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5 Minute Read

The Arcade Flyer

Last year, something strange and exciting was in the air on a crisp autumn night in New York City—several hundred feet in the air. The legendary game character, Pac-Man - was brought to life by a stunning animated drone light show that left video game fans and everyone else who witnessed the event blown away. 

The show, which featured gigantic, loving recreations of all the classic 80's Pac-Man characters and even realistic animations of Pac-Man gameplay, came courtesy of game publisher Bandai Namco, who was getting ready to launch the first all-new entry into the Pac-franchise in decades.  

Namco was just the latest big name from the ever-evolving video game industry to turn to drone light shows as an innovative marketing solution that cuts through the noise and captivates audiences. 

Drone light shows are among the most visually stunning and effective marketing tools in the past decade. This makes them the perfect fit with video games, which, with their immersive graphics and storylines, are becoming more and more of an entertainment industry pillar every year.

Let's dive into how leading video game publishers can use these aerial spectacles to promote new releases, connect with fans, build buzz, drive social media engagement, and capture earned media attention in major US markets.

The Magic of Aerial Storytelling

Drone light shows are a technological marvel and a new storytelling medium. Video game publishers can use these shows to bring the essence of their games to life in the night sky. Imagine drones creating dynamic visuals from popular games, reenacting famous scenes, or forming massive, sky-high renditions of beloved characters–creating an immersive and visually captivating narrative.

Creating a Fandom Fiesta

With their diverse and enthusiastic gaming communities, major US cities are perfect stages for these aerial shows. Launch events in cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago can become fandom fiestas. Fans gathering to witness a drone show themed after their favorite game creates a sense of community and belonging, strengthening their connection to the game and its universe.

A Hero Level Headliner at Industry Events and Game Conferences

Traditional marketing strategies to promote the release of new titles, such as TV ads, which have been a staple in video game marketing for decades, print advertising, in-store displays, retailer exclusives, press releases, and media, events, billboard and outdoor advertising, mall tours, and conventions are providing less of a return on investment than they did in the past. 

Today, consumers expect more—and the marketing tactics that previously moved the needle—both in the physical and digital realms are increasingly effective. Enter drone light shows a marketing and advertising medium that offers video game publishers the opportunity to stop fans and consumers in their tracks, get them to pay attention, and increase the effectiveness of a bevy of downstream marketing activities. 

Sparking the Social Media Flame

In the age of Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, a drone light show is a social media goldmine. Spectators, influencers, and media personnel will share clips and photos, driving immense social media engagement. These shows are not just a visual feast but are tailor-made for viral content, ensuring that the game stays in digital conversations long after the drones have landed.

Leveraging Influencer Partnerships

Collaborating with gaming influencers and streamers for these events can amplify the impact. Influencers can share their anticipation, experience, and reviews of the show and the game, reaching millions of followers across platforms. Their authentic engagement with the event can translate into genuine interest and excitement among their audience.

Building Pre-Launch Hype

Strategically scheduled before a game's release, these drone shows can be crucial to the pre-launch hype. They can serve as a public unveiling of new characters, settings, or story elements. This not only piques the interest of existing fans but also captures the attention of potential new players.

Capturing Earned Media Attention

The uniqueness and grandeur of drone light shows make them a magnet for media attention. Local and national news outlets, gaming magazines, and online media platforms will likely cover these events, providing valuable earned media coverage–and broadening the campaign's reach while adding credibility and prestige to the game's promotion.

Eco-Friendly and Safe Entertainment

An added advantage of drone shows is their environmentally friendly nature. Unlike traditional fireworks, drones are reusable and produce no air pollution. Ensuring compliance with safety regulations and environmental guidelines also boosts the brand's image as responsible and conscientious.

AR You Ready for the Future of Drone Light Shows and Gaming?

Augmented Reality + Drone Light Shows + Social Media = The Future. That equation stands to push video game marketing forward. Imagine the Pac-Man show referenced earlier, but instead of simply watching the animated movement, you could interact with the show via your phone and a unique augmented reality app. What if you could recreate an alien attack over your city's skyline where only you, via the magic of AR, can save the day? These emerging technologies, along with drones becoming more advanced, make it all possible and closer than you think to becoming a reality.  

As video game publishers look for innovative ways to make a mark in the highly competitive market, drone light shows offer a spectacular, effective, and modern solution. They provide an unparalleled opportunity to connect with fans, create a buzz, drive social media engagement, and garner media attention. By tapping into this technology, publishers can promote their new releases and create unforgettable experiences that resonate with global audiences. In the realm of video game marketing, the sky's the limit!