Let the games talk for once!
There have been quite a few hiccups regarding the marketing strategies of some publishers when promoting their respective video games. From the recently announced half-eaten body of a woman included in a special edition of the upcoming ‘Dead Island: Riptide’, all the way to the Facebook fiasco of ‘Hitman: Absolution’, it seems that the publishing companies struggle too hard for pretty much nothing but bad publicity.
The perfect example of a company doing it wrong, is none other than EA. They think that they can lure everyone into playing their games, only because a popular band plays a few songs in them, or that that they hired some real-life military people giving the developers advices for creating a more realistic experience (which actually turned out to be quite bad for them), or that (and this is my favorite one) they will offer you early access to a more popular game if you buy another one. OK! Let’s play a game called: “Tell me what’s wrong with this image!”:
I’ll tell you what’s wrong here: this is a promotional image for ‘Medal Of Honor: Warfighter’ and the ‘Battlefield 4’ Beta ad is bigger than the actual game you’re about to purchase. Talk about sending a wrong message…
Then there’s that thing related to ‘Dante’s Inferno’. The PR team for ‘Dante’s Inferno’ launched a “Circles of Hell” PR campaign, but the “lust” concept was by far the most controversial.
The poorly-chosen wording was viewed by critics as encouraging convention-goers to harass “booth babes” at Comic Con. Ars Technica wrote: “If you commit “an act of lust” with an EA booth babe and take a picture, you could win dinner with said babes, as well as a great big pile of prizes related to the upcoming Dante’s Inferno.”
EA apologized via their Twitter feed, saying they had only meant the wording “tongue-in-cheek.” You have to be kidding me, right?
Now the company is doing it again with their upcoming ‘Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel’. They’ve got some “pro skaters” to participate in a co-op trailer, and talk about how great the game is.
The trailer looks really bad and staged. And by the way, why are they wearing headsets if they are not playing online? And why should gamers care? So what? If they’re pro skaters that means they’re automatically good reviewers? Why not bring actual gamers who know a thing or two about games and let them talk? Afraid the game isn’t so good?
But hey! Let’s not turn this into an “EA-hate article”. Let’s talk about someone else… how about Sony? How would you like to eat from a decapitated goat, hmmm?
Back in 2007, Sony threw a big ol’ launch party in Athens. They did it right. Well, almost. They had togas, scantily clad women, drinks, food you could eat that came from the inside of a decapitated goat…
Yeah, not really sure what they were thinking about the last one either. Apparently because ‘God of War’ is a violent franchise, Sony thought it’d be best to keep that in line with the series. So they bought a (presumably previously) dead goat, decapitated and stuffed it with offal, then proceeded to offer guests to reach inside and eat some of that intestinal goodness.
Now this may be a shock for these companies, but the fact is: nobody, and I mean, nobody cares if Obama, or Rihana, or Brad Pitt or anyone else plays any video games, or appears in any ads, or anything like that regarding video games. They don’t care for these gimmicky PR stunts like “Kill your friends over Facebook with the help of a Hitman”. They only care about the games.
They only care if the story is good, the gameplay fun, the characters believable, the multiplayer fun enough so they won’t sell the game after a month, and so on. So instead of wasting more money on these kind of moves which have zero effect on gamers, why not show them more gameplay videos? Why not release more trailers for your games, without any celebrity suddenly showing an interest in it, and saying: “Yes, this game is the best video game I have EVER played in my entire life and everyone should buy it because it’s so great and fun” – that’s how stupid and staged they look.
So, all in all, this is what I think about marketing in video games: more in-game stuff, less (or, as a matter of fact NO) celebrity, or PR stunt that will only further embarrass the gaming community. God knows it’s looking pretty bad as it is right now with all these shooters, and maniacs going around in the world, and the first thing anyone thinks is: “Oh, he must have played one of those violent video games”. Yes, I’m sure that’s the problem.
But what about you? What’s your opinion in all this? Let us know in the comments below!
Vlad Pintea is an editor of news and features here at Analog Addiction, and sometimes he even reviews games. You can contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, on Skype, My IGN, Steam (all at the same name: vlad94pintea) or Facebook (Vlad Pintea). Have a good day and remember! Stay calm and keep on gaming!