Making Borderlands 3 the biggest game of the year

The brief

2K challenged us to expand the awareness and reach of the new Borderlands 3 game during the seven-month launch window, targeting non-gaming media and the franchise’s community.

The distraction

With the last major release in 2012, the Borderlands community were apathetic, and we needed to reignite the passion for the franchise.

At the same time as hitting existing fans, we needed to catch the attention of new audiences who hadn’t played the last game and create mass awareness with casual gamers.

How did we make our audience care?

Our insights showed our audience, both existing fan base and casual gamers, have a strong interest in alternative or ‘geek’ culture and we knew dialling up and celebrating the franchise’s heritage works well in driving fan engagement.

We created the 10 years of Borderlands Cosplay Competition, a celebration of all things Borderlands Cosplay with a grand prize of £5,000. We wanted to ensure we had a huge presence at every major ‘geek culture’ event so the main qualifiers were held at MCM London, MCM Manchester and Insomnia, plus a Wild Card round and a Grand Final at EGX.

For casual gamers – obvious as it may sound, our insight showed a large portion of our target audience had a passion for brand collabs and – even more obviously – beer. So, we partnered with Beavertown to create a limited edition ‘Bandit Brew’, complete with its own recipe and can design (in the signature Beavertown design that shared an affinity with Borderland’s well-know cel-shaded artwork).

The action

  • 70+ pieces of coverage including national hits in the Mirror, Sun and Express for Bandit Brew

  • Sold out of crates and six packs within a week of pre-orders live

  • Sold out of Eventbrite tickets for Bandit Brew tasting events

  • GQ said “Forget about that Supreme-Blu burner phone, this is truly 2019’s greatest collab to date.

  • Over 100 entries in total from the four cosplay qualifying rounds, with Borderlands cosplay present at MCM London, MCM Manchester, Insomnia 65 and EGX

  • Over 40,000 combined engagements of cosplay content across Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

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