VGPR #008: ...surprise? 🙈
Xbox’s cool PR pivot, Oracle wins TikTok, the summer gaming events are finally at an end, media updates, and PR jobs
[Hi, I'm Lizzie Killian, founder at FIFTYcc PR. You're reading VGPR, a newsletter featuring interesting developments and topics impacting public relations in the video games industry. If you’re enjoying this newsletter, please consider subscribing or sharing with a friend or colleague. Send feedback, questions, and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop me a note on Twitter.]
In this issue: Xbox’s cool PR pivot, Oracle wins TikTok, the summer gaming events are finally at an end, media updates, and PR jobs!
When Leaks Go… Right?
You have a plan, and then things happen. The new Xbox Series S leaked last week, followed by another apparent leak of the press briefing videos planned for the reveal. There’s been lots of good commentary across the web, but beyond the story of some wonderfully nimble, self-aware PR work in the first leak’s immediate aftermath (h/t to VGPR friend Chris Plante), the great reception also just reflects the PR power of a fundamentally awesome consumer proposition.
With price point rumors swirling around $500 or even $600, the Series S offers a next-gen console for $299 at launch, payable in $25/month increments, which includes a subscription to one of the biggest values in gaming.
It’s painful to watch what must have been a great deal of PR planning and work go *poof* via a tweet, but while a great launch campaign can be a game-changer, Microsoft’s swift pivot combined with a product offering clear consumer value made the most of a tough situation. Nice job, y’all!
Oracle Wins TikTok Bid
Oracle has been chosen as the US operations partner for Chinese-owned ByteDance, better known as the company behind meme-fueled juggernaut, TikTok.
TikTok’s huge demographic of 18-34 year olds have made it an increasingly essential social platform for games PR outreach. Games have also been a growing focus for TikTok’s native content creators, as well as for TikTok corporate, who are reportedly hiring their own gaming studios and talent. No reports yet though on what the Oracle purchase means for my ability to access this content:
The Last of Summer Digital Events (I Think)
PAX Online and EGX Digital kicked off last weekend and run through September 20. The PlayStation 5 Showcase starts September 16, the 2020 Game Devs of Color Expo Online begins this weekend, and the Apple Event is today. September 22 marks the official end of summer for us Northern Hemisphere types, but what even is time anymore?
In the Media
Publishing group Red Ventures is buying CNET Media Group (including CNET, GameSpot, Giant Bomb, and Metacritic) from ViacomCBS for $500 million
Twitch announced its closed beta for Versus, a suite of tools that allows players, organizers, and game developers to host their own tournaments with their communities. Still early days, but a potentially exciting source of home-grown, COVID-friendly PR opportunities
Shannon Liao (CNN Business), Ana Diaz (MinnMax), Imran Khan (Kinda Funny), and Gita Jackson (VICE) are holding a panel on "How to Pitch Your Game to Press" at the 2020 Game Devs of Color Expo Online this weekend
Liana Ruppert is now Associate Editor at Game Informer
Fanbyte is gearing up for… something?
Activision - Senior Manager - Corporate Communications (Santa Monica, CA)
Bethesda Softworks - Public Relations Manager (Rockville, MD)
Bungie - Senior PR Manager, North America (Bellevue, WA)
ByteDance - Communications Manager, Games (Mountain View, CA)
Electronic Arts - Public Relations Manager (Geneva, Switzerland)
Golin - Vice President, Media (Los Angeles, CA)
Nintendo - Manager, Public Relations (Redwood City, CA)
Private Division - Marketing Coordinator (New York, NY)
Riot Games - Manager, Communications - World Wide Publishing (Los Angeles, CA)
Scopely - Senior Manager, Communications (Culver City, CA)