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Guild Launch's 2014 Dragon Slayer Awards: Best Promotional Effort by a Game

Do you like seeing ads for upcoming game titles? If so, which game do you think did it the best? Visit GuildLaunch.com to vote!

Every year, Guild Launch, the site that helped spawn GameSkinny, puts on the Dragon Slayer Awards for the best of the best in the gaming realm. This year, it's all about fans, comics, indie games, video series, Twitch channels, Kickstarters, and so much more. For those select few games that pulled all the stops as far as game advocacy is concerned, there's the 'Best Promotional Effort by a Game' category. Let's take a look at who made the final cut for voting.

And the Nominees for 'Best Promotional Effort by a Game' are...

Elder Scrolls Online

Grand Theft Auto V

Hearthstone

Marvel Heroes

WildStar

'Promotional Effort'? What's that?

Well, whenever you see ads for games on billboards, television, and other things like that, there's a promotional effort being made. Video game companies want you to know that their game is hip and happening in hopes that you'll buy it. Not only that, but they'll also put on giveaways and contests with exclusive, special-made memorabilia that will only be made for promotional purposes.

Mass Advertising

Game companies want the gaming community (that's YOU) to know about their upcoming game titles. And they'll do just about anything to get your attention.

For example, the Homefront marketing campaign was so huge and strange that it pissed off a good chunk of the San Francisco community. According to Joystiq.com, ten thousand red balloons were released into the sky of the City by the Bay...only to end up in the actual Bay. Do all game companies do weird marketing stunts such as this?

Not quite, but it's a way to reach the gaming community, be it good or bad publicity.

Contests

Game companies will put on contests to promote their games and the prizes are usually pretty awesome.

For example, Bethesda Blog held a contest during the San Diego Comic-Con for special-made Evil Within Xbox One consoles - and all participants had to do was take a picture of their favorite console at the Xbox Gaming Lounge and share it on Twitter. It's an easy win for only 20 participants (since there were only 20 consoles) and an even easier win for the game company's marketing department.

Giveaways

These are things you'll find on official game sites, at events like the San Diego Comic-Con, and the like.

Insomniac Games' Sunset Overdrive website announced that they would hold giveaways at the San Diego Comic-Con. On their Twitter page, one of the things given away was a balloon replica of the Over Charge mascot, Fizzie. These balloons were probably just for this occasion, so that makes the giveaway even more special.

Pre-Order Incentives

Games aren't sold by themselves anymore. Go to any GameStop and they'll tell you that if you pre-order a highly-anticipated game, it'll probably come with something like downloadable content, a strategy guide, or something else.

For example, Destiny is offering "early access to Vanguard weapons and gear and a Vanguard player emblem" when gamers pre-order a copy. Another win-win situation.

And they don't stop after the game releases!

Nowadays there's special downloadable content being made all the time. Some are holiday-specific or celebrate something special about the game company. Others are just-because and are 'hyped up' to get gamers excited about being able to experience it for themselves in-game.

No matter how these game companies let us know about their games, we're excited to know about them. We love games! And whether the way we learn about these new games thrills us or pisses us off, we know about them. They're on television, all over social media (and the internet in general), at our favorite annual conventions, and sometimes even in the newspaper. Game companies don't want you to forget their games - they want you to remember them so that maybe you'll buy them.

So if you enjoy Elder Scrolls OnlineGrand Theft Auto VHearthstone, Marvel Heroes or WildStar, make sure to visit Guild Launch and vote for your favorite! Think of it as a 'thank you' for all their promotional efforts that got you to play their games! But remember - there can be only one winner.

Published Jul. 31st 2014

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