At Loopr, we’re all about the DIY ethos of the gaming industry. So we thought we’d take a second to offer up some of the industry knowledge we’ve picked up over the years by sharing a free video game press release template available for the game developers everywhere.
Thanks to hilarious Tumblr accounts like Why I deleted your game’s PR email, we’re aware that too many game developers approach this important process blind — so much so that it’s become an industry meme. Lucky for you, Loopr PR & Marketing is here to save you from yourself.
We’re of the belief that earning press coverage for your video game is more of an art than a science, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do on your own. You just have to know the right way to craft your message to resonate with the current tenets of video game journalism.
Although the press release is just the start of your video game marketing journey, there’s no reason to be intimidated. Once you check out the tried and true press release template below, you’ll be ready to give it a go for yourself.
And you can rest assured that if you need help from the video game PR experts at Loopr, you won’t have to break the bank to earn press coverage that plays nicely with your indie game marketing budget.
Let’s get into it!
Here’s your free video game press release template.
1. A descriptive headline.
Your headline or press release title should accurately sum up the whole point of your press release, such that a busy video game journalist would be compelled to keep reading.
The tricky part is that it’s best to keep your headline around 18 words.
Focus on the facts and what you really want to say through this press coverage. A great way to approach this is by using the formula of X does Y. An example of this we love is: Skybox Labs Brings Bedrock Version of Minecraft to Nintendo Switch.
2. A subheadline that grabs attention.
Here’s your chance to expand a bit more on the headline and cast out a story hook that works like a teaser for the rest of your press release content. We love this example from an expert on medium:
If the headline of your press release is: “Numinous Games releases Galaxies of Hope for Neuroendocrine Cancer Sufferers”.
The subheadline should be something that unpacks the headline a bit more: “Game aims to help NET patients understand and cope with their diagnoses”.
If you take this kind of approach, someone skimming your press release on their phone could easily surmise the point of your outreach. That’s a win!
3. Introductory paragraph: Who, What, When, Where, Why?
Now that you’ve thoughtfully crafted your headline and subheadline, it’s time to spill the details about your game or initiative. Your first paragraph of the video game press release needs to address the following:
- Who this news is about? The answer should be your game studio or company.
- What is actually happening? This is your announcement itself.
- When it’s going to happen? Very important in the world of press — this is the date your news embargo lifts and the announcement is set to go live.
- Where is it going down? Which platform is involved in the game release, or if you’re announcing a virtual event — where is it taking place digitally?
- Why should the journalist care? This should be the easy part. It’s your chance to tell the journalist why your announcement is important.
The point of using this framework is to make sure the most important information about your announcement doesn’t get lost in your release. This is more or less the format journalists expect to see, and it tends to cut through the noise in their inbox because it’s easy to skim.
4. Second paragraph: Share an interesting quote
Now it’s time to set the scene about your announcement, and you can kill two birds with one stone if you do this through an informative and interesting quote. Basically, you should make it as easy as possible for video game journalists to cover your story, and providing a helpful quote on a silver platter (without having to schedule a follow up interview) makes their lives that much easier.
Something to keep in mind is that this quote should always be written in the third-person. Depending on the nature of your announcement, the quote could be directly from you, or even from a gaming influencer or other industry figurehead.
No matter who you choose to quote, remember that it should reveal more about the context of your announcement. You could touch on:
- What’s unique about your game
- Why you made the game
- A problem you’re solving
- How it benefits the gaming community
Or whatever else makes sense for you.
5. Third and final paragraph: Important details about your game
This is the time to round out your announcement with important details about your game. You could:
- Give an overview or description of your game to get players excited
- Share intriguing details about the gameplay
- Provide information about key features of your game
At the end of the day, this section varies quite a bit across video game press releases — and that’s what makes news stories exciting. The best rule of thumb to use here is focusing on details that differentiate you from the rest of the games out there, and highlight any element you think would pique players’ interest.
6. A compelling call to action for your players
This is where you directly ask your target audience to take action based on your announcement.
Keep in mind that your audience for this important press release element is actually your players (who will go on to read a news story put out by the journalist you’re sending this to) — not the actual journalist.
If you’re announcement is that your new game is available for purchase, consider adding an irresistible promo code for readers of the launch announcement. If you really want to score extra points, keep your call to action on-brand and thematically aligned to the ethos of your game.
If your game is a VR fighting game, you might choose a call to action like: “Ready to immerse yourself in battle? Buy [GAME] on Steam for 10% off through [DATE].”
7. Link to your full press kit
This is another part of the press release where your goal is to make the journalist’s life as easy as possible.
A press kit is basically a page on your website (or if you’re really indie, a Google doc) with key information and visual resources like high res images, videos, gifs, and so on. Your press kit should contain enough impactful media that a journalist could cover your story without having to reach out to you for additional visual assets or information.
8. Finishing touches: Contact info, date, and boiler plate info about your company.
Now you’re ready to add some important finishing touches to the top of your page:
Make sure you put your contact info on the top left-hand corner of your press release, formatted like so:
- Company Name
- Relevant website link
- Phone Number
Your announcement date should go on the top right-hand corner. It often follows the format of “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/10/2020”.
Or if your story is under embargo, you should state that here: “UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 10/10/2020”. This means that the journalist should not cover the story until the date you provide comes around.
Last but not least, make sure to include your standard blurb about your company or game studio.
Do’s and don’ts for video game press releases
To wrap up, let’s go over some of the do’s and don’ts we’ve uncovered through relationships with industry journalists.
Do this in your press release:
- Do include the name of your game or studio in the subject line of your email.
- Do include “press release” in the subject of your email.
- Do share any promo codes you have for your launch.
- Do provide high quality images with a file size under 5MB — often this means you’ll have to share media through a Google drive link, so make sure your sharing permissions are wide open (journalists won’t want to request access).
- Do share some footage or screen caps from the in-game experience.
- Do include your game or company logo.
Don’t do this in your press release:
- Don’t try to pull the wool over their eyes with overt clickbait — journalists have seen it all.
- Don’t be too salesy — this is a news announcement, not direct marketing material.
- Don’t go overboard on flowery adjectives about how great your game is.
- Don’t go overboard on images on illustrative images in the press release — the journalist won’t be able to use more than 3-5 anyway.
When in doubt, know that Loopr specializes in video game PR.
We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again.
We have a network of top journalists across the gaming industry and we’re known to get media coverage in outlets like IGN, Gamespot, Kotaku, and more. If you’re not sure you can crack the messaging for your launch on your own, get in touch with us today. We can work with any budget to spread the word about your game.
Can’t get enough of this stuff? Check out our video game PR case studies to learn how we’ve helped indie game developers and esports brands just like you.