Where Are My Gamers At? An 8bit Marketing Story

Posted August 4, 2022 in

Nathan Dube



Greetings fellow IMPACT+ fam!

I am hoping that today finds all of you well. I just wanted to stop by and and ask, who here is into video games?

I have been a die hard fan of gaming since the age of 8. One of my major bucket list items was to someday create my own video game.

And, I just published it on Itch.io last week!

What is really cool about this video game however, is not its present, but its past... You see the video game was a marketing campaign that I developed to sell copiers, printers and managed services for the company I used to work for.

When we became a platinum partner for Hewlett Packard, our sales rep asked me (I was both the social media manager and a full time sales rep at the time) if I had any out-of-the-box ideas for marketing campaigns.

I explained my vision for a retro 8-bit (think the original Nintendo entertainment system) video game in which the player played as a brave IT manager who was trying to save his office from evil copiers and printers who had come to life through artificial intelligence.

To simplify it, think mega man meets the movie office space.

They loved the idea and they fully funded the project! The game was aimed at IT managers, many of which are current or former video game players (at least almost all of them that I met in sales meetings had been committed gamers).

We generated several hundred SQLs through the game which had a contest built into the game play. Players who beat the game were given the opportunity to submit their email, name and company for a chance to win $500.

The winner was the IT manager of a large software company in MA. I wish this story had an epic ending as a major win...

But, to this day I do not know what happened.  I generated a proposal and met with the IT manager who loved the product I was selling and said that a year from then, they would very much like to leave their incumbent vendor and come to us.

I was assured he would be in touch a couple months prior to that.

Then, six months later, I was laid of with 50% of the employee base of the company. The owner had bought a competitor.

While we gained massive market share, we lost a ton of money. I was laid off with about 20 other employees and given a great severance package and a letter of recommendation from the CEO to my next employer.

After that, I never found out how that customer ended up. Within 5 years or so, the company was sold to another business and the website and video game were taken down.

BUT, the good news is I owned the copyright to the game. After years of trying to figure out how to get the game published so that people could play it for free, I contacted a friend of mine who had started his own gaming business.

We were able to get the files from the video game studio I had partnered with as the executive producer for game and my friend helped me to upload it here where you can play it for free.

While I never closed that deal, I had the time of my life and was able to convince a fortune 500 company to finance my video game.

So, it was a success in another way.

I hope that any of you who play the game enjoy it. 

And please remember to never give up on your dreams because with a little creativity and an open mind, you can find a way!

Thank you for your time in reading this post!

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Joe Rinaldi
Nathan Dube You had me at "mega man meets office space". That's such a cool idea for a marketing campaign.

Connor DeLaney   Tom DiScipio  Should we see who can make it the furthest??
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Nathan Dube
Oooh, who will win? FYI - the game is only one level, but there is a huge boss at the end! Please leave a comment on the Itch.io page if you have any feedback. Thank you very much in advance for your time!
Nathan Dube
When the game was being played when it was a marketing campaign, people started doing speed runs against each other; I would be interested to see which of you can complete the game the fastest!
Stephanie Baiocchi
This is SO cool Nathan!
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Nathan Dube
Many thanks Steph!
Tom DiScipio
You're always doing the coolest stuff,  Nathan Dube !

With the number of leads you generated from the initial effort... it sounds like you've got a strategy here that works. Any plans for a follow-up game/campaign?

Joe Rinaldi and Connor DeLaney ... game on my friends!
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Nathan Dube
Tom DiScipio Well, this was for my last company, which I left 5 years ago. The company was bought out by a competitor, so not for that business. I have pitched several video game ideas for Industrial Packaging (my current company). Still, as our Ideal Customer Profile does not appear to have "avid gamer" in their persona/description, we are not sure it is a good fit. With that being said, I am working on a virtual reality project for a trade show which is kind of in the same ballpark so to speak. If I get enough players for the game, I may crowdfund to create a sequel.  
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Connor DeLaney
I'm diving into this later today, gonna find out who's the bestttt :) 
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