58k wishlists - results of long-term approach to marketing. Games Operators x Huqiao

Weronika Jaszcz
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With a game as good as Infection Free Zone - and specialists like Michalina - everything is possible. How did we do it? Check the case study below to find out ⬇️
“The wishlists’ growth has exceeded our expectations!”

These are the words Jakub Ananicz, CFO at Games Operators, used to sum up our cooperation 7 months ago.

Looking at our results from the last month, culminating today in a release of our best case study to date… It's high time for a follow up.

1⃣ Bit of a background:

Our first cooperation with Games Operators started in June 2022 and concluded in May 2023. During that time, we focused on influencers, content marketing and community management for Infection Free Zone - post-apocalyptic city builder, allowing you to play on the map in any place of the world.

  • We celebrated with our first case study, 26k wishlists in 26 weeks;
  • During Steam Next Fest in February, 80% of traffic came from China, placing IFZ demo in second place in terms of popularity.
  • And finished our cooperation in May with around 80k wishlists on Heybox.

We started working together again this July to boost results before and during the long-awaited release of Infection Free Zone demo on the 27th. The person responsible for the project was our most experienced Chinese Marketing Specialist, Michalina Kujawska - beside Game Ops, working with clients like Egosoft or WUBE Software.

🎯 The goal was simple: increase wishlists as much as possible.

2⃣ What was the recommended solution?

With less than a month left until the release, the answer was simple: intensified Chinese influencer outreach. We reached out to relevant content creators in a culture conscious way and coordinated the release of the videos.

It’s the most cost-effective solution to quickly boost wishlists.

From June 2022, we were focused on reaching as many people as possible and gathering a devoted player base in China. Every piece of content written, video released by an influencer, and comment answered was a carefully set domino piece.

Now it was time to give them a little push.

3️⃣ What results did we achieve?

Before the end of July, out of 87 influencers in our database, 33 of them managed to publish content. In total, they were responsible for posting over 102 videos.

  • Their total following equaled 5 million.

These 102 videos were watched over 11 million times.

This in turn led to +58 thousand wishlists growth just on Heybox - from 90 to 148k. In just two weeks, we achieved 64% growth.

  • What’s more, Infection Free Zone reached the most awaited releases list on Heybox, taking a proud 6th place and beating games like Hades 2. One month later and it’s still on the list.

The videos posted created a snowball effect - along with the videos we coordinated, usually posted by bigger influencers, a huge amount of smaller creators started posting. One month later, there are 169k wishlists just on Heybox and the number is still growing.

Michalina’s results on this project definitely show the importance of a long-term approach to game marketing. As well as development, it is a multi-stage and year project, and the earlier you start - the bigger the benefits will be. Steam algorithms work in a similar way: the higher the traffic from external sources, the more they will promote your game internally on the platform.

Outcome: even more wishlists and game sales.

But why else it pays to have an engaged player base?

4️⃣ Influencer content

I will let one Douyin influencer give you an idea:

At first, he was interested only in paid campaigns. After reaching out to him, he priced his video for at least 12 000 RMB (=over 1,5k euro), but finally agreed to publish it free of charge.

His first video about Infection Free Zone reached over 3,3 million views.

How much our services can save you? Here’s your answer.

We operate on a flat fee, working with influencers to publish videos without any extra budget. In just this one case, it meant saving 1,5k euro. And it was not the only case it happened.

Another interesting case is 小代游戏日记, influencer from Douyin.

Does contacting smaller content creators pay off? They don’t leave a doubt about it: being huge fans of IFZ they published a total of 30 videos on Douyin and Bilibili.

His video series reached over 4 million views.

5️⃣ Closing thoughts

The continued popularity also confirms the fact that China was waiting for the Infection Free Zone.

Our influencer outreach was a huge success in building interest among Chinese players. It caused a significant increase in wishlists on Heybox - almost 60,000 in about two weeks. The number of wishlists and views continues to grow, and the hype for the game remains high.

Last but not least: it was heartwarming to see how much Chinese gamers love Infection Free Zone. Influencers were thrilled after being contacted by us: “wow, IFZ? I have it on my wishlist!”. You can see a few examples of the messages we got below - expressing the love for the game or praising the ability to play in any place in the world.

The interest was so high that Michalina had trouble keeping up with all the messages she got - screenshots, feedback and praise from enthusiastic influencers. “There was so much traffic that I started to think I work in Games Operators,” she summed up.

We are very proud of the results we were able to achieve.

If you are interested in how your game can achieve a similar success in China - no matter what stage of development you are in, book a free meeting with our team of specialists.

We’ll be happy to help you!

~ With warm regards from the entire Huqiao 琥桥 team:

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