Tuesday, May 2, 2017

"How an Unfinished Game With No Marketing Came Out of Nowhere to Dominate the Internet"

The game is called PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds; it’s five weeks old, costs $30, and, technically, isn’t even finished. And — despite a release with no major marketing campaign or PR push — at any moment, 100,000 people are running it.


Battlegrounds’ success was “rooted in several factors,” Twitch’s Jason Maestas, senior director of partnerships, North America, told me. “The fanbase was already in place,” thanks to PlayerUnknown’s previous popular mods, for one. But, just as significantly, “their team has done a phenomenal job of getting the game into the hands of many of popular Twitch content creators” — according to Twitch’s data, “essentially every major variety and FPS streamer” is playing it.

That word-of-mouth distribution method, which can bring in millions in revenue without a traditional PR blitz, represents a dramatic shift in how games are sold, and how they are played.