Video game payments service provider Xsolla launched an $8 million B2B campaign at the industry’s biggest showcase in June. CMO Nathalie Lubensky tells Paul Snell what the firm hopes to achieve
The Electronics Entertainment Expo, or E3 as it’s better known, is the biggest date in the video games calendar. Each June the world’s biggest publishers, developers and the gaming media arrive in Los Angeles to reveal their latest titles and show off their upcoming products.
At this year’s E3, Xsolla, which provides tools for developers that allow them to monetise their games, launched the biggest-ever B2B campaign in the gaming industry to debut its new range of products.
I caught up with Xsolla CMO Nathalie Lubensky ahead of Gamescom – Europe’s biggest video game exhibition which takes place this week – to learn more about the $8 million campaign.
What was the catalyst for the launch of this campaign, and why take the approach to launch the industry’s biggest-ever campaign?
There are so many talented independent video game developers throughout the world who do not have the fundamental tools, products or partners to launch their games to market on day one, as well as sell and grow their business globally. This pain-point was the catalyst for the brand campaign and for our new product suite.
At E3 much of the attention focuses on new announcements from the biggest publishers and developers. How did you ensure your campaign didn’t get drowned out by all that noise?
We took a very different approach and began reaching out to our key partners, developer community and select media prior to E3. This strategy began about two weeks ahead of E3 with media tours in New York City and San Francisco, and enabled us to educate media about our new product suite along with our new campaign to support our developers and gaming community. These new products – Xsolla Partner Network, Xsolla Site Builder, Xsolla Store, Xsolla Login and Xsolla Launcher – enable a seamless ecosystem where any size developer can access the tools and services necessary for success.
Apart from the obvious – they’re all in one place – what made E3 the best place to run this campaign for the B2B audience?
E3 is the world’s premier event for computer and video games and related products. At this show, the industry’s top talent connects with tens of thousands of the best, brightest, and most innovative in the interactive entertainment industry. This year, there were more than 69,200 attendees, millions of virtual attendees for E3 online events from around the world, and 200 cutting-edge companies who exhibited thousands of groundbreaking new technologies and never-before-seen products revealed to partners, industry executives, gamers, and social influencers and media. It is the one time of year that this $116 billion global video game industry and the world’s 2.6 billion gamers come together under one roof. According to analyst group Newzoo, the revenues generated from the video game market will exceed $137 billion by year’s end, and the industry is now more than three times more profitable than the movie industry worldwide. So there was no better event to unveil our campaign.
What is different about this B2B audience of game developers, and how did that affect the way you approached the campaign? Are game developers actually underserved as an audience in terms of advertising?
Yes. There are millions of underserved video game creators – from the smallest independents to the largest enterprises. These craftsmen and artists of this new virtual world lack easy access to the products and expertise they need to deliver games globally. This is why we developed our product suite and launched our new campaign.
What’s the messaging you were trying to get across to your audience, and how does that tie in to your creative?
Xsolla is here to level the playing field and offer any developer access to the tools for success for their games’ entire life-cycle. Our solutions extend any team’s ability to launch, sell and grow.
Career history: Nathalie Lubensky
SVP, GM LATAM Channels, Sony Pictures Television
SVP global marketing, SPT networks, Sony Pictures Television
What are the success factors behind the campaign, and what have the results been?
We have just launched the campaign, so it is still too early to provide results. However, overall feedback from our developer partners around the world has been incredibly positive.
How do you keep the momentum of the campaign going as you continue your global spend and sponsorships?
We will support our $8 million global spend via a blend of print and online advertisements, public relations, social media and sponsorships at 25-30 gaming industry shows around the world in 2018 and early 2019. The events we’re targeting include the upcoming Gamescom, Tokyo Game Show and GStar.
I understand the team at Xsolla are all avid gamers – from one gamer to another – what’s your favourite game at the moment?
Fortnite is a constant in our household.
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