The media firm is betting on the rise of smaller developers distributing their own content independent of the big studios such as EA and Activision to showcase its superfast internet offering ahead of the coming Xbox One and Playstation 4 console launches.
The nascent indie sector is set to be a key battleground for Microsoft and Sony in the coming console battle and Virgin Media is looking to exploit the situation by forging ties with up and coming developers.
It is working with high-profile gamers such as YouTube vlogger Ali A to produce an ongoing series covering the latest news from the indie gaming scene. Episodes will be broadcast on YouTube as well as on Virgin Media TV’s video gaming channel Ginx TV.
The activity, developed in partnership with OMD agency fifty6, is supported by daily experiential activity from the brand’s “Game Space” hub in Shoreditch. The hub is being used to ramp up awareness for the brand’s sponsorship of this month’s Eurogamer Expo (26 to 29 September) and offers visitors weekly workshops from video game professionals as well as a break-out area where developers can meet. Gamers can also visit the centre to try the latest interactive technology.
By rallying the industry behind its broadband service, Virgin Media is hoping to give it more credibility than those from rivals such as BSkyB and BT.
The strategy builds on last year’s “100 Day Game Project’ where the business hosted a hackathon-style event for developers to create a mobile game.
Rich Larcombe, director or advertising and sponsorship at Virgin Media, says 2013’s push aims to “help even more raw talent hidden amongst the gaming community”.
The move comes just weeks after Virgin Media was revealed as the preferred broadband partner for Sony’s Playstation 4 console, a tie-up that could lead to further gaming-related marketing from the business in the coming months.