Bethesda Softworks Social Media Strategy Tigran Vardanyan, Morgane Rigaud

"Bethesda Game Studios® is the award-winning development team known around the world for their groundbreaking work on the The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series. Creators of the 2006 ‘Game of the Year’, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion®, the 2008 ‘Game of the Year’, Fallout® 3, the 2011 ‘Game of the Year’, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim®, and most recently, the 2015 ‘Game of the Year’, the record-breaking Fallout® 4. Bethesda Game Studios has earned its reputation as one of the industry’s most respected and accomplished game development studios." (https://bgs.bethsoft.com) The publisher is owned by a parent company, whose total equity in 2016 was estimated to be around $2.5 billion. Today, Bethesda is one of the most successful video game publishers worldwide. Apart from making historical titles in video game industry, Bethesda has gained a lot of popularity due to its social media strategy.

Currently, Bethesda Softworks uses some very successful social media techniques:

  • Microblogging
  • Social tagging
  • Video sharing

However, more social media tools can be implemented to further expand the publisher's popularity. To introduce the first available tool, the reader should be aware of several gaming events popular worldwide. E3, or also known as Electronic Entertainment Expo, is a show where the biggest publishers present their upcoming games and changes and updates to the existing ones. Right now, E3 holds presentations of such publishers as Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft, and Bethesda. Another event like this is PAX, or Penny Arcade Expo, which is a gaming festival with gaming inspired concerts, major game developers' interviews, free-to-play gaming areas, etc. It is in this event where the major publishers can increase their customer base significantly by creating cosplay shows of their video games.

DOOM marine cosplay

Doing cosplay shows by video game publishers can attract a lot of new customers through video-sharing since the whole show is live streamed on YouTube and is available to the general public.

Another very effective social media tool is online communities, which Bethesda already has. However, several changes could be implemented to make it more efficient. Currently, it is holding several forums which can be accessed through this link: (https://community.bethesda.net/welcome#externalIdentityManager). There, people can discuss various video games and some aspects related to them. An online community enables fans and fellow gamers to interact with one another whether it be by asking questions about how to get onto the next level in a specific game or even just simply expressing how they feel about new releases, improvement etc... This will not only generate word of mouth rapidly, but it will also allow Bethesda Softworks to see how their consumers perceive them and also help them to find common areas that are in need of improvement. In more detail, Bethesda can use it more efficiently by creating an official forum where anyone can publish ideas on the new game of the same series. Video game communities are large worldwide, especially with a publisher like Bethesda.

Twitch is a live streaming video platform

Finally, live chat streaming could be used as an easy social media strategy that can be implemented. The overall idea of creating live chats would be for Bethesda to show previews of new projects and allow consumers to ask questions that can be answered right then in the moment. Additionally, live chats can simply include a live stream of one of their games being played to show possible techniques the characters have that some gamers might not be aware of. This goes hand-in-hand with the online community as the live chat enables people worldwide with common interests to join together and discuss about something they are passionate about. This not only further engages the customers loyalty to the company but also creates strong brand perception amongst possible future consumers.

In short, video game industry is booming, and publishers like Bethesda are using the social media strategies to the maximum. However, there are more techniques that could be used to expand the consumer base like the ones listed above.

Created By
Tigran Vardanyan
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