Filling in for product wait time, here's how this gaming brand maintains fan engagement

June 13, 2024
Emmy Liederman
Share this article

Actor, comedian and skateboarder Tim Robinson is the face of the skate. campaign.

Tim Robinson is taking on a new role as the anxious spokesperson of a failing company. 

The comedian, actor and star of “I Think You Should Leave” just partnered with EA to update fans on the demise of the corporate antagonist in its skateboarding game skate. 

A play on cringe, The Office-style comedy, Robinson maintains his bit of diverting the viewer’s attention to hide from the fact that M-Corp, the anti-skating organization that has long controlled the fictional city of San Vansterdam, has finally lost control. While skate.’s last game release was in 2010, the brand has leaned into community and suspense building through both creator and celebrity storylines to keep players engaged. 

Building momentum through creators

To prepare fans for the campaign, and leave them invested in the storyline again, skate. first turned to creators. Before the Robinson campaign that announced M-Corp’s demise, creators received packages of onboarding swag as a thank you for “siding with M-Corp.” 

The briefcase contained all the corporate essentials, including a branded vest, a security badge and a skateboard disassembly kit. 

“The campaign kicked off with them receiving a briefcase jam-packed with everything needed to get started on the job as an M-Corp employee,”  said director of brand Mike Bell and creative director Mark Renken. “We buried a frankly absurd amount of detail and easter eggs into these kits for them to pore over within their communities and begin the conversation around M-Corp.” 

With this campaign, “bringing creators along for the ride and inviting them into the world of M-Corp” was key. 

The power in community building 

Robinson’s performance is followed by snippets of the new game, which are labeled as “pre pre alpha,” and the declaration that also lives across skate.’s social media bios: “We’re still working on it.”

The brand is recognizing that if people are begging for a new game that isn’t ready, building community and open conversation can soften a product lull. The skate. team also invites skaters new and old to become skate. Insiders and help shape the game’s development.

Bell and Renken added that skate. has always leaned into fan participation through play tests, and the team also pulls back the curtain with its series “The Board Room.” 

They said releasing prototype, behind-the-scenes versions of the game is also a differentiator that competitors might consider a risky move. According to the skate. team, any effort to “challenge industry norms” is rooted in transparency

“At its core, everything we’re doing on skate. is about being transparent with our players and bringing them behind the curtain on the game development process…and having fun in the process,” they said. “This means being comfortable not always showing up as 'perfect' at every touchpoint.'” 

This week
Want more insights?

Join thousands of brands who already subscribe to the BANKNOTES newsletter

Thank you! You've been added.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

related articles

July 10, 2024
Emmy Liederman
In a digital world, Polaroid leans on creators to prove its purpose
Relating instant film to real life, the brand celebrates the unpredictable
July 3, 2024
Emmy Liederman
From screaming fans to corporate slang, here’s how VidCon captures the creator economy
This year’s programming covered YouTuber meet-and-greets, tips for aspiring creators and best practices in influencer marketing
June 10, 2024
Emmy Liederman
Keith Lee makes restaurants go viral—now Microsoft is helping him address what comes next
The partnership highlights the less glamorous side of a business boom