February 20, 2024

4 min

Video Game

Juan Jimenez

Marketing Manager

How to get a job in video game marketing?

Two weeks ago, we talked about the exciting world of video game marketing and how crucial it has become in selling and positioning a video game nowadays. Whether your game is a AAA blockbuster, a crowdfunded indie, or a pure passion project in the style of Stardew Valley, Minecraft, or Braid, gaining enough visibility to make it a success will require the work of a large number of people.

In addition to the usual strategic positions, a video game marketing team will need editors, community managers, graphic designers, video editors, PR representatives, and even celebrities and public figures in specific cases. While the acceptance of video games as a hobby has grown tremendously over the past few years, differentiating yourself from the competition can get increasingly difficult in a world where more and more studios and developers want to enter the field.

If this challenge sounds thrilling enough — as much or more than video games — and you want to get placed somewhere on the industry's enormous assembly line, keep reading. This blog article contains several tips on being the most sought-after marketer and participating in the most desired video game campaigns yearly.

To study, or not to study, that is the question.

As in any field of human development and work, a degree in Marketing or equivalent careers — such as advertising, graphic design, public relations, or journalism — will undoubtedly open doors for you to enter the industry. However, even the most junior position offer will likely expect some prior relationship with the world of video games in addition to your undergraduate degree.

Journalists and writers with a passion for gaming can use their skills to write about it by doing copywriter internships for gaming websites, the gaming press, or gaming communities. If you studied any other career mentioned above, you need a minimum of one year of experience for any gaming marketing position; the more related this experience is to entertainment or tech, the more likely you are to appear on a candidate search.

Luckily, the most crucial task will also be the easiest: you need to be informed about the current state of video games. Attending events; reading the gaming press, discussion forums, and online articles; playing the latest releases in the market; and taking note of current development, promotion, and sales trends will be instrumental in raising your profile for a potential hire.

Understanding this is perhaps more important than the degree itself: you'd be surprised how many positions where a solid portfolio of marketing and related skills, along with a solid understanding of industry needs and at least a year of experience in an advertising agency, opens more doors than a prestigious degree. Video games, like other arts, are more about how passionate in your field of work you are than how expensive your training was.

Making it big when small

As we've previously discussed, positioning a video game in the marketplace involves a series of tactics and tools far removed from your typical marketing and sales profile. In a time when building communities, living up to the hype, and employing unconventional strategies to sell a game can be the difference between an all-time classic and a wasted opportunity, having out-of-the-box skills will always be well regarded.

Unlike other traditional sectors, where objective assessment and product comparisons can be differentiating factors, video game marketing tends to appeal to the emotions and passion of the audience. Whether it is a larger-than-life story, a faithful tribe of players, or a degree of fun that no other entertainment product can offer, the captive audience of a game feels first, then thinks.

That's why marketers with prior experience in show business, the technology industry, or even sports can have a decisive advantage over experts in other run-of-the-mill areas. Due to the nature of video game campaigns, those with a background in digital marketing or brand management also have a comparative advantage over others.

Ideally, a marketing director or campaign manager will want to surround themselves with a multi-disciplinary team with extensive experience in digital marketing techniques. Community managers, social media strategists, and content creators usually have an assured place in any video game positioning strategy, with network management depending almost exclusively on the ambition and reach of the video game and campaign. Experience managing online communities such as Reddit, Discord, and discussion forums will be a plus when trying to snag a gaming marketing role.

When doing PR, marketing teams in gaming usually have two options: hire an agency specialized in managing digital events and campaigns or recruit their specialists. In both cases, it is essential to get to know the lifestyle and unique language of the gaming community of developers, advertisers, and industry representatives; conventions, events, and meetings are the ideal places to learn the gaming zeitgeist.

Finally, knowing how to manage the press is crucial to break into the video game business. Implementing digital media campaigns; and maintaining good relationships with reporters, influencers, and industry legends who have gone on to become mentors or faces of the industry. Using every possible opportunity to create favorable buzz is the trump card to earn a relevant position in video game marketing.


Getting along with the behemoth

While structuring a marketing career around these tips apply to any gaming industry sector, in a world as volatile and ever-changing, skills mutate and get updated almost weekly. Proof of this is the tremendous prevalence of data science, especially in the mobile gaming and games-as-a-service (GaaS) sector.

If you have a background in data analytics or have formally studied data science, you will likely find work supporting a gaming marketing team; these are commonly well-paid positions in the industry. They are instrumental in determining the lifecycle of a game-as-a-service and the success of monetization campaigns, be it products such as battle passes, paid expansions, or purchase-based loyalty schemes.

Another talent that is becoming crucial in large-scale marketing campaigns, especially in GaaS or free-to-play games, is user acquisition. Although it scores relatively well in the highest-paid disciplines, user acquisition can be challenging. The constant variation of algorithms and measurement systems across platforms, ever-changing metrics to assess the success of advertising campaigns, and tight deadlines make stress management vital to these roles.

As they scale in both ambition and size, positions in video game marketing increasingly require soft skills and leadership abilities. With experience and age, jobs such as vice presidents of marketing, marketing directors, or brand managers become more about leading teams of professionals to achieve a common goal and having people skills, with individual skills becoming a measure of team performance.

Also, in positions such as these, a background in business or finance starts to become desirable because of the large budgets that can be involved, especially in AAA companies with multi-million dollar campaigns and money pouring in.

No matter the position, creativity will always be a skill to have. From the most junior copywriter to the most successful VP of marketing, seeing beyond the veil and thinking through all possible scenarios will never go unquoted. If you have enough inventiveness and natural talent to tackle any given situation, video game marketing can be a rewarding and lucrative experience.

Does any of these positions and responsibilities catch your attention? Feel free to browse our Live Jobs and check out our open marketing roles. If you need any additional advice on how to enter this world, email us at india@hapticrecruit.com, and we will provide you with personalized advice.[1] 

 I thought this would be a nice way to close the article and start using it as a more efficient marketing tool. Feel free to consult this with John, however, and contrast it against how many marketing roles we have at the moment

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