At the Game Developer Conference, Microsoft was launching a collection of products called Microsoft Game Stack. Basically, it’s all the components someone needs to develop, host and publish a new game across PC, console and mobile platforms. While there was plenty of info to find at the booth, Microsoft also wanted a handout that served a greater brand purpose than a water bottle or cheap backpack.
We knew from our research that tabletop games were nearly as popular with this audience as digital gaming, so we developed a card game about the process of developing and publishing a game. Filled with insider developer and gaming jokes, it hit right at the heart of this audience.
People actually gathered at tables to play the game during the conference. Instead of visiting another booth, they were spending hours playing a branded card game. Nearly 5000 were handed out, and developers who weren’t there had a serious case of FOMO. Requests came through Twitter for Microsoft to sell the game after the conference.