Hyping the medieval GTA: Rustler ads on Twitch channels

Do you know what the Rustler is? That’s a satiric game reminding GTA in medieval settings, with bards, wagon stealing, and battles with guards.

We’ve cut a new ad for a cold audience to promote it using streams on Twitch. One week, 90 streamers, over 300 000 watches, and 1,26% of CTR. Let’s tell how we made that. 

The goal is to attract an audience right after the game release

The Rustler was released on August 31, 2021. It spent a half year in early access but earned 78% of rave reviews on Steam. 

We started a marketing campaign just on the day of release. The tactic was simple: an audience follows the link and sees the freshest and fully released game. If the visitor likes the setting and features, there is a good chance he or she buys it. 

The goal is to create a buzz and make the official release known to a wide audience. In-Stream video launch was just one line of the marketing campaign. Spoiler: but it produced fine results. 

The strategy: brilliant news hook and loyal Twitch audience

For promotion, we used Twitch streamers as usual. During their broadcasts, they showed 15-second video ads. And the biggest advantage of Twitch is its audience who likes games. Really likes. Over 45% of the content on Twitch is gaming streams. 

Following on our objectives, we’ve divided the target audience into two categories:

  • A small part of it watched closely the game development. Of they at least have heard about it when the Rustler was in early access. It was important to tell them that the game is already released. No more early access — just play and enjoy. 
  • Most of the viewers knew nothing about the game. So we should interest them in 15 seconds. And we’ve told them something like: «Go and see the gangster story in medieval with blackjack, horse stealing, and fights». 

The game is for fun, to laugh and relax. But we decided now to limit the target audience. So the video was shown to fans of CS, Genshin Impact, Anime Standing, and many other games. Podcasts and talk shows were also there, and only music broadcasts were excluded. 

In the beginning, we had an outstanding news hook, an interesting game, a fine potential audience, and one week to fully test our tool. And with all of that, it doesn’t matter that the audience is cold and most of the people see the game for the first time. And now let’s tell about the results. 

The results: chats are running, but GTA is not

The campaign was started on the day of Rustler’s release. That’s August, 31. And it lasted just a week. We gathered 90 streamers who played the 15-second video ad during their streams. And we’ve got a very nice coverage. 

There are some general results:

  • 334 822 video shows and 99,8% of them were fully watched
  • 123 218 unique views
  • 4199 follows the link

The CTR is 1,26%. It’s marvelous for a cold campaign and 15-second video ads. For comparison, similar launches on YouTube Gaming give only 0,3-0,5% of clicks.

And there’s something about genres. We had a real ‘Santa Barbara’ here with lots of surprises and odds. 

Somehow, streams without games showed the best result. They all gave 1495 jumps to the link, and that’s 34,7% of the total number. Dota 2 and CS were good as expected — 648 and  549 clicks, respectively. But it’s because of an enormous fan base and a huge number of channels with 1000 and more viewers on average. 

But GTA fans were cold to Rustler, even though the game was based on the mechanics and ideas of Grand Theft Auto. Rustler was also named Grand Theft Horse. There were just a few streams, but even broadcasts with 1000+ people watching gave us no clicks. Not at all, Carl! Even anime streams were much more effective. That was harsh, but we’ve learned the lesson. 

PUBG streams were also sucking. 8 clicks in a week — that’s not even funny. But we had 4 streams where people just sleep. Of course, there were no results, cause a streamer has to play the video ads manually. It’s a bit difficult when sleeping. 

The overall result was decent. We’ve got over 300 000 views and a brilliant CTR. These results were got in 7 days. The other campaigns need at least 12-14 days to reach something like that. Quite good for the relatively little budget and that was exactly what we needed for the game release.