest in their games. The goal is to get players’ attention every year. The most successful marketing tactics are the ones that go the extra mile to stand out. 

Gamers are tired of seeing the same things over and over again. There should be new graphics, unique visual styles, new audio content, or something new and exciting to make these new marketing efforts effective.

What Is Video Game Marketing?

Like any other form of effective marketing, video game marketing focuses on sales tactics. There are many ways to showcase your products or services. They try and aim to make it impossible for the player/consumer not to buy them. 

The marketing strategies that need to be used depend on location, type of business, sales process, target audience, etc. Video gaming is almost 100% online, meaning the marketing strategies that must be utilized should be designed to boost online views and sales.

Since the gaming industry is filled with various games, developers must ensure their strategy is solid. Otherwise, their product will get lost in the thousands of online games, making them lose thousands, if not millions, of potential dollars. 

Types of Video Game Marketing

As mentioned earlier, video game marketing is almost as important as the game itself. You can have the perfect title with a thrilling story, excellent graphics and sounds, and features never seen before. But if you don’t advertise it well enough, you won’t have any sales. This is why we’ll show you some types of video game marketing and the marketing plans behind them that can work wonders for you and your game. 

Marketing on YouTube

Promoting your video game on YouTube is essential. You should make exciting videos to show off your title and create a unique channel just for your game. Work with popular gamers and have them play-test your game on their channels to get more people interested. You can also ask gamers to livestream your title or make videos where they play it and showcase the unique aspects of the game. 

Be friendly with the YouTube gaming community by talking to people in the comments and sharing stuff fans make. Ensure people can easily find your videos using the right keywords and tags in your video titles and descriptions. You can also pay a little money to YouTube to show your videos to more people. Make different kinds of videos, not just trailers, and watch how well they do. 


Creating a blog is a reliable and long-term way to guarantee the success of video marketing. Blog posting allows developers to increase traffic to their sites using SEO tools. Using the correct SEO strategy will bring a website up in the search engine, which will boost traffic and sales respectfully. 

Blogging gives opportunities to advertise gaming content as needed. No one has to approve or disprove a blog post. The creator decides what’s represented on the post. Blogs can be used to “tease” players before the game launch. It can show them news, updates, and some upcoming updates for the game in the near future. 

Using Multiple App/Game Stores

While certain games cannot be available on multiple platforms, the most effective content marketing strategy a game development studio can have is to spread across as many platforms as possible. We can take a title like CarX Drift Racing, for example. 

It can be played on PC, mobile (iOS and Android), and consoles. CarX Technologies targets all gaming markets. If you’re developing a mobile-only game, try to upload it not only on the App Store and Google Play but also on other stores like Amazon, AppBrain, or Baidu Store.

Using Social Media

Social media is a great tool to use in your video game marketing strategy. Almost everyone has at least one social media account, and many spend hours daily on these apps. Creating a marketing plan based on various social media platforms seems logical. 

You can post content like updates, trailers, teasers, news, and launch dates. We recommend bonding with your audience. Posting serious content, funny memes, articles, and sharing reviews. 

This makes people follow your accounts even more and creates a community around your video game. A community is beneficial for a videogame because people there can share information with each other or their friends, boosting your traffic even more. 

Moreover, platforms like Facebook and Instagram have implemented options for advertisement on their platforms. These ads can be niche-customized and controlled, appearing to a specific demographic group or people with particular interests or behaviors. 

Appear on Gaming Podcasts

Podcasts are one of the newest types of content. They’re available on multiple platforms. Plus, they’re relaxed and chill shows that cover different topics. Introducing gaming podcasts into your video game marketing strategy can be highly beneficial. 

Getting the guest spot in a podcast followed by your target audience is a great idea. Otherwise, you can reach out to gaming podcasts and see who has a free spot for you. 

Game Marketing Through Reviews

Getting good game reviews from credible gaming-focused websites is an easy way to boost your marketing. Although it may appear time-consuming, video game marketing requires you to submit your title to as many well-known gaming or app review websites as possible. 

Your entry will appear professional and attractive if it has all the necessary information about your game. This includes an engaging description, a teaser video, and a link to your website. 

Ensure you include a promo code for your title so the reviewer can begin playing immediately.

Top 10 Video Games With the Best Marketing Strategies

We mentioned some types of video game marketing strategies and how they can boost your sales. Now, we need some examples. We have taken some of the most successful titles with the best marketing strategies and will show you what to do and what to avoid. 

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) is one of the most successful titles in the whole history of gaming. Rockstar created a game masterpiece featuring stunning graphics that still hold up a decade after the first launch. It combines new features, audio effects, and an exciting story. 

Grand Theft Auto

The massive success of this game isn’t only because of its quality but also because of the excellent marketing tricks that Rockstar used. Proof of how good video game marketing can be is that it made $800 million worldwide sales on its release day. 

Let’s see what Rockstar did that made GTA V a successful product today. 

Anticipation: Rockstar announced they began work on the new Grand Theft Auto title in a Tweet in 2011, together with a link to the website of the new GTA game. This website contained a trailer for the new game and a countdown timer until its launch. Over time, Rockstar uploaded new trailers and information about the new game. Gamers worldwide were doing nothing but waiting for that timer to end. 

Pre-order: Rockstar knew what they were doing, and they expected the game to be a hit even before launch. They were following the pre-order numbers, which made them confident that they should continue developing the game. Now, you might wonder, “What makes a person buy something that doesn’t exist?” The answer is simple: BONUSES! Depending on which platforms the gamers bought the pre-order of the game, they received different rewards. 

Angry Birds

Everyone who has played mobile games knows about Angry Birds. This game became an instant hit as soon as it hit the market. The gaming studio behind this fantastic game (Rovio) has had other attempts before succeeding with Angry Birds. 

Angry Birds

They weren’t nearly as successful as their release of Angry Birds. But it showed them the best ways to develop a game and what marketing strategies must be used to become a hit. 

Let’s see what the secrets behind Rovio’s strategies were used in the video game marketing of Angry Birds. 

App Store Optimization: Mobile video game marketing is only possible with a perfect app store page. It has to show the best parts of a game, highlighting what features it has to offer. Moreover, the game needs an exciting and catching icon design and a good description that encourages the players to download the app. 

Game Monetization: We all know about in-app purchases, but how do they work? Most free games have ads or in-game purchases so they can get monetized. Once a player downloads the game, and when the right time comes, most players will pay either to remove the ads or for premium features. 

Halo 3

The first-person shooter video title Halo 3 was the centerpiece of a thorough marketing effort that began in May 2006. The game’s developer, Bungie, revealed a teaser at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. 


Microsoft, the game’s publisher, devised a five-pronged video game marketing approach to enhance sales and captivate casual and committed gamers. District 9 and Digital Domains have both developed movies and video documentaries to promote the title in collaboration with Bungie and Weta Workshop. 

The series used almost forty licensees to sell the game, and the advertising effort eventually cost more than $40 million. Licensing resulted in the production of licensed items like action figures, toys, and beverages with the Halo 3 trademark.

The “Believe” marketing strategy: the last major part of the marketing of Halo 3 was the “Believe” campaign. It consisted of videos with an estimated value of around $10 million. 

Merchandise: the video game’s launch coincided with the release of various action figures, toys, collectibles, and many more. Different developers use this video game marketing trick to garner more attention and get as much traffic to their titles as possible. 

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim is one of the best-selling games of all time. Bethesda did a fantastic job developing and marketing Skyrim to the public. While marketing strategies cannot sell a bad game, they can hurt a good one. That’s why Bethesda focused greatly on effective video game marketing strategies and did everything possible to push it out on the mass market. 


The roleplaying genre isn’t for everybody. While genres like shooters and racing are pretty much the standard for the gaming industry, RPGs have their audience. That’s why Bethesda’s job was so important. They had to create marketing strategies to make the regular gamer try something new, out of their comfort zone. From what the numbers say, Bethesda didn’t miss Skyrim! 

The Sims 2

Electronic Arts executives are acutely aware of the immense success achieved by The Sims in the realm of life-simulation games. The potential for economic growth seems limitless, encompassing expansion opportunities, branded content packs, and deluxe and special edition DVDs. 

With the marketing for Sims 2, there’s a deliberate shift towards targeting a new demographic: women aged 13 to 34. Freestyle Interactive, a digital marketing company, used Yahoo! Messenger to draw in 1.5 million potential players in the online world. 

By permitting these players to promote their real-world products within the game’s virtual marketplace, the marketing campaign attracted the interest of retail companies, ultimately leading to branded expansions such as IKEA Home Stuff and H&M Fashion.

Mario Kart

Super Mario is undoubtedly among the most iconic characters in the gaming industry. While we cannot say what marketing tricks were used in his first appearance in 1981, we now have a clear view of what Nintendo does to stay one of the leading game developers in the market. 

The Mario Kart series has shipped more than 173 million units since 1992. The launch of Mario Kart 8 in 2014 launched the Nintendo Wii console through the roof. One of the video game marketing tricks they used was to include NASCAR’s brand with the ride and trackside appearances by Mario and Luigi.  

To expand its fan base, Nintendo focuses on expanding into new markets and utilizing cutting-edge technologies. As a result, Nintendo has developed significantly throughout the years while providing video gamers with nothing short of a full delight.

Nintendo’s market share has been increasing due to its strong brand voice and the fantastic experience that this important firm gives. The company employs highly sophisticated branding and advertising methods based on customer intimacy and market research. 

BioShock 2

2K Games did a fantastic job with the launch of BioShock 2. The game was excellent, and they knew it. So, the developer did everything possible to increase the audience and create an even bigger hit using their strategic marketing plans. New content, new characters, and much more were added to the plot. 

The game’s launch trailer was a masterpiece. The magazines and advertisements came after. The players were overwhelmed with media material, and there was no way not to learn or read something about BioShock 2. 

To appeal to its community, 2K launched the “Something in the Sea” website, where they explained the in-depth lore of the game and characters. 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing marketing strategy
Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Even though this title launched at the peak of 2020, it surpassed AAA titles like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and FIFA 20. The marketing strategies used in the advertisement of this game helped it reach the top spot in the UK official games chart. 

The developers use social media as their strategy to bond with the community and increase their following. The title has sold more than 37 million copies worldwide, making it a huge success. 

Borderlands 2

When Borderlands 2 was unveiled at Gamescom in 2011, Game Informer featured it on September’s cover. The bold comic art of the original RPG was the focus of most of the promotion for 2K Games’ Borderlands 2 sequel, which was released in September 2012. 

A guy was seen pointing his fingers at his head like they were weapons in the game’s dark and daring box art, as well as several of its promotional materials. By February 2014, Borderlands 2 had amassed 8.5 million sales, making it 2K’s most successful game.

The video game marketing strategy that the developers of Borderlands 2 used was mainly through visual content. They regularly posted content, updates, and countdowns with pictures on social media. 

Assassin’s Creed 3

Assassin’s Creed 3, announced in February 2012, was a very ambitious video game project. The video game marketing team behind the title was even more motivated to create a hit out of their product. That’s why their marketing efforts went to social media. The release of the trailer, featuring the American Revolution, made the title feel even more alive and touching for the players.

The then Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Ubisoft said that turning to social media boosted their numbers, and the communication patterns unleashed the power of social media. This allowed them to reach a more significant part of their target audience. Social media marketing works since it sold 3.5 million copies less than a week after its release date.


The most important aspect of the gaming industry is for developers to create polished titles with exciting stories and features. Yet, the marketing strategies used are as important as how good the game is. 

A good strategy won’t sell a bad product, but marketing the wrong way might cause thousands of dollars in losses and ruin the reputation of the game studio. That’s why game developers focus so much on marketing; even if you have the best game, no one will play it if no one knows about it.

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Chantelle started her career in IT before eventually finding her way into Marketing. This eventually became her passion, along with Digital Marketing, SEO, and Brand and Web Development. Today, she helps businesses find their voice and grow online.

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