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All successful games launch their trailers before the game launch #FactOrFiction

Posted on December 19, 2014
By Aksha Kini

Fellow developers, it’s myth busting time!

In our #FactOrFiction weekly blog series, we’ll take one prevalent myth in the mobile gaming world, and separate fact from fiction. Got a myth that needs some busting? Tweet it to us or post it on our FB page and we’ll have our experts look at it!

This week, we take a peek into the increasingly popular trend of launching app trailers

The Myth

All successful games launch their trailers before the game launch

With PlayStore and AppStore now supporting app trailers, app developers have an amazing new way to showcase their app through videos. Game trailers may showcase your gameplay screencasts with promotional messages, or simply your game in action, and do everything that screenshots fail to capture. But there is a popular belief that trailers are usually launched way in advance, to build hype ahead of the big launch. Let’s find out how true that is.

The Experiment

We analysed 25 games that made it to the top of the gaming charts on Android and Google, and studied the correlation between the game and the trailer launch timelines. Here is what we found:

Conclusion

  1. Everbody has a trailer!: Out of the 25 games we analyzed, 19 had trailers for at least one of the platforms. This is just a well stated fact, reinforced.
  2. 67% of trailer launches tie up to the game launch: Whether it’s a single platform launch, or a simultaneous launch on both iOS and Android, app devs seem to go all guns blazing with the game launch, releasing their trailers along with their games. While this approach is adopted by most of the indie game developers, large game studios like GoodGames and Social Point also seemed to follow this for their games Shadow Kings and Monster Legends, respectively.
  3. 30% of game devs use app trailers to build up for the big launch: Games like Monument Valley and Respawnables saw game trailers being launched a good 6-9 months in advance. Along with massive social media presence and a webpage- these game studios released multiple trailers, behind the scenes videos and other snippets of information about the game, building up to the launch of the game.
  4. Very few advertisers launched the trailer post game launch: Trailers for only 2 apps were released post the game launch, and both of these apps belong to small gamehouses.

Fact Or Fiction?

Definitely fiction! Majority of the game trailers were observed to be launched along with the game itself. Only big game houses with sufficient resources in place, released the game trailer in addition to other pieces of information ahead of the launch, in order to build hype and general interest in the market for the game.

Having said that, launching an app trailer early on can definitely not hurt. In fact, if you already have a popular game which has a large and loyal user base, launching an app trailer giving a sneak preview of what you have up your sleeve, can help keep users excited and waiting for your new game. But if you don’t have the time or the resources, don’t fret about it too much, as data tells us that developers who have timed their trailer launches to coincide with the app launch didn’t fare too badly!

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