More than 80,000 spectators in the stadium and nearly one billion people worldwide in front of their television sets: The American football championship game on February 4th was a sporting spectacle that electrified fans far beyond the borders of the USA. With the “Forge Bowl” in-game event in the online strategy game Forge of Empires, game developer InnoGames used the media mega American football event to achieve new sales records.
More than 1 million Euros in revenue was earned from the hit game Forge of Empires (available for iOS, Android, and Browser) in 24 hours. InnoGames was able to set this new record shortly after the launch of the “Forge Bowl” event and campaign. What steps led to this?
The Forge of Empires Free-to-Play Game reaches millions of players worldwide. One of the core markets is the USA. The Forge Bowl Event (in-game runtime: 16 January to 5 February) was developed and accompanied by a comprehensive marketing campaign (running from 13 January to 4 February) in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Italy.
The current Forge of Empires TV spot was extended for the event period by ten seconds to include the “Forge Bowl” (TV spot on YouTube). The event spot was produced by Liga 01. The spot aired in advertising environments with a primarily male target group; in the USA, for example, with sports networks like ESPN, and in Germany with ProSieben, DMAX or Sport 1.
In order to reach existing players with the “Forge Bowl” event, as well as to acquire new players, additional actions were implemented via display, social networks, Google and Programmatic. The combined strategy led to a high number of acquired players and interaction with the in-game event. In the “Forge Bowl” event, the goal of the player was to achieve touchdowns. Successful touchdowns unlocked exclusive in-game items. These game mechanics were accompanied by a new quest line. Participation in the event was free of charge and players were able to purchase in-game currency for additional trials in the “Forge Bowl” event.