Hi Elliott, This is a great breakdown and very generous in sharing your process and insights, you came a long way from the vending machine days!
Are you planning on releasing the UE4 project to the public? Or only builds? I'd love to play around with it in the editor if possible!
GamerU is a very interesting company providing developers and publishers with cool new ways of promoting their games. This studio specializes in creating top-notch tips and tricks videos for different games. We’ve talked with the company’s CEO James Sullivan about the current and future projects of GamerU.
Can you introduce yourself and tell us about GamerU?
I’m James Sullivan with the founder of GamerU. We are a video production partner with game publishers and developers. We work with them prior to launch of a new game and produce custom video content to support the game. That could be tips, tricks, strategy videos that they can launch in conjunction with their game. When they come out with a brand new game there’s videos to support that game in not only their game community, but for them to use on their marketing channels, their social channels, and things like that/ These videos help to drive awareness and heightened the brand.
What kind of videos do you do? Do you have any other services?
Basically we do a tip or trick video on how to beat a certain level or a character overview on a certain character in the game or an overview on a gun or how to beat a certain level and things like that. But it varies depending on the game. Whether it’s a strategy game, FPS, puzzle game, and things like that. We professionally produce all the content. It’s much different than user generated content where you have no idea what you’re getting, the quality is very poor, and it’s usually like a 10 minute video. There’s a people talking and rambling on. Our videos are short, 1-2 minute professionally produced videos. We have a professional team of voiceover artists and video editors that basically condense the video and delivers you the tip in a short, precise format.
The other thing we do is we translate the videos into four different languages. We’ve done videos in Spanish, French, German, and Mandarin. We can pretty much do any language that a client requests. Not only are you targeting your English speaking audience, but you can target any other demographic that you’re looking to target. If you think about a publisher launching a new game and they want to target a specific market and need twenty something videos in a language, it’s a huge undertaking. You need not only a translator but a voiceover artist and a video editor that speaks that language. So you need three people on your team separate from the English video, who can create that custom video.
The other thing we do for publishers is once we produce the content, they own the content to use in their channels but we also have our own website and user acquisition platform (GamerU.com). We distribute the videos on our site as well. We have a basic game recommendation engine. So if you’re playing a certain game like Destiny and you’re watching a video on that we’ll recommend other games that you may like that are similar to that. Then we take the traffic that comes in and hopefully convert new users to our partner schemes. They’re not only getting the video production services, but they’re also getting the user acquisition services as well. All for one, low flat fee.
So what kind of games have you worked with and can you name some of your partners?
Recently we worked with Industrial Toys. They just launched their game Midnight Star which is their first mobile, first person shooter game (from the co-creator of Halo). We just launched that game two weeks ago. We worked with them on their tips and tricks. It was about 25 videos we launched for them. We worked with Atari. They’re launching a new game called Alone in the Dark, and we’re in the process of producing their videos right now. We worked with Atari as well on their game Minimum. We signed Ubisoft, we worked with them on some of their games. We worked with a handful of publishers on their content. The site has right now 75 game titles and every week we launch new content for games.
How do you charge for your services?
It’s a low flat fee based on the number of videos that they want. Basically it’s a “per video fee” that we charge and then they can select the languages that they want and the number of videos that they want so we always tell publishers we can work with any budget. It can be from indie developers to any major developers.
So you do work with indie developers?
Absolutely. We can handle any production needs. There are the tips and tricks videos, but we also produce game trailers as well. We’ve had clients that we’ll produce a game trailer for that will appear in the app store. It should be a 1-2 minute overview on the game. Any video assets that they need to support the game, we can produce.
Would you say that today the marketing of games has become, almost videocentric?
The only way you can push out a game is by watching it right?
Absolutely. So this content is not only going to serve the game community but it’s going to increase the lifetime value of the player because if they are stuck on a level, you want them to clearly continue playing and pass the level. It’s not only going to heighten brand awareness, but it’s going to increase lifetime value.
We believe that the players we generate for you, from a user acquisition standpoint, are going to be more valuable and more likely to convert to a revenue generating player. So it serves many purposes for the publisher. It’s no longer enough just to make a great game, but you need this additional content to support the game. You can’t come out with a great game and expect everyone to play it. There’s a game community and you look at all the top publishers and they build their own game community behind that game. They need this content to support that as well.
If you’re having a free-to-play title like a mobile game, what kind of videos would you advise to make for the game to push it?
Well we have our own team of game experts who will go in and who will spend a couple of weeks playing the game and learning the game of each genre. They’ll then come up with what they call a custom tip list of what they recommend for the tips. We’re working in conjunction with the publisher as to what a new person playing the game needs to know and needs to learn. We can handle it ourselves as far as creating an entire tip list. Once it’s approved we go into production and we’ll produce that content. Like I said it’s typically anywhere from 20-30 videos per game that we’ll produce. If it’s across multiple languages, you know four to five languages could be over a hundred videos that we’ll produce per game.
So it’s pretty big right?
It’s a very big process. It typically takes us, I’d say anywhere from 30-60 days prior to the game. It’s usually when we like to start working with the publisher. I’d say about 60 days out from when the game is anticipated to launch. The goal is to have the content ready to go to launch in conjunction with the game. So as soon as the game is launched, you have all these videos that they have to support the game. They can start tweeting out on their social media channels and things like that.
You work with publishers and developers?
Yeah, we work with anyone who needs video content to support their game.
Do you see any competition coming from people who stream on Twitch and other websites, or is this a totally different way of looking at videos and games?
We look at this as a totally different thing. Twitch is a completely different animal. For Twitch players, the videos are basically a walkthrough. They play for however long and they’re showing you from start to finish how to do it. You can watch it and it is valuable but what we’re doing is different. We are providing you a short, professionally produced and edited tips or trick video that gets you the answer you need. By doing this you can get back to playing the game you love.
I mean if you’re in the middle of playing a game and you’re stuck, you can watch a 20 minute video on it. We found out most people just want the answer, and they want it quickly. So that’s why we edit our videos down to 1-2 minute long videos so that you get the answer you want quickly and get back to the game.