THE BANNER SAGA 3PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch
Banner Saga 3 is the defining third and final chapter in the emotionally driven RPG series that began in 2014. This RPG, set in a bleak Viking world, has continued to enthrall its legion of fans with a mature story-driven adventure, beautifully crafted, hand-painted visuals, and challenging, strategic turn based combat. Developed by Texan indie developer Stoic and published by Versus Evil, Plan of Attack has worked on the Banner Saga franchise from the very beginning. Given the brand heritage of the series, the franchise is one which was already held in high esteem with games media, however, it was important for the final game to stand on its own merits. Plan of Attack built a communications campaign that increased the awareness and importance of the title.
Communications for Banner Saga 3 began in January 2017 with the announcement of its Kickstarter campaign to support the game’s development. Stoic successfully surpassed its Kickstarter funding goal after only seven days, and media outreach resulted in 550+ news stories related to the game’s funding success and stretch goals.
Plan of Attack were then tasked with building a first look campaign to take place in London. Hand picked media were invited to the UKIE offices in London to interview Stoic and check out a short demo resulting in deep first look features and developer interviews from outlets such as Rock Paper Shotgun, IGN, Videogamer, PC Games N, Gamewatcher and Gamereactor. This initiative was co-ordinated by Plan of Attack to take advantage of the fact that specialist gaming media would be in central London attending Rezzed, London’s premier games event, thus providing a prime opportunity to secure key editorial.
The first key news beat came in October 2017 with the official teaser video. This was followed in January 2018 when Stoic released the first in a series of Banner Saga 3 character vignette trailers. Each short trailer highlighted the game’s key characters, acting as a reminder of what role the characters played in previous instalments. These reveals helped pave the way for media and consumers to learn more about the pivotal characters well ahead of the actual preview campaign.
For GDC 2018 in San Francisco, Plan of Attack was responsible for booking press interviews with Stoic. Plan of Attack secured media meetings with the likes of Game Informer, PCGamesN, Eurogamer, PC Gamer, Gamesoul, The Sixth Axis, and Multiplayer among others. Eurogamer ran the first ‘hands-on’ exclusive, sharing the first 30 mins of gameplay from their on-site recording session which, once published, was then picked up by a massive range of international media including 3D Juegos, Go Nintendo, Playground.ru, Gram.pl, Dualshockers, Every Eye, and Play M. The gameplay video has gained nearly 60,000 views on Eurogamer’s YouTube channel.
In April 2018, Plan of Attack distributed the Banner Saga 3 pre-order announcement revealing the July release date for the digital and physical editions, Trilogy Bonus Edition and Dredge Ally pack offers. With a multi-format release planned, this pre-order announcement was conducted in two parts which would see pre-order announcements for Xbox One and Nintendo Switch follow in July just prior to launch with a discounted offer for players who already owned Banner Saga and Banner Saga 2.
In May and June of 2018, we kept the Banner Saga momentum going with the launches of Banner Saga and Banner Saga 2 on Nintendo Switch, in anticipation of Banner Saga 3’s release on all platforms. This announce and review campaign for the Banner Saga on Switch generated over 330 editorial placements, over 70 of which were Nintendo Switch reviews. For Banner Saga 2 the announce and review campaign generated over 270 editorial placements over 80 of which were Nintendo Switch reviews. Between the beginning of May 2018 and mid July 2018, Plan of Attack had secured in excess of 600 editorial placements for the first two games on Switch in the Banner Saga franchise.
Prior to the launch of Banner Saga 3, Plan of Attack was instructed to build a preview campaign which would use a special dedicated PC Steam build of first 3 chapters of the game. This was provided to press under embargo, generating 48 press previews of the game published in late June and early July, two weeks before the game’s launch.
To provide additional editorial coverage to support the game’s launch, Plan of Attack secured a variety of press interviews with members of the development team. These interviews were designed to offer additional developer insights into the team’s effort in bringing the Banner Saga trilogy to its conclusion. Outlets included Polygon, Venturebeat, US Gamer, MMORPG, Eurogamer Germany, Gaming Bolt, MCV and Gamesindustry.biz, as well as a developer livestream with Gamasutra.
Banner Saga 3 launched to critical acclaim with PC Gamer scoring the game 90% and calling it “a thrilling and affecting finale that closes the book on a bleak but riveting journey in fine style.” Banner Saga 3 currently enjoys a Metacritic score of 83 and has a clutch of recommendations and ‘Editors Choice’ awards from the likes of Edge, Eurogamer, Dualshockers, Twinfinite and RPGFan, alongside glowing reviews from IGN, Gamespot and Rock Paper Shotgun.