January 30th, 2017

Let’s pigeonhole the game trailers

Most of the time you download a game (or even purchase it), just because its trailer looks interesting or because of the hype created during its promotions (remember Pokemon GO?).
A game trailer is a promotional tool used to pull more gamers to try out the game (and of course make more profits). A trailer can introduce you to the characters, give you an idea about the storyline and gameplay and ultimately build curiosity in you to know more about it. The best scenes, visual effects, music etc. are put together to lure the gamers.

Video game Industry:
Video game trailers have become a big thing. Global video game industry is expected to be $90.1 billion by 2020. Game trailers can be of great help for cutting through the noise and reaching your target customers. Even the top video game companies like PS4 use trailers to promote their upcoming games on a large scale. Big video game companies like Nintendo, made game trailers even in the 90’s and they still release good trailers like this one, Do You Know Mario

Let’s look at the number of views for some game trailer videos (YouTube):

Clash of Clans: Hog Rider 360°:

Views :  43,110,679

FIFA 17 – The Journey – Official Trailer:

Views : 10,874,357

Starter Pokémon for Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon Revealed:

Views : 10,860,489

These views are continuously increasing while you read this. Needless to say, these trailers have attracted millions of game lovers to the game.

Game trailer came into the picture during the late 90’s with the popularity of internet, animation, and platforms like Youtube. Today, game trailers have become mainstream. Apart from a few exceptions, the length of a trailer ranges from 30 sec to 3 mins. These trailers can be simple or as cinematic as any movie trailer and have high-quality visuals. 

It’s entirely up to you to decide what kind of trailer would you want your audience to see. There are 6 broad categories of game trailers.

Players in Action: The prime reason for mentioning this category is that it is relatively new. You must have come across the trailer for Pokemon Go. This trailer shows you how people around the world are playing the game. Since the very beginning, it inspires you to overcome the challenges to be able to earn the title of “Master” from the prestigious brand Google. It also reminds you to follow your passion for being an explorer. Towards the end, simple instructions guide you on how to get started. Also, the deadline in an imposing text calls for a quick action.

Storytelling: In most of the trailers, a story is told and the character of the story is shown facing some challenges. Rest of the details are left for you to explore in the game. Detroit: Become Human is an amazing example for the same. It depicts a thrilling story, the viewer can feel like a character “in” the game. Towards the end, the character says, “Make your story”. It feels like it’s your battle and you have to overcome the challenges and win. This level of engagement makes you want to try out the game.

Game Play: This kind of trailers are less fancy and are closer to the look and feel of the actual game. They exhibit the characters and visuals of the game. The controls of the gameplay are also demonstrated. After watching the trailer for Super Mario Run, you can easily get the hang of the game. Mario is such a popular game, still, they chose gameplay for explaining its evolution because this style is simple yet effective. Similarly, this Pokemon Go trailer introduces the three new Pokemons in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon.

Cinematic: The USP of some game trailers is the visual appeal. They entertain you with a mesmerising story and help you understand the theme of the game. The action-packed trailer for STAR WARS: The Old Republic is nothing short of a Hollywood movie clip.

Game Concept Explainer: For some games, a Gameplay trailer may be confusing for the viewers. Other games may have little scope for storytelling. Democracy 3 is a political game in which you run a country. The voice over sounds like something the gamer would be thinking while playing the game. It clearly conveys the concept of Democracy in less than 2 mins!

The above categories are not mutually exclusive. You could definitely find a storytelling trailer with awesome cinematics. Still, the categorization can help you choose the most appropriate way to enthral the gamers and convince them they want your game.


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