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Default Gamasutra - Marketing - a liability for Games?

November 22nd, 2012, 21:11
Gamasutra has an editorial discussing if marketing for games is a bad idea. As an example he uses the marketing for Assasin's Creed 3:
Until Assassin’s Creed 3, that is. The US marketing made it look like all you did was murder British soldiers and even the EU version was so badly skewed toward killing Brits that the special edition was pulled in Europe. Ubisoft, one of the biggest publishers in Europe, couldn’t sell their game in the same continent as their headquarters.The developers argued that the adverts were not representative, that it was not ‘f*** yeah, America’ like the videos suggested and guess what? The developers were right… Who’d have thought it? The people who made the game knew better than the people who were meant to be selling it… As you might know, people don’t like being shown one thing and given another. In fact, the legal system in most of the world doesn’t like consumers being shown one thing and given another.
I still remember Bioware's and EA's markering for Dragon Age: Origins. In no way, shape or form was this campaign representative of the game or the gameplay in DA:O. Some of Bioware's PR and marketing for their games lately have been - sort of weird, I think,
However, the question still remains: Does the author of this editorial have a point?
Discuss away.
More information.
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November 22nd, 2012, 21:11
Of course marketing is needed! AC3? What kind of example is that? This video will sell hundreds of AC3 copies:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsmI9GubRQo
Would you really skip the game and playing this guy?
Yea… I would and will… Since I don't trust Ubisoft, but who knows, maybe in the end I buy it.

Why should the gameplay be a part of the marketing process unless it's irresistible. You'll never see Diablo 3 marketing showing an hour of killing the same mob clone over and over - that would never sell the game!

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November 22nd, 2012, 21:28
Showing 5 minute cg videos promising the sky with a bunch of half truths is the way of marketing lately. I'm looking at you Blizzard and Bioware.

So yes I agree with the article somewhat but the marketing is necessary but it just needs a few changes and rules.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; November 22nd, 2012 at 23:45.
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November 22nd, 2012, 23:11
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
However, the question still remains: Does the author of this editorial have a point?
Discuss away.
More information.
He´s a journalist, so likely not.

Bioware/EA had a pretty good knack for solid trailers lately:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bkKPqOUvsE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpyHMv7lQ7g

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November 22nd, 2012, 23:45
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
He´s a journalist, so likely not.

Bioware/EA had a pretty good knack for solid trailers lately:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bkKPqOUvsE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpyHMv7lQ7g
It's multiplayer addons so it's very easy to market them. Look at there DA 1/2 and the first couple of ME 3 commercials.

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November 23rd, 2012, 00:20
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
It's multiplayer addons so it's very easy to market them. Look at there DA 1/2 and the first couple of ME 3 commercials.
ME3 launch trailer could be hardly any better (well, it could be sexier, I guess) than it is. It even has the balls to use a loading screen .

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November 23rd, 2012, 02:46
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
ME3 launch trailer could be hardly any better (well, it could be sexier, I guess) than it is. It even has the balls to use a loading screen .
Yeah but in their superbowl ad they were ballsy in a different way by inter-cutting segments of gameplay with scenes from the CG "Take Back the Earth" video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bmtSgrhMak

To me that's even more deceptive than a straight up obvious non-gameplay trailer because viewers could more reasonably mistake those non-gameplay scenes as being from the game because some of the scenes they saw actually were.
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November 23rd, 2012, 09:42
He certainly has a point in stating that marketing teams make mistakes. - That's not a terribly exiting point to make, though. Ultimately we (as in "we the sum of all consumers" not "we hardcore RPG fans") get the PR we deserve. As long as we have sites like RPGwatch, Gamebanshee, and yes, the codex, I don't mind too much.
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November 23rd, 2012, 10:21
As you might know, people don’t like being shown one thing and given another. In fact, the legal system in most of the world doesn’t like consumers being shown one thing and given another.
Hard to see how this guy reached that conclusion. He reported nothing illegal but a mere consequence of the US market being the primary target for Ubisoft.
And the marketing to support that goal was pulled out, probably an effective one.

It reminds me of that guy who was reported as telling that americans no longer support failures because of the education system and that therefore European developpers had to adapt because they did not get that.

At that time, I told that European studios had not been developping video games for the european markets for a long time.

Shows that again. It is a simple commercial situation. Ubisoft pushed out an effective marketing campaign for its primary market target, the US market. Could not care less to pay for a European markets marketing campaign as they are secondary markets.

If one thing can not be told, it's that marketing does not work in video gaming. The video gaming is nearly all marketing by now. So I trust the judgement of the marketing team when it comes to sell that Ubisoft game. They judged that Americans would prefer a game reporting them fighting for freedom against the oppressive Red Coats than being shown the real content of the game. They did it accordingly. Probably though, there are not many African Americans in this game as it could not help to support the marketing ideas.

Simple economic problem: Ubisoft knows that the US is the primary target. They chose to take the most effective approach to sell the game in the US. They did not bother to fund specific marketing campaigns for european markets as they are secondary markets and the game will sell in Europe with no big losses.

Nothing illegal here, only economics and how marketing work.
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November 23rd, 2012, 11:10
AC2 was about killing Greeks and my brother still loved it , i don't know what to think
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November 23rd, 2012, 11:11
Liability for games?

Who's suggesting that marketing exists for the sake of games?
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November 24th, 2012, 00:47
I always wonder why marketing people desperately try to let games look like much more aggressive than they actually are ? Drakensang 1&2, for example.

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