How Game Devs Use Halloween To Revitalize Their Gamers

2019-10-30 | Slava Zaiets

How Game Devs Use Halloween To Revitalize Their Gamers

While shops, restaurants and pretty much every mall gets into Halloween mode with pumpkins, skeletons and all things ghoulish, we take a look at video games. How are game developers integrating Halloween elements into their games? Let’s see how you can treat your gamers and make your video game even more spooktacular.

Add Halloween elements to the game

🎃 Where’s my gloomy pumpkin? Adding Halloween-themed details to your game is probably the most expected by your audience, regardless of the game genre. Classic horror characters (ghosts, skeletons, zombies, witches), animals (bats, black cats), plants (pumpkins), skulls and cobwebs - for every taste, you have a lot to select from.

See how game developers play around with Halloween in their games.

Car battle MOBA Heavy Metal Machines offered players the opportunity to buy vehicles with Halloween-styled elements - limited edition from October 24 till November 5.

What if the concept and mood of your game doesn’t really lend itself to creepy elements? Then the pumpkin is your salvation!

Family Farm Seaside (where gamers manage a farm) allowed players to plant pumpkins for Halloween - a nice way to integrate the day and also blend well with the game itself.

Mobile game Family Side Seaside - screenshot, Russian version

You could offer your players Halloween decorations - that’s what Cafeland World Kitchen has done for their mobile gamers. They also released special Halloween tasks.

Let gamers dress their characters in Halloween costumes

What about a magic cape, hat, or even a makeup? Why not add some personalization?

Subway Surfers World Tour 2019 - Mexico released its 110th update with “spooktacular outfits”, a hexed magic broom that protects you for 30 sec, and brought back the Casket board. Spooky characters get extra bonuses.

Not to mention some perfect timing for their Mexico edition. Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead - the Latin American analog of Halloween which has firmly placed roots in ancient traditions.

Actually, Kiloo went the further mile and created a whole new story dedicated to Halloween. And here we come to the next point…

…Create a reason to feature Halloween in your game

There is nothing more exhilarating than a new adventure and a storyline built around something happening in the real world. In this instance Halloween. It means that the developers are fully supporting the game and want to keep players interest in their game high. Obviously there are cost and dev time implications but it can significantly raise your revenue and engagement rates during these times. Gamers are regularly willing to spend on branded items, abilities, etc that may be limited to a period of time.

Example: Warspear online regularly release the Horror Circus around Halloween. Gamers have to travel to the Holiday Island and go on specific horror based missions. Apart from the holiday activities, the players can receive special Holiday rewards: costumes, equipment, food and drinks, etc.

Warspear Online Halloween 2019 Announcement

Organize the Halloween game events

Why limit yourself to only a few Halloween’ish in-game elements if you can thrill your players with a complex game campaign? Think about tournaments, themed characters, limited-time challenges and so on.

Check Legendary - Game of Heroes: they’ve updated the icon and splash screen, sold heroes from past Halloweens, launched two events and announced it on Facebook:

If your game community is active and enthusiastic, they could even organize their own Halloween event. Have a look at this subreddit thread by Bloodborne fans who decided to choose and create a specific costume, and use the invasion and resonance bells as often as possible.

Create a sense of urgency

Having a Halloween campaign last for just a few days makes gamers even more excited about playing for this limited amount of time. They will open mobile games more often to make sure they haven’t missed anything.

Look at Merge Magic, having launched their Fa-BOO-lous Halloween event for only a few days.

However, you don’t need to squeeze yourself into a couple of Halloween days. Your campaign can last for 2-3 weeks (and even include a few days of post-Halloween time)

Launch a spooky Halloween Sale

If you decided to go without the Halloween updates, launching a Halloween sale is probably the easiest way to be on trend. It’s also a great opportunity to invite new gamers to try your game who’d otherwise perhaps not download it at all. If the game costs a penny, why not try it out?

Games platforms like Steam or GOG announce a Halloween sale every year with up to 90% discount for certain games - why not take advantage of the games marketplace initiatives?

For instance, the Steam 4-days sale features horror and Halloween-themed games as well as games that have special Halloween updates or activities. Usually, the number of visitors double these days reaching 15 million active users who can select from 23,300 discounted items.

The minimum you can do is to brand your social pages, edit your description on the app stores, promote your event or sale on social media or just post pictures from your Halloween party to your Facebook page. Just… creep it real (sorry).

A tip: Those who target Chinese gamers should be ready for the main e-commerce event of Asia - Chinese Singles’ Day. Read on how to update your game and get widen your audience on that day.