The pattern of Game MV

Recently, I had a lecture at school about the formula in our Media Channels and Platforms course. Its content focused on how people create “to be successful” recipes for music and movies. The concept is fascinated me so that I started to look for patterns in my favorite industry — game, especially in the MV that they use to promote their game and attract gamers' attention.

So, let’s take a look at some of the Games’ MV I found here and see what patterns they have to make them stand out from their competitors.

K/DA — POP/STARS (ft. Madison Beer, (G)I-DLE, Jaira Burns) — League of Legends

League of Legends is a MOBA game that developed and published by Riot Games. The game was released in 2009, and 2019 their concurrent user peak at 8 million every day. The POP/STARS MV is the debut single of the K/DA — a virtual girl band consists of 4 themed characters in the game: Ahri, Akali, Evelynn, and Kai’Sa. Evelynn and Kai’Sa. The song reached 379 million views when this post was written, received many awards, and got popular both within and beyond the game’s fandom.

What do they have?

Visual: Modern, vivid colors, a lot of animation effects, gaming feeling, show off skills and the themes of characters (so they can sell it later)

Melody: Catchy, enthusiasm, K-Pop alike, evoke the exciting feeling of Esport

Lyric and story: The lyrics show off the strength and skills set of each character, along with the eye-catching visuals, the MV helps the listener have an overall picture of the champions in the song. Far from that, it represents the spirit of Esport: try hard and never give up.

Alan Walker x A$AP Rocky — Live Fast — PUBGM

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is an online multiplayer battle royale game developed and published by PUBG corporate, a subsidiary of Bluehole. The game was first released in 2017 for Steam, then became one of the best-selling and most played video games of all time; PUBGM is a free-to-play version released in 2018 on mobile for Android and iOS. After the greater success and the bombardment of the online music sites of the first song — On My Way, “Live Fast” marked the next collaboration between Alan Walker & PUBG and a new factor: A$AP Rocky.

Visual: It’s basically a lyrics video, but the visual is still eye-catching with neon light text effect, fire dust, smoke remind the background of the game battlefield.

Melody: The song’s melody quite gentle, easy to listing and spread across many different audience segments. Unlike intense and loud battles in the game, the song evokes the image of the last survival, who is singing the triumphal song.

Lyric and story: The lyric of the songs mixed between real-life and mortal battles of PUBG. A$AP Rocky was very clever to mentioned familiar game terms such as “End Bridges,” “Heads Burning,” “Running on the Hill,” “When you started from the bottom, go top forward”…The song included the spirit of always striving to reach to the top of PUBG gamers.

Shiranui Theme Song MV “Song of the Isle of Sorrow” — Onmyoji

Onmyoji is a turn-based fantasy strategy game with PVP or PVE battles, where you can build to strengthen your Shikigami and form teams that help you defeat other players or demons to become the ultimate Onmyoji. The Game was developed and published by NetEase — A Chinese game Corp located in Hangzhou. The game received many awards and reached 200M download worldwide in 2020. The song featured the backstories of Shiranui — a new Shikigami that was released in 2019. Its success contributes to making Shiranui one of the most favorite Shikigami within the fandom, according to the number of skins designed for her.

Visual: Since the MV featured Shiranui's mythology, the theme should be Japanese as the game’s theme. They also introduce the skin and skills of the Shikigami in many scenes.

Melody: The melody is gentle and subtle as telling an old story. The use of strings instruments in the song evokes Geisha's image in the Ancient Japanese, while the harmonies are still simple and easy to remember for fans to recall.

Lyric and story: Not talking about skills or teamwork spirit like the videos mentioned above, the song's lyrics are an earnest expression of Shiranui send to the person she loves. Listeners are immersed in Shiranui's legend, deeply feel and understand her origin, characteristic, and fate.

Conclusion

The apply practices of game MV may vary, and there are no rules that can limit the producer’s creativity, but there are some similar patterns that I can pick out here:

Set the tone for the audience: Define the audience being reached and make sure the MV is aligned with the brand image and suitable for the target audience. LoL's target audience is ESport gamers, while Onmyoji is mostly Otaku so that the approaches will be different between them.

Evoke emotion: An MV/song should create an emotional connection between its and fan. They can be anything: love, empathy, an image of a champion, the teamwork spirit, the never give up attitude…. Those sensations should be relevant to the game’s theme/story.

Create a story: Not just talk about the game’s mechanics or skills, but talk about the story of gamers or the characters. Who they are, their motivation, love, hate, what they want, why they want…Create MV that audience can see themselves (or the person they want to be) in it, so that they can feel relevant with the story and share it.

Spark action, inspiration: Decide what we want the audience to do after seeing the MV, for example: buy skins, know the game, understand the characters or story…Those decisions will be affected on how the MV will gonna build, what should be included in scenes or mentioned in the lyrics.

A low-key designer who has a special interest in gaming, sociology, and psychology. This blog will cover all of my exploration of gaming, design and Finland.