Ep 7: The Truth About World Building with Ben Johnson

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00:34 – Why gamers have poured an astounding $82 MILLION into a crowdfunded PC game… that isn’t even finished yet

01:37 – The power of “world building” and why it’s so crucial to consider every time you communicate with your audience.

03:46 – The one thing Chris Roberts DIDN’T do that took Star Citizen from 34,397 backers to a jaw-dropping 892,000 — and counting

06:29 – Why some passionate fans each pledge as much as $10,000 of their hard-earned cash for in-game rewards (without ANY stake in the company)

08:21 – Half a million dollars in less than 60 seconds from one little promo (and for something that does not yet exist)

09:24 – What these gamers are really buying (it’s not just for the love of gaming)

10:20 – A “space-age” selling lesson from the future… How Roberts pulls his audience into his world and effortlessly sells to them again and again.

12:22 – Real-life examples of “World-Building” in the direct response marketing world

13:40 – The power of the particular – why Bruce Springsteen’s crowds in Spain are TWICE as passionate as back home in the US (even though they’ve never been to New Jersey)

14:55 – What the heck is a “paracosm”? The psychological phenomenon behind huge successes from Harry Potter to Game of Thrones

16:00 – The 2 opposing methods of “world-building” (and why only one is effective in your marketing…)

17:38 – Never be an “Every Man” — why you should embrace your weirdness and be distinct instead of appealing to everyone

24:00 – Why one man paid $22,501 for his fantasy space fleet… and has zero regrets

26:51 – Wisdom from actor Kevin Spacey on what consumers really want and respond to. (It’s the opposite to what social media reinforces)

30:10 – Get past your audience’s “information overload” filters by sharing MORE

32:00 – How just one simple sentence can build a powerful bond with your reader


Wired: Fans Dropped $77MM On Guy’s Buggy Half-Built Game

Star Citizen Spaceship Commercials

David Brooks: The Power of The Particular

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to accurately represent our product and it’s potential. Any claims made of actual earnings or examples of actual results can be verified upon request. The testimonials and examples used are exceptional results, don’t apply to the average purchaser and are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results. Each individual’s success depends on his or her background, dedication, desire and motivation. As with any business endeavor, there is an inherent risk of loss of capital and there is no guarantee that you will earn any money.
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Showing 3 comments
  • James Clouser

    Hello, world

  • Peter Michaels

    Astonishing how the Star Citizen folks are doing this. I checked the site and now it seems they’re almost at $85 mil.

    Great insight into ‘world building’ Ben, and the use of the ‘paracosm’. Whether it’s sales copy or content marketing, there’s an increasing amount of ‘deep dive’ marketing proving successful these days.

    As you guys rightly point out, people want inclusion, they want an experience – to feel belonging, not necessarily walking away with ‘just a product’. Sometimes their buying goal is about achieving connection and community, not ownership.

    Btw, the Wired article focuses a little more on the skepticism about SC in the game industry, and includes this brilliant turn of phrase:

    “Those who frequent the game’s forums respond to such criticism by circling the fanwagons…”

    : )

  • Ben Johnson

    Glad you liked it, Peter. The Wired article is definitely worth a read. And as you mentioned, Star Citizen continues to rack up millions in new donations – even with no official release date in sight. In fact, I think the world-building effect around this game has become self-perpetuating in the hands of its fans at this point to the extent that when (or if) it launches almost no longer matters.

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