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Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

PC AND MAC

Obsidian Entertainment, the developers behind Fallout: New Vegas, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and multiple award winning role-playing games, announced the crowdfunded Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire in 2017. Plan of Attack was assigned the task of spearheading communications with global media by the game’s publisher, Versus Evil.

Plan of Attack coordinated the Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire communications campaign with the goal of maximizing awareness of the game with video games media and streamers on YouTube and Twitch. We composed and distributed press releases and media alerts, which included updates on the game’s development status, new features, beta initiatives, and post-launch DLC content.

In November 2017, Obsidian announced the closed backer beta for its fans and crowdfunding campaign backers. This was followed by a pre-order announcement, generating 180+ news hits across international media.

In January 2018, a whirlwind four-day media tour with Obsidian’s Game Design Director, Josh Sawyer, provided media in Germany and the United Kingdom with a unique face-to-face opportunity to discuss the ideas and concepts behind Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. Plan of Attack organised meetings with key outlets including GameStar, PC Gamer, MCV, Gamesindustry.biz, Kotaku, GameWatcher and PCGamesN, among others. Utilising meeting room space at the UKIE offices in central London, media were able to discuss the game’s finer points with Josh and work under a pre-agreed embargo date for their in-depth previews.

As a result of the tour, Plan of Attack secured an exclusive cover story with the world’s biggest PC gaming magazine, PC Gamer, with front cover and in-depth features in both North America and the UK editions. Throughout the campaign in total, the team secured an additional four front-cover, in-depth features with GameStar (Germany), Pelaaja (Finland), PC Guru (Hungary), and SCORE (Czech). These detailed previews and reviews were deep dives into the inner workings of the game and publications were offered exclusive hands-on access to new areas of the game as well as revealing assets and artwork to further refine their editorial features.

Online, the team coordinated a publishing partnership with PCGamesN for a regular flow of articles and editorial exposure. From February through to the game’s launch, the editorial partnership highlighted key features of the game and kept the game in the public eye in the run up to launch day.

In February 2018, Plan of Attack coordinated the backer beta preview campaign, providing a limited access version of the main game to media. This initiative was boosted with developer interviews that provided additional dialogue and content to support previews and deep dive features on the game. This backer beta media initiative generated over 140 media previews published across print and online, with the likes of IGN, Videogamer Italy, Vandal, Goha, and Gameswelt.

For GDC 2018, Obsidian was part of publisher Versus Evil’s showcase, providing interview opportunities for editorial features. Plan of Attack facilitated this by booking key games media outlets including VentureBeat, PCGamesN, IGN, Pocket Lint, Dual Shockers, Hardcore Gamer and US Gamer.

Following up from GDC, Plan of Attack also managed the media bookings for PAX East in early April which saw additional outlets including Gamereactor, GameInformer, GameSpot, GameSkinny, Den of Geek, and Twinfinite get in front of the game.

For the review phase of the campaign Plan of Attack curated a global review list in excess of 500 media outlets, from Mexico to New Zealand. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire currently enjoys a Metacritic review score rating of 88.

According to media, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire has established a new RPG benchmark with high score reviews from GameStar, scoring the game 92 out of 100, PC Gamer scoring it 88%, 3DJuegos 9.5 out of 10, and Hardcore Gamer 4.5 out of 5.

Trade features in MCV and Gamesindustry.biz focused on interviews with Josh Sawyer and Versus Evil’s General Manager Steve Escalante, providing developer and publisher points of view on creating the ambitious, crowdfunded RPG. MCV included the interview as part of a three-page feature in its debut monthly print edition.