How Valorant is becoming the biggest FPS thanks to UGC marketing
Coming from Riot Games, Valorant was always going to be a huge game, having the backing of one of the biggest studios out there. However, it takes more than just a big studio to make a game a success, and Riot seem to have cracked the formula as Valorant is becoming a staple First Person Shooter.
One of the biggest factors of Valorant’s success so far is the marketing behind it, most notably how Riot have utilized user generated content as a core component of their marketing strategy. It has created a direct link between Valorant and the target market, making almost every marketing effort a huge success.
Let’s take a look at how Riot has utilized UGC and just how it has affected Valorant’s growth so far.
How Riot is utilizing user generated content in Valorant’s marketing
Riot is placing a lot of faith and effort into user generated content and using it as a core of Valorant’s marketing efforts. This goes back all the way to when the game was first revealed, with Valorant’s beta being all the rage on Twitch.
At the time, Riot’s strategy was quite unique and very effective. With hype circulating for a brand new FPS to rival Counter-Strike, Valorant’s beta and gameplay reveal focused on using FPS influencers to make the game dominant on Twitch. This was their first and very direct use of UGC, hiring influencers to create content around the game, mostly on Twitch.
They backed this up with a unique feature - Twitch’s drops system. Rather than inviting the majority of players to the Valorant beta, users could ‘earn’ a key by watching streamers broadcast the game on Twitch. With millions of gamers wanting to try out the game, they had no choice but to tune in on the platform and hope to gain a drop by watching a stream.
This was an amazing move that benefited both the game and content creators. Valorant spent most of mid 2020 as the number one game on Twitch as both the game and creators boomed in popularity.
Since then, UGC has been a core focus for Valorant’s marketing, this includes things like further work with influencers, to interacting with users on social media, taking content suggestions, and even turning community memes into in-game content.
When it comes to social media, the official Valorant accounts have been very active at engaging and sharing user generated content. In fact, even a quick visit to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram shows Valorant pages full of user content, from fan art, to cosplays, videos, live streams, and more.
How utilizing UGC has benefited Valorant
Utilizing UGC has been incredibly effective and has propelled Valorant to be a premium FPS game. It’s become one of the most watched games on Twitch, topping out at the sixth most-watched in the last year. Official player numbers are hard to come by, but the latest announced numbers from Riot suggest over 3 million players are active on the game every day, which no doubt continues to grow as the game grows.
This comes from the use of UGC, specifically creating a mutually beneficial cycle between creators and the game. The cycle can come in many forms, but, for example, engaging with user content on Twitter can encourage users to create more content, this in turn gives Valorant Twitter more content to engage with and share, and once it is shared, the users feel appreciated and more content is created.
This is a mutually beneficial cycle, as both parties get something - for Valorant it’s more content and exposure, while the users (often fans) are rewarded by knowing that their content is appreciated and the exposure that comes with interaction from Valorant’s social channels.
The cycle isn’t limited to social media, in fact, there is a somewhat famous case of Valorant adding community memes into the game. This made a ton of gaming-related headlines, as a hilarious clip from a streamer has now made it into the game as a spray.
This is again something that motivates users to create content (who wouldn’t want to be part of a massive game after all!) while also producing positive publicity for the game.
Overall, it’s been a big give and take for creators and Riot Games with Valorant, however, the strategy of utilizing user generated content has definitely worked, as the game had a very successful launch and continues to be one of the most popular FPS games on the market.