The relationship between affiliates and studios is still a relatively new concept, which, according to Tom Galanis, Managing Director and Co-Founder of First Look Games, could be the reason the former’s outreach value may be overlooked.
Speaking to CasinoBeats following the company’s enhancement of its platform earlier this year to improve the user experience for both developers and publishers, Galanis stated that affiliates want accurate information on new releases to communicate to their audience. Even more, they want information before anyone else.
“Studios can be overly protective of this information or can find themselves providing information to affiliates they shouldn’t,” he commented. “Managing this isn’t easy when there’s hundreds of affiliates, little time and few studios that can justify hiring one of the few people respected by the affiliate community with existing expertise for this specific form of outreach.
“That said, the benefits of getting it right is a strong launch, good visibility and better feedback on the games directly from players. If an affiliate gets a lot of traffic from a studio or particular title, it benefits both them and the studio itself.”
Galanis also noted content that can be created via the collaboration between new studios and affiliates, when working together, goes beyond game reviews and can result in interviews, explainers and even studio tours.
“For us, we’re a marketing tool that should be in every studio’s arsenal”
He added: “The stronger the relationship between the studio and the affiliate the more opportunities can be explored when it comes to creating compelling content for the audience.
“When we speak to new studios, we generally get exceptionally positive feedback and where deals falter it’s generally because we get passed between commercial and marketing teams, with neither identifying where affiliate outreach should truly sit.
“For us, we’re a marketing tool that should be in every studio’s arsenal. Just as an in-house client area services operator customers, FLG handles the same distribution to its huge affiliate community via a simple upload. “
As mentioned above, the TAG Media developed company recently went through a “major upgrade” – entitled First Look Games 2.0 – which allowed users to search for, find and download game assets.
Its “biggest leap forward” was apparently with its API feature that provides connected access to game and game studio data in a “structured format”.
Looking more into what opportunities affiliates present game developers when it comes to marketing their slots to both players and operators, Galanis noted that game development “is not cheap”, and expressed the importance of maximising the exposure and reach of new titles if the studio is to generate the greatest return on investment.
“Affiliates provide studios with a platform from which to market their games directly to players,” he continued. “A growing number of affiliates are also producing profiles for game studios and even generating unique content via interviews with members of the team.
“This gives studios a relatively new platform through which they can directly communicate with players regarding their ethos and approach to game development.
“…the relationship between affiliate and studio is an important one and should be mutually beneficial”
“Slot development is a fiercely competitive space, so all promotional avenues are vital. If the approach is right, affiliates can give developers the opportunity to reverse engineer interest in their games from operators if they prove to be popular with the audience. This in turn can increase distribution and overall revenues longer term, increasing ROI across an entire games portfolio.
“So the relationship between affiliate and studio is an important one and should be mutually beneficial but it’s also one that is often under-utilised.”
Analysing how First Look Games aids both affiliates and studios in this regard, the Co-Founder noted the company conceived on the premise of building connections between the two entities, specifically for the purpose of game promotion.
He explained: “Our platform serves as an outsourced affiliate client area where everything is intuitive and tailor made to service what our affiliate publishers are looking for. The studio stays in control of assets, content and timeframes and the affiliates gain access to accurate information about upcoming releases from many of the biggest players in the industry.
“First Looks Games has been designed to be a cost-effective service for studios and our premium plan includes media publishing as well as affiliate outreach. Studios can build out their own game libraries with information and assets for affiliates to use to create content about their slots.
“In addition, we provide data on where and how many reviews have gone live making reporting game launch activity easy for teams that value benchmarking on reach and cut-through.”