Minecraft is currently the world’s third most played videogame and a cultural phenomenon amongst a wide range of consumers, especially among children and teenagers between the age of 6 and 18. In Hungary, the amount of players are measured in the tens of thousands. Its popularity’s secret is that it gives players the ability to create mods, some features are for free and different types of players can find their pleasure in playing it. Recognizing not only the value, but the potential it has as a marketing channel, we teamed up with the local government of Budapest and initiated the place branding project called MineBudapest in 2018.
- To promote the city of Budapest to the digital generation, especially children between 6 and 15,
- to create an online community around the project by continuous communicatiion about Budapest as part of Minecraft,
- and to raise awareness of offline events organized in Budapest.
The project had three main pillars. First we created a Minecraft world for Budapest and created the most important cultural sights of the city such as tha Parlament, Castle Hill, Chain Bridge etc. Next we commenced with the online communication, which was essentially an influencer marketing communication, because the most popular Minecraft YouTubers in the country have more than 300 000 subscribers and their contents are watched by thousands of viewers every day. MineBudapest was promoted by four great and credible influencers:
- zsDav: A YouTuber focusing on Minecraft and the creativity of the game. He creates videos and scripted movies in the game.
- Doggyandi: The most recognized female gamer YouTuber and known for funny gameplays.
- IceBlueBird: A YouTuber with detailed knowledge about the game and modding such as Redstone.
- Chabinho: Similar to IceBlueBird, he has a wast amount of knowledge about the game, and he also has a community of gamers and modders.
The online communication had two main aspects. On one hand, we involved the audience of the influencers into building parts of Budapest, by encouraging them to create given buildings in the city e.g. the National Museum, the Opera House or the Heroes’ Square. Those buildings that proved to be the best, were put into the Minecraft version of the city with their names, thus acknowledging their efforts in the project. The creators also got access to Hungary’s most important Minecraft event called Minecinema, where visitors can watch the movies made by zsDav and meet with the influencers who participated in MineBudapest and the movie as well.
On the other hand we created minigames on the server, and gamers could play with the influencers. Each minigame was created with a map that was showing part of Budapest. Such games and places were including but not limited to:
- Horse race at Heroes’ Square
- Hide and Seek at the Great Market Hall
- Murder Mystery in the Museum of Fine Arts
- Building of the Church Mathias Corvinus
We involved Star Network and its Minecraft influencers to reach the audience. After several cities in the world, Budapest is also present in Minecraft as MineBudapest.Our goal with this project is to introduce Budapest and its places tot he young gamers in well-known virtual space. At minebudapest.hu, we shared opportunities periodically to submit different buildings we had provided, but they could also submit their favorite ones or their school, sport field or house as well. In these events, Budapest City Archives were our partners, because they provided all the information on these buildings.Team of BVA Budapesti Városarculati Nonprofit Kft.
Team of BVA Budapesti Városarculati Nonprofit Kft.
How do we reach and audience that consumes only digital content? What kind of language and platform do they use? The answers to these questions led us to MineBudapest and the comments, numbers and inital results proved the first success of it. Besides the numberless positive comments, the 10 produced videos had more than 700 000 views. Two live streams provided a large spike in the numbers of registration at minebudapest.hu where players could submit their buildings. One of the streams involved Doggyandi building the Church of Mathias Corvinus with her viewers and this stream doubled the number of registrations to almost 8 000. More than 200 buildings were submitted on the webpage and several gamers are returning builders in the server.