Welcome to the world of video game marketing! In this article, we will explore the 15 best gaming marketing campaigns that have revolutionized the industry. From clever advertising strategies to engaging online promotions, these campaigns have successfully captivated gamers and propelled game sales to new heights.

Whether you’re interested in learning about game launch campaigns, community engagement efforts, influential gamers outreach, esports marketing, gaming social media campaigns, or gaming event promotions, we’ve got you covered. We’ll delve into the innovative strategies used by top gaming companies to create buzz and excitement around their releases.

From major AAA titles to indie gems, these campaigns have left a significant impact on the industry and shaped the way games are marketed today. So, get ready to dive into the world of video game marketing and discover the strategies that have set these campaigns apart.

But before we dive in, let’s take a moment to appreciate the power of gaming marketing with an image that perfectly captures the essence of the gaming world:

Now, let’s jump into the fascinating world of video game marketing and explore the 15 best gaming campaigns ever!

Portal 2 (2011)

In 2011, Valve released Portal 2, a highly anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed puzzle-platform video game. The marketing campaign for Portal 2 was an exemplary showcase of effective video game marketing strategies.

Valve adopted a community-focused approach with their marketing efforts, engaging players through various platforms. One notable tactic was the use of an alternate reality game (ARG), which involved the community solving puzzles and unraveling mysteries related to the game’s storyline. This interactive and immersive experience generated buzz and anticipation among players, effectively building excitement for the game’s release.

An in-house television commercial was another key element of the campaign. The commercial showcased the game’s unique gameplay mechanics and captivating narrative, captivating viewers and enticing them to join the Portal 2 adventure.

Valve also employed traditional advertising methods, such as billboards and bus ads in cities. These eye-catching visuals increased visibility and awareness of the game among a wider audience, further contributing to its success.

The community-focused approach, combined with the strategic use of an alternate reality game, in-house commercial, and billboards, proved to be highly effective. Portal 2 sold over four million copies, solidifying its position as a highly successful and critically acclaimed video game.

BioShock 2 (2010)

The marketing campaign for BioShock 2 was an immersive and multi-faceted endeavor that captivated players and generated significant buzz. Utilizing a combination of online and offline tactics, the campaign left a lasting impact that contributed to the game’s success as the best-selling game of February 2010.

A key element of the campaign was the creation of a viral site that invited players to dive deeper into the game’s dystopian underwater world. The site featured enigmatic messages and cryptic clues, sparking intrigue and generating excitement among fans.

To further build anticipation, the campaign deployed hype-inducing posters showcasing stunning artwork inspired by the game’s unique atmosphere. These posters played a vital role in generating curiosity and fueling conversations within the gaming community.

Online trailers were also strategically released, giving players a tantalizing glimpse into the intense and immersive gameplay experience that awaited them. These trailers effectively built anticipation and piqued the interest of both dedicated fans and newcomers to the BioShock franchise.

The marketing team left no stone unturned and leveraged the power of print media by inserting captivating advertisements in gaming magazines. These inserts served as a tangible reminder of the game’s impending release and further immersed potential players in the captivating narrative of BioShock 2.

One notable collaboration within the campaign was the partnership with NASCAR, a popular motorsport brand. This unique partnership expanded the reach of the game’s marketing efforts, exposing BioShock 2 to a broader audience and sparking interest among racing enthusiasts.

The exceptional execution and innovation of the BioShock 2 marketing campaign did not go unnoticed. The campaign garnered multiple awards, recognizing its creativity, effectiveness, and impact on the gaming community. The success of the campaign further solidified BioShock 2 as a must-play game in the eyes of both critics and players alike.

Marketing Tactics Effectiveness
Viral site Generated intrigue and excitement among players
Hype-inducing posters Sparked conversations and built curiosity in the gaming community
Online trailers Piqued the interest of fans and newcomers to the BioShock franchise
Magazine inserts Immersed potential players in the captivating narrative of the game
NASCAR partnership Expanded reach and sparked interest among racing enthusiasts

Tomb Raider (2013)

The marketing campaign for the Tomb Raider reboot was a resounding success, solidifying its status as a multimedia franchise. It kicked off with a highly anticipated Game Informer reveal, generating buzz and excitement among fans. The campaign continued to build momentum with engaging YouTube trailers, captivating audiences and fueling anticipation for the game’s release.

To further heighten anticipation, the marketing team organized a week-long “Tomb Raider Week” on IGN, offering exclusive content, interviews, and behind-the-scenes glimpses into the game’s development. This immersive experience allowed fans to delve deeper into the world of Tomb Raider and fostered a sense of community among enthusiasts.

The marketing strategy adopted a multi-channel approach, ensuring maximum reach and visibility. TV and movie ads, strategically placed billboards, captivating demos, and highly sought-after special editions further amplified the campaign’s impact.

Awards Category
The Game Awards Best Marketing Campaign
Webby Awards Best Integrated Campaign
D&AD Awards Best Digital Marketing

These exceptional achievements were a testament to the campaign’s ingenuity and effectiveness. Not only did it garner critical recognition with multiple marketing campaign awards, but it also surpassed financial projections, exceeding expectations set by the industry. Tomb Raider’s marketing campaign proved to be a game-changer in the realm of video game promotions, leaving a lasting impression on the gaming community and setting the bar high for future endeavors.

Resident Evil 5 (2009)

The marketing campaign for Resident Evil 5 demonstrated innovative and attention-grabbing strategies. One of the highlights was a body part treasure hunt in Trafalgar Square, which engaged fans and created buzz around the game. The eerie and controversial trailers strategically teased the storyline and gameplay, leaving players eager for more. The viral campaign, featuring the tagline “It came from Kijuju,” spread like wildfire across social media platforms, generating significant online discussions and anticipation.

Capcom’s calculated marketing efforts paid off as Resident Evil 5 became the company’s best-selling game to date. With its immersive gameplay and intense horror elements, the game achieved remarkable success, selling over 6.6 million copies worldwide.

Resident Evil 5 Marketing Campaign Highlights:

  • Body part treasure hunt in Trafalgar Square
  • Controversial and strategically launched trailers
  • Viral campaign using the tagline “It came from Kijuju”

Sales Figures: Resident Evil 5

Sales Figures Year
6.6 million copies 2009

Borderlands 2 (2012)

The marketing for Borderlands 2 embraced the game’s distinctive comic artwork, creating a unique and captivating aesthetic. This cult RPG garnered significant attention with its visually stunning visuals, setting it apart from other games in the genre. It was an excellent example of leveraging the power of comic-inspired graphics to establish a strong and recognizable brand identity.

The game made its debut at gamescom, one of the largest gaming events in the world, where it received widespread acclaim and generated excitement among fans and industry experts. The gamescom unveiling served as a platform to showcase the game’s immersive world and innovative gameplay mechanics, further increasing anticipation for its release.

In addition to its impressive visuals, Borderlands 2 introduced an online game addition that allowed players to extend their gaming experience beyond the main storyline. This online feature provided new challenges and opportunities for players to engage with the game’s community, fostering a sense of camaraderie and competition.

This visually appealing comic artwork image showcases the game’s unique style and aligns with the distinctive branding of Borderlands 2.

Ultimately, Borderlands 2’s exceptional marketing efforts paid off, as the game achieved tremendous success in terms of sales figures. It sold over 8.5 million copies, making it one of the best-selling releases by 2K Games, solidifying its status as a beloved title within the gaming community.

Mass Effect 3 (2012)

Electronic Arts and BioWare employed creative viral marketing techniques to build anticipation for the highly anticipated Mass Effect 3. The campaign utilized a multi-channel approach that included weekly video uploads, a captivating balloon demonstration, TV and cinematic trailers, and a compelling TV spot. The strategic use of these marketing tactics generated massive excitement among fans and contributed to the game’s remarkable success.

Mass Effect 3 surpassed all expectations and achieved phenomenal sales figures, raking in a staggering $200 million within just two months of its release. The immersive storytelling, stunning visuals, and captivating gameplay captivated both die-hard fans and newcomers to the series. The game’s marketing campaign played a crucial role in creating widespread awareness and attracting a massive audience.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key elements that made the Mass Effect 3 marketing campaign a viral sensation:

  • Weekly Video Uploads: BioWare regularly released captivating videos showcasing gameplay mechanics, character development, and thrilling action sequences. These videos provided fans with a sneak peek into the immersive world of Mass Effect 3 and kept them eagerly anticipating its release.
  • Balloon Demo: A visually stunning and unique demonstration involved releasing balloons into the sky, each carrying a message relating to the game. This created intrigue and sparked conversations among gamers worldwide, further amplifying the buzz surrounding the release.
  • TV and Cinematic Trailers: Gripping and cinematic trailers were strategically aired on television and online platforms, captivating audiences with their epic visuals and intense storytelling. These trailers effectively communicated the game’s immersive storyline and high-stakes action, generating widespread excitement.

The Mass Effect 3 marketing campaign exemplified the power of viral marketing, creating immense buzz and anticipation among fans. Through a combination of engaging video uploads, a visually stunning balloon demo, and captivating trailers, the campaign successfully drove sales and catapulted Mass Effect 3 to commercial success.

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (1997)

Sony Computer Entertainment went all out with a massive promotional campaign for Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. The sequel to the popular game had gamers buzzing with excitement. To ensure maximum visibility, the marketing team secured celebrity endorsements from well-known figures in the gaming industry.

TV commercials during prime time shows further amplified the reach of the campaign, capturing the attention of millions of viewers. The strategic placement of these commercials ensured that Crash Bandicoot 2 would remain at the forefront of gamers’ minds. In addition, Sony Computer Entertainment formed marketing partnerships with leading brands, leveraging their influence to generate even more excitement and anticipation.

The tireless efforts of the marketing team paid off. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back soared in popularity and became one of Sony’s best-selling games. With over 7.58 million copies sold, the sequel surpassed all expectations, cementing its place as a beloved classic among gamers.

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back Marketing Campaign Highlights
Celebrity endorsements
TV commercials during popular shows
Marketing partnerships

Saints Row IV (2013)

In addition to the 15 best gaming marketing campaigns, we also highlight some recent marketing campaigns that have caught the attention of gamers worldwide. These campaigns represent a new wave of creative and unique approaches to gaming advertising. Let’s take a closer look at some of these standout campaigns:

Xbox Mini Fridge

One of the most memorable marketing stunts in recent gaming history was the Xbox Mini Fridge campaign. Building on the popularity of memes and viral trends, Xbox transformed their console into a fully functional mini fridge. The campaign generated buzz on social media and received widespread attention from both gamers and non-gamers alike. The Xbox Mini Fridge became a symbol of the brand’s commitment to delivering cool and innovative gaming experiences.

GAME Christmas Tinner

Continuing the trend of unconventional campaigns, GAME, a popular UK video game retailer, introduced the GAME Christmas Tinner. This quirky product featured a unique blend of traditional Christmas dinner foods layered in a single can. The campaign drew attention to the brand’s sense of humor and resonated with gamers looking for a holiday-themed novelty item. The GAME Christmas Tinner became a conversation starter, sparking discussions and generating brand awareness during the festive season.

Xbox “Survival of the Grittiest” Billboard

Xbox demonstrated its commitment to immersive gaming experiences with a bold and eye-catching billboard campaign. The “Survival of the Grittiest” billboard featured a dystopian landscape and gritty visuals, capturing the essence of intense gaming adventures. This campaign aimed to captivate passersby and ignite curiosity about the thrilling experiences Xbox had to offer. The billboard showcased the brand’s dedication to pushing boundaries and immersing players in unforgettable gaming worlds.

Playstation Underground Signs

In a clever blend of traditional and digital advertising, Playstation leveraged underground signs to promote its gaming platform. These signs, strategically placed in subway stations and other high-traffic areas, showcased iconic Playstation symbols and graphics. The campaign aimed to grab the attention of commuters and create a sense of anticipation for upcoming game releases. By blending real-world advertising with the virtual gaming realm, Playstation demonstrated its commitment to connecting with gamers in unexpected ways.

These recent gaming campaigns, including the Xbox Mini Fridge, GAME Christmas Tinner, Xbox “Survival of the Grittiest” billboard, and Playstation Underground Signs, have challenged traditional approaches to gaming advertising. Through innovation, humor, and immersion, these campaigns have successfully captivated audiences and left a lasting impression on the gaming community.

Balenciaga X Fortnite, Cath Kidston X Animal Crossing, Biden X Animal Crossing, Pac-Man X Bud Light, Playstation X Game

We feature several exciting gaming collaborations and partnerships that have successfully merged the worlds of gaming and fashion, as well as created immersive virtual events and interactive experiences:

Balenciaga X Fortnite

Balenciaga, the luxury fashion brand, teamed up with the popular battle royale game Fortnite to create a unique virtual fashion show. Players were able to dress their in-game avatars in Balenciaga’s latest designs and experience a fashion show within the game.

Cath Kidston X Animal Crossing

Cath Kidston, the British lifestyle brand, collaborated with the beloved life simulation game Animal Crossing: New Horizons. In this collaboration, players were able to decorate their in-game homes and islands with Cath Kidston-inspired furniture and clothing items, adding a touch of whimsy to their virtual worlds.

Biden X Animal Crossing

During his presidential campaign, Joe Biden’s team utilized the popularity of Animal Crossing: New Horizons to engage with younger voters. The campaign created custom virtual yard signs and hosted virtual events within the game to connect with players and promote their message.

Pac-Man X Bud Light

Pac-Man, the iconic arcade game character, teamed up with Bud Light to create a limited-edition Pac-Man-themed beer can. The collaboration celebrated the nostalgia of the classic game and offered fans a unique collector’s item.

Playstation X Game

Playstation, the renowned gaming console brand, has a history of partnering with game developers to create exclusive content and experiences. These collaborations allow Playstation players to access unique in-game items, characters, and missions, enhancing their gaming experience.

These gaming collaborations and partnerships showcase the growing intersection of gaming and fashion, the power of virtual events, and the interactive experiences that can be created within games. By merging these different industries, these collaborations provide players with new and exciting ways to engage with their favorite games and brands.


Gaming campaigns are an integral part of video game marketing, and the success of these campaigns can have a significant impact on the overall success of a game. The 15 best gaming marketing campaigns showcased in this article have demonstrated the power of creative and innovative strategies in engaging audiences and driving sales. By leveraging alternate reality games, viral campaigns, and collaborations, these campaigns have left a lasting impact on the gaming industry.

From the community-focused approach of Portal 2 to the hype-inducing posters and NASCAR partnership of BioShock 2, each campaign employed unique tactics to captivate their target audience. The marketing endeavors of Tomb Raider and Resident Evil 5 utilized strategic multimedia promotions and controversial trailers to generate buzz and surpass financial expectations.

Borderlands 2 and Mass Effect 3 showcased the impact of cult followings and viral marketing techniques, while Crash Bandicoot 2 and Saints Row IV utilized celebrity endorsements and creative partnerships to maximize exposure and sales figures. Additionally, the collaborations between gaming and fashion brands, such as Balenciaga X Fortnite and Cath Kidston X Animal Crossing, highlight the growing trend of virtual events and interactive experiences.

These successful marketing campaigns serve as an inspiration for future game developers and marketers, emphasizing the importance of thinking outside the box and utilizing innovative strategies to stand out in a crowded gaming landscape. By continuously pushing boundaries and connecting with audiences in new and exciting ways, the gaming industry will continue to evolve, attracting even more players and driving the success of future gaming campaigns.


What are the 15 best gaming marketing campaigns ever?

The 15 best gaming marketing campaigns ever include campaigns for popular games like Portal 2, BioShock 2, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil 5, Borderlands 2, Mass Effect 3, Crash Bandicoot 2, and more.

What marketing strategies were employed for the game Portal 2?

The marketing campaign for Portal 2 included an alternate reality game (ARG), in-house television commercials, billboards, and bus ads.

How successful was the marketing campaign for BioShock 2?

The marketing campaign for BioShock 2 involved viral sites, hype-inducing posters, online trailers, magazine inserts, a partnership with NASCAR, and an award-winning campaign. The game became February 2010’s best-selling game.

What marketing tactics were used for the Tomb Raider reboot?

The marketing campaign for the Tomb Raider reboot included a Game Informer reveal, YouTube trailers, a week-long “Tomb Raider Week” on IGN, and a multi-channel approach with TV and movie ads, billboards, demos, and special editions.

How did the marketing campaign for Resident Evil 5 stand out?

The marketing campaign for Resident Evil 5 involved a body part treasure hunt in Trafalgar Square, strategically launched trailers, and a viral campaign using the tagline “It came from Kijuju.” The game became Capcom’s best-selling game to date.

What marketing approach did the game Borderlands 2 take?

The marketing for Borderlands 2 revolved around the game’s distinctive comic artwork. The game was unveiled at gamescom and featured in Game Informer. It also had an online game addition. Borderlands 2 sold over 8.5 million copies.

What viral marketing techniques were used for Mass Effect 3?

The marketing campaign for Mass Effect 3 used viral marketing techniques, such as weekly video uploads, a balloon demo, TV and cinematic trailers, and a TV spot. The game generated $200 million in sales within two months.

What promotional strategies were employed for Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back?

The promotional campaign for Crash Bandicoot 2 involved celebrity endorsements, TV commercials during popular shows, and marketing partnerships. The game sold 7.58 million copies.

What recent gaming advertising campaigns showcased creative approaches?

Recent gaming advertising campaigns, such as the Xbox Mini Fridge, GAME Christmas Tinner, Xbox survival of the grittiest billboard, and Playstation underground signs, showcased creative and unique approaches to gaming advertising.

What gaming collaborations and partnerships have occurred?

Gaming collaborations and partnerships, such as Balenciaga X Fortnite, Cath Kidston X Animal Crossing, Biden X Animal Crossing, Pac-Man X Bud Light, and Playstation X Game, have showcased the intersection of gaming and fashion, virtual events, and interactive experiences.

How important are gaming campaigns to the success of video games?

Gaming campaigns play a crucial role in the success of video games. The 15 best gaming marketing campaigns demonstrate the power of creative and innovative strategies in engaging audiences and driving sales.