Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
15 March 2006
Next-Gen marketing column is terrible
This week Next-Gen continues its columns on marketing. Not one topic covered in this column is relevant how the average buyer gets information about games, which seems a fairly big flaw for a column about marketing. This is worse than last week's attempt.

The column talks about the marketing of EA's recent game, Black, and looks at three areas:
  1. Press release
  2. Official website
  3. TV spots
What the...? Those don't amount to a hill of beans to the man on the street.

I was interested in Black myself a few days back, and here's what I checked:
  1. Official trailers available online
  2. Written previews
  3. Newsgroups, message boards, friends on IRC
The first two are messages that are tightly controlled by the publishers. Just see this recently flame at Kotaku. The other, forums and message boards, is a realm that publishers want to invade, as seen in recent stories about videogame astroturfing that I can't find while I'm on this slow modem connection.

I'm astounded that the official trailers, at least, were not examined. They were the key to my opinion of the game, pre-release. A thorough study of what was allowed into written previews should give a solid idea of what the publisher and developer thought were important to the game's image. Moreover, advertisements in magazines were always important back when I actually subscribed to videogame magazines, and I can't believe they weren't included. Surely Black had some pretty big, slick 2-page adverts in the magazines, right?

Am I totally of base here? Do you go check press releases, official websites, and TV ads when you want to learn about a game? Are those the places you find out about a game in the first place?

Which is to say, this column at Next-Gen fails on all counts. I just can't imagine who the intended audience is supposed to be, and the writer strikes me as completely out of touch.

Stop back next week when we find out how Tomb Raider is being marketed. Will the writer notice that breasts and guns, unimportant to actual raiding of tombs, are the main feature of all the advertisements?
--Matt Matthews at 10:39
Comment [ 4 ]

Comments on this post:

You are joking, right? Wouldn't most people be influenced by TV spots and, perhaps, the packaging in the gaming store?

I don't mean to be too blunt here, but do allow me to say you (Matt) aren't the typical consumer. How many millions of copies of Madden sold? MGS3? Do you really think all those people are checking out trailers on websites? Perhaps, but do you really think all those people are hitting message boards?Millions? I kinda doubt it. I'll bet either TV spots, a game store salesman, or friends -- perhaps add "the subset of games that are on Wal-Mart's shelves" -- are "the key" reasons most buy the games they do. Check out my recent /. post; I'll claim naivety, but it appears the market works on much simpler influences than IRC and messageboards.

Who are buying these games and why are very interesting questions. I can say with certainty that using yourself (again, you == Matt) as a sort of benchmarking standard likely isn't the most productive place to start.

Now perhaps I'll RTFA. ;^)

By Blogger rufbo, at 15 March, 2006 11:48  

for( OMG; matt != ave_consumer; ++blog ) { // empty }

m.

By Blogger Michael, at 15 March, 2006 12:52  

Kotaku link seems to be broken, haven't read all the post yet....

By Blogger JohnH, at 15 March, 2006 13:59  

Perhaps, but do you really think all those people are hitting message boards?Millions? I kinda doubt it.

I'm unsure. After all Katamari Damacy's reputation was made almost entirely on the internet. It wasn't huge, but that it even got as big as it has indicates that the web has some real degree of influence -- however many copies KD sold, that's probably the amount.

I can say with certainty that using yourself (again, you == Matt) as a sort of benchmarking standard likely isn't the most productive place to start.

One could say that using your own experience as a base is the only source of opinion that's truly meaningful. Opinions of others can be spun, but presumably you know what you like.

I don't really know how useful that statement is, though.

By Blogger JohnH, at 15 March, 2006 14:06  

Contact Us

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

 Feedburner

Playing

Warm bile sold separately:

Browse Curmudgeon Gamer Memorial Library

Blogroll:

Internet game search:


Archives:
Classic: 02/2002 to 10/2005
Google
 
Web curmudgeongamer.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?