I had the fun challenge of developing the brand as well as being embedded within the product development team for the iOS game, “Age of Booty: Tactics.”

I had the fun challenge of developing the brand as well as being embedded within the product development team for the iOS game, “Age of Booty: Tactics.”

As fun of a game and project that it was to work upon, the challenges were numerous.  Since this was Certain Affinity’s first foray into the mobile space, as well as self-publishing a game, the investment to promote this product was extremely modest.  As I heard many times on the project, “Just make something out of nothing.”  OK then, let’s do this.  Here is what I made out of nothing:


As fun of a game and project that it was to work upon, the challenges were numerous.  Since this was Certain Affinity’s first foray into the mobile space, as well as self-publishing a game, the investment to promote this product was extremely modest.  As I heard many times on the project, “Just make something out of nothing.” 

OK then, let’s do this.  Here is what I made out of nothing:

The game looked great and was fun (4.5/5 stars on the app store), but the app store is packed to the gills with fun, good-looking games.  The real trick was going to be able to get exposure and reach at a scale to break through the extreme clutter of the app store and acquire users without a promotional budget.

To get the reach that we needed without a budget I had to get creative. I got in touch with the Über-successful content mastermind’s of the internet, Rooster Teeth*.  I put together a promotional campaign with Rooster Teeth, launched the game at their RTX convention (3-day convention, over 30,000 attendees) with a branded booth and stage show (yep, that’s me up there playing MC to Rooster Teeth’s Gavin and Jack in front of a 1,000-person live audience), we put six of their celebrities in the game as playable captains as well as Rooster Teeth-branded ships and curses that released over a 12-week period for continual contact points with the target audience.

If you watch any of the video above, then you need to make sure that you see “the slap heard ‘round the world,” at the 22:00 mark.  The slap became instant internet gold spawning countless animated gifs and tumblr pages capturing it.  Admittedly, I had a hard time not loosing it on stage after that one.

 *Rooster Teeth is one of the largest content companies on the internet with over 8MM YouTube subscribers and website traffic of over 1MM UU’s/month.

As I mentioned above, “the slap” became so popular that we worked it into Jack’s character in the game.  The release of Jack’s character saw the best conversion rate of installs to monetization for the game. In addition to releasing a new Rooster Teeth Captain pack every other week for 12 weeks, to keep the game on the radar and the audience engaged—leading up to each Captain release, we put the Captain’s name up for a vote on roosterteeth.com.  Each of these periods for character naming averaged 10,000 votes and pages upon pages of comments.


As I mentioned above, “the slap” became so popular that we worked it into Jack’s character in the game.  The release of Jack’s character saw the best conversion rate of installs to monetization for the game.

In addition to releasing a new Rooster Teeth Captain pack every other week for 12 weeks, to keep the game on the radar and the audience engaged—leading up to each Captain release, we put the Captain’s name up for a vote on roosterteeth.com.  Each of these periods for character naming averaged 10,000 votes and pages upon pages of comments.

As stated above, with thousands of games launching each week on the app store, the mobile game space is extremely cluttered.  It is a true challenge to break through that noise and be recognized on the store, but the same could be said with the mobile games’ press.  But we needed to extend our reach, so to get the press' attention we made pirate-themed press kits—treasure chests!—and sent them out. While I would have liked a better conversion rate on the press picking up the story, having major gaming publication Joystiq’s content editor—Alexander Sliwinski— spend a half hour opening the chest on Joystiq's Twitch.tv livestream (pic above) was good, low-cost exposure for the game.  Cult of Mac and 148apps also picked up the story from the chest mailers.


As stated above, with thousands of games launching each week on the app store, the mobile game space is extremely cluttered.  It is a true challenge to break through that noise and be recognized on the store, but the same could be said with the mobile games’ press.  But we needed to extend our reach, so to get the press' attention we made pirate-themed press kits—treasure chests!—and sent them out.

While I would have liked a better conversion rate on the press picking up the story, having major gaming publication Joystiq’s content editor—Alexander Sliwinski— spend a half hour opening the chest on Joystiq's Twitch.tv livestream (pic above) was good, low-cost exposure for the game.  
Cult of Mac and 148apps also picked up the story from the chest mailers.

With our promotional plan and my persistent romancing of Apple about the game (some might call it stalking, but I wouldn't) and its promotional plan, Age of Booty: Tactics launched on the #3 slot for Best New Games (see above) on the App Store home page.  This gave us the invaluable front-page placement on the App Store.  In addition to being on the Best New Games list, we also netted a spot on the Best Games released in July list.


With our promotional plan and my persistent romancing of Apple about the game (some might call it stalking, but I wouldn't) and its promotional plan, Age of Booty: Tactics launched on the #3 slot for Best New Games (see above) on the App Store home page.  This gave us the invaluable front-page placement on the App Store.  In addition to being on the Best New Games list, we also netted a spot on the Best Games released in July list.

Once a potential user had been driven to the app store by our promotions, it was my responsibility to create a store presence compelling enough to convert them to install the game using some of our beautiful imagery and best game reviews to lead the copy. ·       148Apps, "Overall though, Age of Booty: Tactics is a pretty fantastic game. Its pirate theme is appealing and its strategy mechanics are rock solid, even when free players are facing those that have spent money for a ship with a chainsaw on it." ·       Video Game Writers, "Age of Booty: Tactics is not just a great mobile game, but one of the most involving and addictive strategy titles I’ve played in a long time." ·       Cult of Mac, "If you’re looking for a fun, thinking person’s game (aside from the bodacious female captain) with charming visuals and a deep strategic current running through it, Age of Booty: Tactics is a likely port of call for your iOS device." ·       iOSnoops, "Our verdict: Great!" ·       AppsMeNow, "A new, fun, addictive entertainment/board game for your smartphone and tablet..."

Once a potential user had been driven to the app store by our promotions, it was my responsibility to create a store presence compelling enough to convert them to install the game using some of our beautiful imagery and best game reviews to lead the copy.

·       148Apps, "Overall though, Age of Booty: Tactics is a pretty fantastic game. Its pirate theme is appealing and its strategy mechanics are rock solid, even when free players are facing those that have spent money for a ship with a chainsaw on it."

·       Video Game Writers, "Age of Booty: Tactics is not just a great mobile game, but one of the most involving and addictive strategy titles I’ve played in a long time."

·       Cult of Mac, "If you’re looking for a fun, thinking person’s game (aside from the bodacious female captain) with charming visuals and a deep strategic current running through it, Age of Booty: Tactics is a likely port of call for your iOS device."

·       iOSnoops, "Our verdict: Great!"

·       AppsMeNow, "A new, fun, addictive entertainment/board game for your smartphone and tablet..."

If you aren’t a pirate aficionado, then you might not know that September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLPD).  Given our modest means, we jumped at the chance to leverage the day’s theme.

We weren’t the only one’s to be doing this.  The good people at Krispy Kreme hold a promotion every year on ITLPD where they reward Pirate-themed patrons with their sweet, sweet baked goods.

We contacted Krispy Kreme with the idea of making a video of a Pirate-training heist taking part in one of their stores.  They loved the idea and helped promote the video via their channels.