Earlier this year, Bethesda announced the much-anticipated Fallout 4 — but even the studio behind the game must have been surprised by response to the title. Further proof of the franchise’s popularity came when spin-off mobile app Fallout Shelter began building a truly massive audience.
The game reportedly earned over $5 million in just two weeks, which is not a bad return for a title that’s simultaneously promoting one of the biggest releases of the year. Now, there’s room for a little creativity as Bethesda attempts to grow the game’s player base even further.
Social media has become one of the most powerful tools that a studio has to publicize a game. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all gaming PR favorites, but it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd on cluttered platforms such as those. New ground has to be broken to reach fresh audiences, and that’s why Bethesda is using Tinder. Yes, THAT Tinder.
If you’re unfamiliar with Tinder, it’s a dating app intended to connect singles with appropriate matches in their immediate surrounding area. The service launched in 2012, and within two years was being used by 50 million people every month — a figure that’s proven to intrigue advertisers.
The link between Tinder and Fallout might not be immediately obvious, but it is there. While swiping through Tinder profiles, you may well find yourself thinking, ‘We wouldn’t date if we were the last two people on Earth’. The post-apocalyptic world of Fallout makes that line of thought all the more palpable.
Of course, it’s simply the fact that Tinder has a massive audience that makes it a winning proposition for Bethesda. The time it took for an intern to create an account for the series’ iconic mascot Vault Boy has already been profitable, given how many people will have seen this stunt.
Much like Skyrim did for The Elder Scrolls, the fourth installment of Fallout could well take the series from cult favorite to bona fide smash hit. While previous entries in the series have been commercially successful, the game’s publishers would no doubt like to see the former PC favorite top the charts later this year.
The only question is whether hardcore fans are being courted in the same way newcomers to the series are. Trinkets like the Pip-Boy included in the game’s special edition are one thing, but a complex world and a potent role-playing experience are essential if the game’s fan base is to be satisfied.
We’ll only know for sure whether Fallout 4 is a success once it’s in the hands of fans. However, between this Tinder stunt and the success of Fallout Shelter in general, Bethesda’s pre-release marketing has been exemplary.
Fallout Shelter is available now for mobile devices. Fallout 4 will launch for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on November 10, 2015.