Giving away your Game for free - why this could be the best investment you’ll ever make

Lurkit Team
May 3, 2024

“Give away my game for free? No way!” I bet that’s your instinctive reaction. After all the time spent dreaming up and creating your game made of blood, sweat and tears, the best advice is to just give it away? Well, yes! But hold on, don’t blow a fuse yet. Let us clarify. This article advises on how to share your game with content creators to get noticed by players, ultimately increasing your chances of selling more copies. That's why you should view our advice as an investment, not a loss.

In the realm of gaming marketing, organic campaigns involving studios, content creators, and ultimately the players stand as a pillar of engagement. Recognizing the vital role these initiatives play, we sat down with Daniel Thorsen, a Lurkit veteran with hundreds of campaigns under his belt, to delve into the intricacies of mastering these campaigns. Daniel brings a wealth of insights, offering a roadmap for practitioners navigating the ever-evolving terrain of game marketing. This is a summary of his awesome advice of how to use organic campaigns effectively.

What is an Organic Campaign in Influencer Marketing?

An organic campaign is the opposite of a paid campaign—no money changes hands from you to the content creator. The advantage is that it costs you practically nothing except for the cost of the copy. You provide a game copy to a content creator with the ambition they will play it and share their experience on social media. This showcases your game in the creator's most genuine manner, which consumers really appreciate. Authenticity is important, so building a base of organic content around your game should be the first step in a strong pre-launch phase.

Organic campaigns at Lurkit are straightforward. You set up a unique page on with all your key promotional materials like trailers, gameplay footage, artwork, and copy. You also define the criteria for the type of content creators you want to promote the game. Once you upload game keys and deploy the page, it’s ready to be discovered by thousands of potential promoters on the Lurkit platform. The process is then easy-breezy. Sit back and let Lurkit’s platform automate all the work for you. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves—we’ve got all the tips and tricks coming up below.

Setting up your campaign

Keep your content and visuals crisp

A few pro tips on crafting an eye-catching and inviting organic campaign on Lurkit goes beyond simply copying and pasting content from platforms like Steam. It's essential to tailor your visuals and content to make your campaign stand out. Often, campaign managers fetch assets without considering customization, resulting in a lacklustre appearance. The creator will notice poor re-sizing of your visuals that makes it less likely to be a promoted game. Invest a few minutes in refining your campaigns, ensuring they look polished and enticing. 

Longevity matters 

When setting up an organic campaign, think marathon, not sprint. Unlike paid campaigns that offer instant results, organic campaigns need time to flourish. Consider keeping your organic campaign live on our platform for extended periods, even up to a year. This continuous presence not only builds gradual awareness for your game or IP but also boosts brand recognition for your studio or publisher. By treating organic campaigns as marathons, you reap the benefits of free IP and brand awareness while tapping into our growing Lurkit community. Remember, every game connected to Lurkit gains additional exposure, making long-term results well worth the investment.

Optimizing your requirements list, Part 1: the power of lower thresholds

Aim for attainable goals rather than lofty expectations, as this fosters positive interactions and avoids backlash from potential creators. Lower requirements not only encourage more creators to apply, but also pave the way for unexpected collaborations and organic growth within creator networks. Traditionally this has meant more work for publishers, because handling hundreds or even thousands of creators takes time. It is here Lurkit’s CRM tech and automation come into play and our customers enjoy up to 90% less time spent on this type of admin.

Lurkit platform use tip: Streamlined repeat invitations for creators from past campaigns
An efficient strategy to enhance your campaigns on Lurkit involves leveraging the platform's feature that allows easy invitation of past collaborators. By utilising this functionality, you streamline the process of assembling your campaign team, ensuring continuity and familiarity with content creators who have demonstrated their value through past collaborations via Lurkit platform.

Smaller creators, though less prominent, can bring unique value to your campaign by actively engaging with their audience and fostering genuine connections. Unlike larger influencers who may have less capacity for interaction due to their extensive reach, smaller creators are often more invested in cultivating their communities and driving meaningful engagement.

Additionally, leverage available data to assess creator relevance and suitability for your campaign. Lurkit’s platform provides insights into creators' streaming habits and preferred game genres, enabling you to make informed decisions based on alignment with your campaign objectives.

Discover effective creator onboarding strategies in our client's Deep Silver case study, highlighting the successful campaign launch for Dead Island 2.

Optimizing your requirements list Part 2: Expand your reach with strategic creator invitations

Rather than solely targeting top creators, delve into the database to identify four to ten games that serve as inspiration for your game. Then, invite creators who have engaged with similar titles, scaling from micro to macro creators. Casting a wide net is essential, as not all invited creators will accept, so aim to exceed your desired participation numbers.

Type campaign strategies 

Leveraging Co-op dynamics for a success campaign

Strategic key allocation in co-op game campaigns can significantly enhance the gaming experience for creators and their audiences alike. By providing three to four keys to each creator involved, developers ensure that live streams feature collaborative gameplay, amplifying engagement and authenticity. 

This practice not only encourages creators to engage with their friends but also creates compelling content for their audience. Viewers witness genuine interactions among creators as they navigate the game together, strengthening community bonds and driving interest in the game. While it may seem like a generous allocation of keys, the long-term benefits of collaborative gameplay far outweigh the initial investment. Ultimately, prioritizing cooperative experiences in co-op game campaigns leads to richer content, deeper engagement, and ultimately, better results for developers.

Elevating Indie Game campaigns 

For indie games, strategic key distribution can significantly amplify visibility and engagement. Even for smaller or puzzle-oriented indie titles with shorter gameplay durations, providing creators with two keys each can yield substantial benefits. By letting creators retain one key for themselves and distribute the other to their community through giveaways, developers can effectively drive traffic and spark conversations about their game.

Generosity plays a crucial role in fostering goodwill among creators and their communities. While it may initially seem more economical to limit key distribution, the long-term benefits of generosity far outweigh the short-term savings. By prioritizing the dissemination of keys to creators and their audiences, indie developers can cultivate a supportive network and unlock greater exposure for their game.

Moreover, leveraging platforms like Lurkit enables developers to streamline the process of inviting creators to engage with their indie game. Sending invites to a curated list of similar and inspirational games, focusing initially on smaller creators and gradually scaling up, can further enhance visibility and attract diverse audiences.

Enhancing DLC launch campaigns

Launching DLCs poses unique challenges, particularly concerning creator ownership of the main game. When releasing a DLC, creators must own the main game to access the new content—a crucial consideration often overlooked in campaign planning.

Fortunately, platforms like Lurkit streamline the process by enabling creators who have previously engaged with the main game to be effortlessly invited to the DLC campaign. Leveraging existing relationships with these creators ensures a ready audience with first-hand experience of the main game, enhancing engagement and authenticity.

Lurkit's capability to distribute multiple keys in a single request is a highly valuable but underutilized feature. By bundling the main game and DLC together, creators receive comprehensive access with just one campaign, simplifying the process and maximizing appeal.

Final words on organic game campaigns

Dispelling the notion that key giveaways equate to losses, recognize them as investments in potential content creation and audience engagement. Successful campaigns often distribute thousands of keys, reflecting the competitive landscape of the gaming market. You need a technical platform to manage the sheer scale of that, and that is where Lurkit’s CRM and campaign automation comes in.

While organic engagement varies, prioritize creators with a track record of consistent content creation to maximize value. Ultimately, a thoughtful approach to key distribution and creator selection can yield significant returns in campaign effectiveness and audience reach.

Make your content crisp and unique for the campaign, make it different from the activation on other platforms like steam.

There are different strategies to apply, you can use game key distribution in pre-launch, launch and post-launch phases. For post-launch phases we describe how you can use our tools effectively to drop DLC’s and make it relevant even for creators that haven’t played the main game before.

Lurkit platform use tip - ​​Tap into Lurkit's Daily Influx of Creators
Don't forget to keep an eye on Lurkit's growing community! We're welcoming new creators every day. After inviting a batch of creators, circle back in about a week. You might just find some fresh talent that fits your needs perfectly. We have welcomed 65,000 so far. Happy scouting!

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Hundreds of game developers are using Lurkit to scale their marketing effortlessly.