Good Timing: How to Write About Your Favorite Game on GameSkinny
If you want to write about a game, but aren't sure where to start, you've come to the right place. This is a guide to game coverage, and we'll provide examples of each coverage type along the way.
Timing is Everything
How long has this game been out?
It may sound odd, but that question determines the most important part of any coverage: what the audience wants to know. You can write the most amazing article anyone has ever seen, but if it's not on the right topic, using a good title, and at the right time, it won't get seen.
Here's how to find out the right time to write about things.
It's been out awhile
If your game of choice has been out for more than 4 months, this is the category for you.
This is the Google Trends report for EVE online. It shows a healthy long term interest in the game that lasts well past launch.
Most games fall into this category (or they will eventually after a trip through the other two categories). Readers are looking for changes to the status quo, so you'll want to stay on top of new content, patches and expansions.
Key coverage for existing games:
- Report changes: Expansion announcements, Patch notes, upcoming events.
- Guides for new content: How-tos and guides for new content
- Community coverage: Who are the star players? Why are they so awesome?
- Opinion articles: What makes this game great? What problems does it have?
Patch Notes: If you're looking for an easy way to get started, publish reader friendly version of your favorite games patch notes. Most of the time they are needlessly complex, so making them easy to understand is a huge help. Here's an example where Ashley reviews Aion's 3.7 patch.
Community & Opinion: Mat Westhorpe does a great job covering EVE Online. He uses his extensive knowledge of the game and it's players to not only create great community coverage and opinion pieces, but to share his articles to an expanded audience.
It just launched
If release day was yesterday, you've got a big opportunity on your hands.
This compares the prior EVE trends to the launch for GTA V (Grand Theft Auto V) AS you can see, there's a lot of coverage and interest as the game launches. The earlier you have your articles out there, the better positioned you are to be a resource for new players.
Everyone is firing up the game for the first time, and they all have the same questions. The key to your coverage is recognizing when you have a question, and creating an article that answers it.
Key coverage for new releases:
- How to: Guides, walkthroughs and tips are king.
- Bug reports: it's going to be buggy, and players will want to know what's broken and how to fix it.
It hasn't launched yet
In the lead up to launch day, readers are after anything new. Anything.
It doesn't matter if the game launches tomorrow, next week, or next year. Players are interested in anything they haven't heard yet. So keep an ear to the ground, and when you hear an interesting update, share!
Key coverage for upcoming releases:
- Release Date: Far and away the most sought after information for any upcoming game is the actual release date.
- Anything new: Breaking news, rumors, leaks.
- Speculation: Using current knowledge and educated guesses to discuss the likely path of development, gameplay styles, and release dates.
Let's take a look at The Elder Scrolls Online, a game that (as of this writing) is very much on the way. Beta signups. Gameplay Leaks. E3 coverage. It's all information that waiting players are hungry for!
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