Video game company Electronic Arts (EA) hosted its flagship digital games conference, EA Play Live, on July 22.
But this year, there was a twist.
Along with usual announcements about new games available on major gaming platforms, EA released a content series leading up to the main show that gave a behind-the-scenes look at leaders in the gaming space.
The series, called EA Play Live Spotlight, meant to “provide [EA’s] player community [with] even more access to the games they love and the developers who create them,” said David Tinson, chief marketing officer at EA.
“Spotlights provided deeper dives into topics and trends, and offered inside looks at some of our most popular titles,” he added.
The series, which dove into subjects including hypermotion technology and the future of first-person shooter games, took place over the course of several days in July.
The decision to stick with a virtual event this year was contrary to others in the gaming industry, such as Activision Blizzard, which hosted the Call of Duty League tournament live this year.
But virtual events have opened up new opportunities for marketers, especially in the gaming space, Tinson said.
“Social interaction is moving from physical to digital and entertainment is moving from linear to interactive,” he said. “Virtual events have opened up new possibilities to connect consumers directly to the brands they love while increasing scale and reach.”
For instance, he noted, the virtual series has allowed more flexibility for fans to tune in from wherever they want. While updated metrics about the number of total viewers were not immediately available, the trailers released during the event generated 31 million views over a seven-day period, with the highest number of views driven by trailers for video games Battlefield 2042, Dead Space and Apex Legends: Emergence.
EA has had success with live events in the past. Last year, for example, it helped the NFL host a virtual Pre-Bowl event within Madden NFL 21 after the live event was canceled due to COVID-19. The event garnered 3.5 million live views.
“Our goal is to build engaging, seamless experiences that connect players to us in a meaningful way,” Tinson said. “This means focusing on what our players want most and bringing it to them everywhere”