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By Tabitha Goodman
The video gaming industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Well-known game developers like Nintendo, Sony Interactive Entertainment and EA Games are expanding rapidly. And indie companies and lone developers are helping to pave the way for better games and more intricate stories.
“With modern-day games and gaming platforms offering photorealistic graphics, reality simulation, and the ability to connect with millions of other players online,” according to Liquid Web, “playing video games has become more than just a childhood hobby for many—it has evolved into a lifestyle for people of all ages.”
The global gaming industry is worth $220.79 billion in 2022, according to Gamefid, which tracks gaming statistics. They estimate that there are nearly 227 million players cross all ages in the U.S. and 3.24 billion mobile gamers of all ages worldwide. Those numbers are expected to increase steadily as smartphones offer the opportunity for mobile gaming.
In fact, many game developers are currently creating games exclusively for smartphones and tablets to meet rapidly expanding demand. “As smartphones boast faster processing speeds, higher-quality graphics, and larger screens—it’s no wonder smartphones and tablets are taking over the global games market,” says Khaled Shaalan of Game Gavel.
From mobile games, to console, to PC, these companies need quality copywriting often within their games and also to promote their products on their websites and social media platforms.
You wouldn’t think video games contain copywriting in the actual game but they can. For example, when you’re playing a game and exploring the environment, you may pick up objects, which can be letters or newspapers helping to set the scene.
The same could be said of the tutorials and instructions. In-game text is a broad area. The writing needs to be original and sometimes quite lengthy.
“Storyline, dialogue and instruction aren’t the only in-game areas requiring a scribbler’s skills. From game menus to context-sensitive prompts, somebody has to pen all the ancillary copy and, with titles constantly pushing new boundaries, in-game text is a growing requirement,” says John Featherstone of Copy Republic.
He explains that the need for good copy in video games applies to many areas including:
Developing the content for each of the above areas requires a copywriter who understands video gaming and also video game marketing. For developers working towards a deadline, these copy elements can really throw a wrench in the process.
An experienced copywriter can ensure the copy is written within the available time frame and is effective in enhancing the quality of the game and generating sales.
If you have a game to promote and are planning to do the copywriting yourself, keep these five pointers in mind:
Getting Started on Your Promotional Copy
Your goal for the copy should be to keep the reader engaged and interested. Provide answers to questions such as these:
Ideally, you can entwine wit and attitude in your writing. You’re a skilled storyteller who can communicate across different channels and connect emotionally with gamers.
Whether you’re a startup company or a well-established force in the gaming industry, you’ll want to begin promoting your game long before it’s ready for sale. Create a big build-up in advance, targeting potential buyers and priming them for the big release.
Most gamers can name at least one game they have bought purely because of the hype. Whether or not the game lived up to the hype, is another issue.
With the right copywriting, the gaming community will anticipate the release and you’ll see fast sales from day #1. Even if you’re a big company and your name is already known and trusted in the gaming community, you want to create a buzz about your game long before it hits the market.
If you’re an indie game developer and your budget for promotion is tight, you can write your own marketing copy. But to maximize your results, consider working with a professional copywriter, someone who not only understands video game marketing but also search engine optimization (SEO), which is the key to coming up in search results on Google.
From the in-game copy to game-enhancement materials such as character bios and historical background, to the video game’s description, all copy content needs to be carefully written.
Remember, effective copy draws and keeps visitors on your sites and platforms. Hiring a copywriter is an investment that ultimately pays for itself by helping to build your brand and to generate for your game. With the right copy, you can be confident that you’ve taken all of the steps necessary to ensure your video game’s success.
Tabitha Goodman is a freelance copywriter who enjoys writing for the gaming industry. She is also an avid gamer herself but considers playing video games “research” for her work.