A very short time ago in a galaxy not so far away, the creatives at Star Wars capitalized
on the globally recognized Star Wars day to offer content to players. The fact that May the fourth sounds a lot like May the force was a stroke of genius that George Lucas likely never counted on, but which has been celebrated by Star Wars fans for years. May 4, 2020 has seen fans being given a series of gaming updates, which not only help add extra buzz to the day, but provide something back to those who have been loyal to the Jedi brand. So, what have Star Wars gaming fans been offered this Star Wars Day – and why are promotions like this important?
Steam announced that
gamers would be able to play multiplayer mode on the original 2004 Star Wars: Battlefront. The original company that ran the multiplayer mode closed in 2014, so when Steam re-released the original, this mode was absent. While Jedi: Fallen Order also received an extensive patch, including new game mode hub Meditation Training, Combat Challenges, and Battle Grid, which allow players to fight with enemies, including major bosses. The Battle Grid acts as a sandbox to let players create their own enemy encounters. The content from Respawn Entertainment
is a significant upgrade on the March patch.
Elsewhere in the galaxy, Star Wars owners Disney
also compiled an uplifting clip for the occasion of some of the most heartwarming moments of the franchise. The ninth film in the official series, The Rise of Skywalker also dropped on Disney+
to commemorate the day. It was also announced that Jojo Rabbit director Taika Waititi would direct the next installment in the series, which would be written by 1917’s Krysty Wilson-Cairns.
One of the oldest marketing tricks is to tie-in releases or new information with something else going on. So, a lot of gaming titles attempt to do this, by launching games alongside cinematic releases and associated events. For instance, the 2018 Spider-Man console game launched to capitalize on the buzz created from their reboot of the franchise with Tom Holland starring in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming
. These tie-ins are important for fans as they keep the cinematic universe alive and extend the ways in which people can engage with different aspects of the franchise.
Tie-ins don’t just work with console gaming, however. When you play online slots
, for example, you can expect to find many titles that are based around popular films and TV events, such as The Voice UK slot that coincided with the hit singing competition show. For mobile gaming, Glu’s Kim Kardashian: Hollywood
game launched in June 2014, to coincide with the airing of the second half of Season 9. While PC block game Minecraft’s
Hunger Games-style battle royale games coincided with the popularity gained during the release of the first film in 2012.
Launching content related to a franchise on a date, when buzz will already be surrounding the franchise, is a clever way of capitalizing on the present excitement. Not only will people more readily find your launches when you announce them, but the day provides a handy reminder that Star Wars exists and may prompt people to re-watch or re-engage with the franchise.