Square Enix

Dragon Quest Slime Knights

Square Enix - Dragon Quest Case Study

Challenge

"Affinitive managed to quickly re-establish Square Enix's relationship with our most passionate consumers and provide an outlet for them to share their passion and interest in the games with other like-minded fans, new and old. It's one thing to activate a fan base, but it's a wholly different thing to continue to engage them over time - Affinitive delivered this with passion and a proactive attitude."

Square Enix, a leading developer, publisher and distributor of entertainment content including interactive entertainment software and publications worldwide, was looking to launch their first PlayStation 2 title in the Dragon Quest series, a legendary franchise that had sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. While the series had been wildly popular in Japan, the brand had a diminished presence in North America. Square Enix was committed to making the game one of the pillars of their international family of franchises, along with Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, and wanted to educate the gaming community about the brand and build awareness prior to its release.

Solution

Considering the franchise's uncertain status in North America, Affinitive and Square Enix decided to create a community called Slime Knights that could serve as way to educate RPG enthusiasts about the series and harness the word of mouth potential of the devoted fan base. In the initial education phase of the campaign, game assets were slowly released to the rapidly growing community, and members participated in a series of creative activities that allowed them to show off their passion and generate anticipation for the game's release. Since RPG players rely on each other for tips and information, a heavy emphasis was put on word of mouth activities leading up to the release, and the community's member-generated content was leveraged to give the game a presence wherever RPGs were discussed.

Results

Dragon Quest VIII was widely regarded as one of the top 10 games of the year by most of the gaming media and even more highly regarded in the fan community. The Slime Knights program far exceeded the original goals and has grown to well over 14,000 members, with roughly 30% of members recruited by others. A pre-order drive resulted in more than 40% of the community reserving a copy of the game, influencing a valuable component of the process that determines how many copies a retail outlet will order for the release date. In fact, enthusiasm was so strong within the community that some members started a campaign to persuade Square Enix to bring other titles in the series to North America.


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