The video game industry has become one of the most popular forms of entertainment among the NOW Generation. This industry has grown in more ways than one, from advanced technological innovation to increasing customer engagement. Podcast guest Aaron Kaufman, Social Media Director from 2K Core Games & Corporate Channels, discusses creating connections between the consumer and the brand, engaging through the community of the video game industry. His insights and experience in this industry help us understand that their strategies go beyond just a game plan. He has been a fundamental part of developing popular video games and firmly believes that fan gratification is vital to success.
- Aaron’s background and passion for the gaming industry.
- Real connection found in video games.
- UGC as a way to engage with consumers.
- Sentiment data is crucial for the video game industry.
- Video games were the first Metaverse.
- Marketing strategies should be more than just transactional.
“I’d say over the years, like my, my passion for this has substantially grown in the direction of doing it because I love the fan gratification. I have some friends today that are best friends that I met through the gaming industry through fandom.”
“These are not people that worked in games. They’re fans of former games that I worked on, through different means and stories I established relationships with, to the point where I can now look at them, you know, as some of my closest friends.”
“I love working on games that have a real connection. I don’t create games. I’m not the developer, but as a social media manager, when I get to work on a game that is either based on a real IP with a built-in fan site, or a fandom that is a new universe from a developer who’s trying to bring people into this new world and get people attached to it, or working with a creative director where the story is so close to their heart that it’s literally based off of their life in some regards.”
“You know, there is, you know, passionate ties to the story, to the universe that these developers think of.”
“I mean, hey, to each their own. But as far as I’m concerned, the games that I’ve been able to work on, and what I see brewing in this industry are definitely games with, with deeper meaning.”
“I think our industry as a whole is moving in a few big directions. And, and one of the biggest is personalization, ownership, and, and all of that kind of through this sense of, you know, UGC, you know, what we call user generated content.”
“And this is all in the spirit of UGC, it’s developers that are creating a platform that’s making it easy, frictionless, low barrier for people to take and play and create, and then creating a system that makes it easy for you to download and experience those things.”
“My team and I were responsible for building social strategy and fan engagement and content, you know, around all the non-sport titles. And then I also oversee the 2K brand.”
“Sentiment to us is critical to help us understand at least the start of what our fans are saying about the game today. What are they saying about today, this week, this month? What’s the sentiment score? Are we driving more engagements? Are we driving impressions? Are people saving our content? That’s where my brain is on a lot of those things to help us understand data-wise.”
“Is our content marketing working? Is our marketing in general working and then creating reports, delivering back to marketing to help them understand, and it creates that nice full circle, feedback loop between us, marketing, PR, et cetera, to pivot or stay the course with our marketing strategy.”
“I think the video game industry created the metaverse years ago. It’s called Final Fantasy 14. It’s called World of Warcraft. It’s called the Sims. It’s called Second Life. It’s called Roblox and Minecraft. It’s called Go Watch, you know, Tito DJ concert or the premiere of Star Wars.”
“ I think this word metaverse is, again, this might be controversial. I think it’s abused and overused. I think, what, at the end of the day, what the metaverse is, what we’re talking about is we’re talking about creating virtual worlds that we want, we’re creating.”
“And, you know, I think, I think, you know, the social platforms and the video industry are starting to collide. VR/AR starting to collide. So I’m honestly not quite sure what the Metaverse is shaping up to be in a way that I don’t really feel passionate about yet, because I feel maybe I’m a little jaded.”
“ I truly believe that the gaming industry is two or three steps ahead of any, any non-gaming metaverse thing out there right now.”
“What is it about what they’re loving, what they’re not loving, and how can we find that, spark, that passion and, and grab onto it? And that’s where I want us to be creating our social media marketing strategies around.”
“It’s not purely data driven. It is a little bit of all the above. And I think when we do that, we will create unforgettable moments on our social media accounts.”
“This is how I want people to think, like, look for those relations, those moments. Don’t just be transactional, mechanical, you know, a static billboard. Like, you know, if that’s why you’re doing social media management, you’re not doing it for the right reasons.”