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Why you need a high-quality trailer for your games

David Cullinane 27 June 2019

With E3 having just passed. And even though certain companies skipped the party this time, there’s still a buzz in the air about what happened at the event. E3 has become Christmas for gamers, and developers and publishers know it. That’s why it’s become the place to announce your newest slate of games. But in a sea of competitors, how will your game stand out?

When it comes to capturing your audience’s attention and increasing user acquisition, an effective and high-quality game trailer is critical. It forms the foundation of a prolonged marketing campaign in a game’s life cycle. 

In our modern digital world, first impressions are everything. Despite building and delivering an excellent game, your efforts will fall short if your trailer fails to do your game justice. It’s paramount you give your trailer the attention it deserves and make sure it ticks all the boxes. 

 

Capturing attention

In a highly competitive marketplace, user attention is in high demand. Your competitors are doing everything to draw maximum attention with their trailers and marketing efforts. Falling short in quality and due diligence here can be costly. 

Creating a trailer that engages and immediately captures your audience’s attention is critical. Failure to do so will see any user engagement drop fast. How you capture their attention is up to you. Sometimes the intrigue of what the mysterious project is is enough. Other times, the scenario itself might be enough to capture their curiosity. Whatever you do, just don’t start it with a parade of logos splashed onto a black background. Or if you need to do that, at least make them fit with the style of the game. 

 

Entertain

It might be an obvious point, but you want to make an entertaining trailer that encourages engagement. Note we said entertaining – not exciting. A trailer has to have to its own mini-narrative to carry the audience through to the end. You need to fit acts one, two, and three in the space of 90 seconds.

If they come away bored or confused, you haven’t done your job. This is your game – what do you think is entertaining? If you know the answer to that, then surely you know what to put in your trailer.

 

Understanding

A high-quality trailer leaves its audience with an understanding of what your game is about and what they’ll get out of it. The focus here isn’t necessarily on gameplay mechanics. You can choose a point of focus to show off what your game has to offer. It could be game goals, character journey, atmosphere, or storyline.

The key to a high-quality trailer is to avoid cramming too much information into it. In 90 seconds, stuffing your trailer with information on price, device information, story, gameplay, atmosphere, and all your other features is a sure way to turn off your audience. Focus on hooking them around your core concepts. They’ll actively search for more information after successful engagement. 

But it’s the professionals who have years of experience crafting trailers that evoke powerful emotions within the target audience. They have the knowledge to plan out dramatic structure and content from beginning to end, always staying respectful of your end product. With the ongoing battle for attention in such a competitive space, seeking industry expertise could give your game the attention it deserves, along with an edge over the competition. 

 

RealtimeUK is one such company, creating trailers for the likes of Subnautica, War Robots, and Zombie Gunship. Our staff are visionaries who can create a stand-out trailer worthy of hitting the E3 stage. If you would like to discuss your upcoming project, please contact me at dave@realtimeuk.com.