Christmas Shopper Simulator

The Challenge

GAME is the UK’s leading computer games retailer. But for all its gaming experience, as a specialist it was struggling to compete with the larger generalist stores. GAME needed to drive loyalty by showing that it was a company run by gamers for gamers. We knew it could win over the gaming community, but adverts wouldn’t be enough. We had to prove it.

The Idea

For Christmas 2014 we reached GAME’s hard-to-reach audience not by making a TV ad, but by making a freely downloadable computer game: Christmas Shopper Simulator. We made it to capitalise on the demand for user-generated, game-playing footage on gamer sites like Twitch. In other words, Christmas Shopper Simulator was as much fun to watch as to play.

Following in the spirit of tongue-in-cheek games such as Goat Simulator and Surgeon Simulator, players could enjoy the madness of Christmas shopping from the comfort of their own homes. They could explore stores such as Amazombie and Pet Provocateur, climb on shelves, ride escalators and throw things around as they worked their way through a series of missions.

The Results

The game itself was downloaded over 1 million times. The average player played the game for 16 minutes, and half our players came back more than once – but this wasn’t the end.

As expected, players also recorded themselves playing the game and shared the footage online – think self-made Gogglebox for the online generation. These ‘Let’s Play’ videos were watched on YouTube a staggering 36 million times. They varied in length from shorter clips to full-game walkthrough recordings of over twenty minutes, all full of GAME branding.

Brand recommendations rose by 56% and more than 80% of players either visited GAME’s website or a store after playing. To top it all off, Christmas Shopper Simulator won Best Viral Campaign at the Brand Republic Digital Awards.

Not bad for a bunch of gamers.

“101 have helped us discover our own voice again.” 

Fred Prego, Insight and Marketing Director, GAME