This piece is a guest contribution from Stephen Ojo. A freelance writer based in Nigeria with an interest in gaming and the legal challenges faced by creative teams. This piece centres on Sunday Akor and how he is establishing a community on social media around his indie title exploring female harassment.
Marketing of games in general is one activity that requires lots of resources to pull off, from creating targeted ads to building the necessary gaming community for the game title. This is definitely one of the major challenges for game development company in Africa and most especially, independent game developers.
This proved to be an initial obstacle to 18-year-old Sunday Akor from Nigeria, who started learning how to develop games from the age of 15. For Sunday, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube have been able to serve as platforms for him to be able to get his game to the outside world and with over 1Million followers on TikTok and over 290K views for his game, Sunday Akor has been able to carve a niche for himself in the art of game marketing through the use of social media.
GOING VIRAL WITH VIRAGO
Sunday Akor started his journey as a 15-year-old interested in social media marketing as well as telling stories through games. After playing a couple of indie games himself, he decided to build his game that will tell the story about female harassment.
He started developing the game, Virago, in March 2020, and only started pushing out the game on social media about three months ago from now.
Virago is a 2D adventure game which focuses heavily on story-telling and platforming, as it is set in a sprawling interconnected world with black and white graphics.
The game is about a young girl called Willow, in which after an incident with her stalker, she begins to suffer from hallucinations, which then subsequently makes her begin to lose sight of what’s real and fake in her immediate environment and this begins to affect her emotionally and psychologically.
As for marketing of the game, this took careful interaction with and feedback from the mini community he built, for it to garner over 290K views and engagement across three social media platforms. He initially started promoting this game from April, 2020, but got negative reviews from his mini community and so, he decided to stop and abandon the channel and during this time, he improved on the graphics and other visual aspect of the game, and tried promoting the game again, three months down the line and got good reception from his mini-community.
HOW HE PROMOTED ON INSTAGRAM
Sunday started promoting his game on Instagram first, because he felt that people were just starting to get used to TikTok. He started by commenting on big pages that talked about similar issues that his game seeks to addresss and he followed this up by giving people a short pitch of his game, in which most people liked and subsequently followed the games page (@virago_game).
For his effort, Virago’s page has been able to hit garner over 4K followers and an average of 1K views for every post on the page.
HOW HE PROMOTED ON TIKTOK
Sunday later decided to move his promotion to TikTok, after getting positive reception from his mini-community on Instagram.
The key things he did to promote his game on Tiktok are;
– He made short 10-15 seconds videos, explaining some key parts in the game that got people hooked and which they could relate to.
– He got his followers on TikTok involved during the process of making the game, as he got ideas about some scenes and stories in the game, from TikTok comments. He subsequently posted videos showing the iteration of these ideas while also thanking his followers.
– He made sure to get the email address and Discord tags of fans interested in the game, so that he could notify them about updates regarding the game. He will also go ahead to encourage them to comment and share posts on TikTok, because TikTok algorithm favours videos that has many shares and comments.
Through all of the above processes, Sunday has been able to accumulate about 1.2Million followers on his TikTok animation account and approximately 300k followers on Virago’s gaming account.