Coporate comms for new studios in 2024

Future Proofing – Coporate Comms for New Studios in 2024

Gaming is transforming, and transformation is hard. Born during these challenging times, emerging studios will be fueled by creative freedom, innovation, and a more sustainable and equitable future. Those studios with a clear vision for the industry will be the standouts. Whether you’re a solo dev or indie studio riding the crest of the next wave, now is the time to clarify that vision.

While promoting your game is crucial, crafting a compelling corporate story is equally important — a story that shows your unique vision for gaming’s future and outlines a proactive PR strategy that builds trust and establishes your studio as the forefront of thought leadership.

“Why should we care about your studio?”

More than a marketing schtick, your corporate story is the DNA of your studio which encompasses your mission, values, unique vision, and team culture. It’s the narrative that differentiates you and will attract top talent, resonate with investors, and ultimately connect with paying players.

To craft a compelling corporate story, start by defining your mission and values. What drives your team? What kind of games do you want to create? What impact do you want to make on the industry?

Next, identify your unique vision for gaming. What sets your studio apart from the rest? Are you pushing boundaries with innovative gameplay mechanics? Are you exploring underrepresented genres or themes? Are you embracing new platforms or technology?

Your corporate story should also highlight your team’s experience and passion. Showcase the unique skills and perspectives that each team member brings to the table. Share stories about your collective experience and how it’s the secret sauce that will make your studio the next big thing in gaming.

Finally, articulate how your studio will contribute to the broader conversation about the future of games. This is especially important right now when so many are jaded about the industry and looking for leadership. What part are you playing in righting the ship? Are you advocating for ethical business practices? Are you creating a more inclusive workplace? Are you exploring new ways to engage and connect with players?

Lead With Your Vision for Gaming

A strong corporate story lays the foundation, but a unique vision for gaming is what truly sets your studio apart. It’s the guiding light that illuminates your path in an ever-evolving industry. Your vision encapsulates your creative ambitions, your values, and your aspirations for the future of games.

A clear and compelling vision not only attracts top talent who share your passion but also resonates with players seeking something fresh and meaningful. It gives your studio a distinct identity, a rallying cry that sets you apart from the sea of competitors.

As the industry navigates uncertain waters, a powerful vision can be the anchor that keeps your studio grounded and focused. It can inspire your team, attract partners and investors who believe in your potential, and ultimately guide your creative decisions, ensuring that your games reflect your unique perspective and contribute to the ongoing conversation about the future of gaming.

One of the most compelling examples of this is Heartbound by Pirate Software. This studio is led by Jason Thor Hall, an ex-Blizzard employee turned game developer. Hall manages to engage fans through Twitch and YouTube shorts and bring his viewers through an emotional journey of game development. This compelling origin story combined with fan interaction has garnered the Pirate Software studios tons of support globally. Heartbound is still in early access and has over 1,700 reviews.

Corporate PR: Where to Start and What It Encompasses

Now that you’ve defined your corporate story and honed your vision, it’s time to share it with the world. This is where corporate PR comes into play. 

Corporate PR is a multi-faceted approach to building and maintaining your studio’s reputation. It involves various strategies, each designed to reach different audiences and achieve specific goals:

  • Media Relations: Forge relationships with journalists and media outlets to secure coverage for your studio and games. Craft compelling press releases, pitch stories, and offer exclusive interviews to get your message out there.

  • Thought Leadership: Establish your studio founders and team members as experts in the field. Share your insights through blog posts, articles, speaking engagements, and participation in industry panels. Position yourself as a thought leader who is actively shaping the future of gaming.

  • Awards and Recognition: Submit your games and studio for industry awards and honors. Recognition from your peers not only boosts your credibility but also increases your visibility within the industry.

  • Community Engagement: Connect with the gaming community through social media, forums, and events. Foster a loyal fan base by sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses, engaging in conversations, and soliciting feedback. Building a strong community can be a powerful asset during challenging times.

Investor Relations (if applicable): If you’re seeking funding, develop a clear and compelling narrative for potential investors. Showcase your studio’s vision, growth potential, and commitment to sustainable practices.

Crisis Communications: Future-Proofing Your Reputation with Authenticity

Even the most well-prepared studios can face unexpected challenges. A negative review, a social media backlash, or an unforeseen industry shift can all threaten your reputation and undermine your hard work. 

To future-proof your reputation, you need to be prepared for the worst. Start by creating a crisis communication plan that outlines the steps you’ll take in different scenarios. Identify a designated spokesperson who will be responsible for communicating with the media, the public and also the internal team. Prepare key messages and talking points that align with your corporate story and values.

Most importantly, remember that authenticity is key during a crisis. Be transparent, honest, and compassionate in your communication. Acknowledge mistakes, take responsibility, and outline the steps you’re taking to address the situation.

By prioritizing authenticity and transparency in your crisis communications, you can not only weather the storm but also emerge stronger and more resilient, with your reputation intact.

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