Business leaders usually pick either vertical or horizontal expansion as they seek an optimal growth strategy. Room 8 Group chose to grow vertically. To expand its business by broadening its range of offerings for the gaming industry, it transformed into a group of companies consisting of four distinct service lines. To enhance its brand messaging across these service lines, Room 8 Group joined forces with Kaiiax.
Room 8 Group is a global leader in external art production & game development
Founded in 2011 as a game development startup, Room 8 Studio built a reputation for creating exceptional mobile games. With years, it expanded its scope by setting up an Art Division dedicated to game art and animation services and a Games Division, which focused on game development and co-development services.
Throughout its evolution, the company established partnerships with seven of the world's top 10 largest game publishers, including SEGA, Zynga, Sony, Ubisoft, and Square Enix, and grew from 30 people to over 2000 employees passionate about building games.
Under the umbrella of Room 8 Group, Room 8 Studio became a brand within the art production service line. The Group's other service lines include PC and console game development, mobile game development, and game testing and quality assurance.
Kaiiax's role in establishing compelling brand identities for Room 8 Group's service lines
Kaiiax helped Room 8 Group create distinct and attractive brand identities for each of its service lines. Our primary responsibility was crafting engaging messaging for seven distinct websites, ensuring that each brand effectively communicated the essence and value of its respective service line.
Here are the websites we've helped create:
- Room 8 Studio – one of the largest game art production studios in Europe (check out the case study we wrote to describe our copywriting partnership).
- Solid Bash – a game development studio that specializes in creating AA mid-core games for mobile devices, covering all stages of the development process.
- Dragons Lake – a game development studio focused on supporting AAA titles and known for its exceptional creative and engineering expertise.
- Heroic – a video game trailer and cinematics production studio.
- Massive Black – an IP and visual development studio.
- HighlightQA – a game quality assurance and testing company.
- Room 8 Group – the group of companies that supports the production and creative needs of global game development studios.
We've decided to share some insights into our approach to copywriting for Room 8 Group's brands so you could gain some knowledge from our expertise.
Our copywriting methodology revolved around addressing the following challenges:
- Creativity. Creativity is the most valued skill in the game development industry. To position Room 8 Group as a true development partner that strengthens internal teams, rather than just following orders, we had to craft messaging that would effectively project an image of a company that can provide valuable creative input and go beyond conventional outsourcing practices.
- Competition. In an industry filled with fierce competition, Room 8 Group recognized the need to differentiate itself. To truly stand out, our messaging had to be both distinctive and in line with the expectations of its potential clients.
- Stakeholder alignment. In Room 8 Group, each brand within its service lines has its own team of stakeholders, each with their own ideas on how they want to be seen. Our challenge was to align our messaging with their expectations and the overall strategy of the Group. We worked hard to find the right balance that satisfied everyone and helped create a strong and consistent brand image.
- Fit for the future. Room 8 Group approached us at Kaiiax during their transition phase, and so we had to be forward-thinking and anticipate potential changes down the road. We built a solid foundation that can adapt to changing needs and support future expansion.
To gain a deeper understanding of each brand's essence and positioning, we kicked off our work by conducting multiple interviews with brand managers and leaders. We learned a lot from these interviews and used them to capture the distinct personality of each brand and ensure that our messaging accurately reflected its core values and messaging goals.
Here are some insights into our copywriting decisions.
Distilling key messages into distinct perceptions
Crafting the website for Solid Bash involved multiple iterations. Finally, after releasing the first version of the website, conducting interviews with the CEO, the Head of Production, the Head of Creative, and the Head of Technology, and brainstorming again with the brand manager, we distilled our key messages into four distinct perceptions or 'pillars':
- Successful games
- Trusted partnership
- Creative and technical expertise
We used Notion to add a general message to each of these pillars, give some examples for evidence, and specify the most relevant decision-makers for each message.
We used these messages in our copy for the website.
Now we're looking forward to the second launch of Solid Bash's website with revised messages and some design modifications.
Conveying the brand identity in a single tagline
We faced another creative challenge to convey the identity of Dragons Lake, a studio that co-creates blockbuster games. We needed to say that Dragons Lake excels at building high-quality, AAA-scale games in collaboration with major publishers, while also emphasizing their distinction from traditional service providers (order takers). Also, we needed to clearly communicate that Dragons Lake is a team of passionate game developers. We had to be skillful and inventive to fit all these essentials into one line.
Here are the examples of the taglines we've created:
After lots of brainstorming, we picked the tagline: "Purposeful game development to support AAA titles." In this line, we underlined Dragons Lake's goal-driven approach to work, specifying the type of projects they engage with and their category.
Storytelling on the home page
When we teamed up with Heroic, a game trailer and cinematic production studio, our first task was to help them create a catchy tagline. They wanted something that conveyed their expertise in storytelling, but unfortunately, their desired tagline "We tell stories" was already taken by a competitor. Nevertheless, we put our heads together and came up with some creative solutions for the tagline:
Embark on a journey
Appeal to the Hero’s Journey (storytelling framework) + the word "journey" might also mean "experience" of working with Heroic.
Crossing the threshold since 2011
Another option of the same "Hero’s Journey" idea. Symbolic meaning: Heroic is ready — and committed — to the journey ahead of us.
And the story begins…
We're about to start something exciting.
Every game has a story to tell
Why do we exist? To help games tell their stories.
After reviewing these options, the team decided to combine the elements of "And the story begins" and "Embark on a journey" and create a tagline "The journey begins."
Here's an interesting insight about trailer production: Although the primary objective of a game trailer is to market the game and capture the attention of players, we made a deliberate choice not to emphasize this point in our messaging. Why? Because every decision-maker in the game development industry understands that, above all, it is the story that truly matters.
When we were working on the home page, we took the concept of storytelling to the next level by constructing a page that follows the structure of the Hero's journey.
Everything starts with the Call to Adventure "The journey begins" and "Choose your adventure," meaning choose what service you're interested in.
As the user scrolls through, they're moving to the phase Meeting a Mentor. Here they get a message "Secure your allies and mentors" – we need this block to introduce the company and its purpose.
The next phase is Ordeal "Overcome creative challenges." This block describes Heroic's value proposition.
And finally, the Reward → "Capture the viewer's attention with a trailer" – the final outcome of the collaboration with Heroic.
Using this structure, we turned the home page into a game that follows the Hero's Journey pattern to effectively convey the essence of the company.
Communicating the bold and rebellious brand nature
One of the most interesting challenges was working with Massive Black, the most creative brand of all. As a small boutique-like IP and visual development studio, they are sought after by game developers looking to shape their game concepts.
Our primary objective was to establish an image of a daring team of artists who fearlessly push boundaries and consistently deliver extraordinary results. Given their focus on visual development, the website design required minimal text, allowing the spotlight on their impressive work samples.
To infuse the essence of Massive Black's distinctive creative spirit into our copy, we drew inspiration from Mutiny, a game company founded by Cameron Howe and Donna Clark in the TV series "Halt and Catch Fire." This fictionalized portrayal of the early computer revolution in the 1980s served as an inspiring example that influenced our approach to crafting compelling copy.
Here are some examples of the copy we wrote for Massive Black's website:
We went creative with our copy…maybe even too creative because you won't see these bold lines of the Massive Black website. When it comes to service-based companies, there is a tendency to adopt a safer approach to communication, often shying away from the level of boldness required to stand out.
Expressing purpose-based brand positioning
What perception about the brand do we want to create? We discovered the answer by having in-depth conversations with the brand managers and stakeholders who shared their vision with us.
Highlight QA, a company dedicated to game testing and quality assurance, aimed to stand out from other similar companies in the market by prioritizing their people-first approach. The company leaders told us that quality assurance plays a vital role in game development, yet it often goes underappreciated in the industry. They felt that QA experts deserved more respect and recognition in the industry and they wanted to build a company that provides it to them.
Rather than relying on the common differentiator of "high-quality games," they opted for a positioning strategy that highlighted their purpose and values. Why would a client care about their values? Well, because a game producer (Highlight QA's ideal customer) knows that they can only get great results with a team that is motivated to do their jobs. This is exactly what we wanted to convey on the website.
To express Highlight QA's purpose-based positioning strategy, we created a message for the header, emphasizing a motivated QA team as a key enabler of effective testing.
Portraying the image of a global provider of game development services
Finally, Room 8 Group, a global leader in external art production and game development also needed to redesign their website to establish a perception that accurately reflects the company's stature.
Opting for a formal approach, our objective was to convey the message that Room 8 Group is a prominent, well-organized, dependable, and highly professional entity with a formidable presence in the market. We aimed to instill confidence and showcase the company's strong standing within the industry.
Room 8 Group, being a significant player in the game development industry, had a lot to say and demonstrate to the market. It was essential for the company to showcase its continuous growth and development, proving its influence and success. We wanted to convey a vision and a deeper purpose that went beyond just providing excellent services. After some research and brainstorming, we discovered the word that encapsulated our intent: value.
We wanted to position Room 8 Group as a company that actively contributes to the video game industry by forging mutually beneficial partnerships with their clients, employees, and communities.
Taking the website of Accenture as a reference, we decided to start the home page with news about the company, such as launching a new brand, promoting key employees to important leadership positions, or showcasing recent collaborations. This helped us create an image of a company that is constantly growing.
We also incorporated blocks dedicated to case studies and news updates on the website to reinforce the concept of value. Through compelling case studies, we showcased how Room 8 Group's partnerships have resulted in tangible outcomes, highlighting the value the company brings to its clients and the industry.
Our work played a crucial role in Room 8 Group's rebranding and transformation journey. We helped them create compelling websites that showcased their offerings and were ready to make a splash at key game development conferences, where all the important partnerships start.
But our job didn't end there. We're still working closely with Room 8 Group to fine-tune their websites and develop a winning communication strategy. Our aim is to ensure they have a strong presence in the industry and can effectively communicate their unique value to potential partners. Together, we're determined to keep refining their online presence and paving the way for Room 8 Group's continued success.