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Are you fooled by the marketing?

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Whenever I see an announcement for a new game, the sample artwork and trailers are many times misleading about what the game itself will actually be like. I invest into what the artwork and trailers suggest the game will be like, and settle for the lesser gameform when I am finally able to play, hoping for some payoff as I progress. The question I have to ask is, would I have bought the game, knowing what I know about it after I've played it? I try to be careful to investigate games before I buy them, but sometimes the marketing just sucks me in. Marketing for games has certainly intensified over the last few years. It almost feels like they're inviting us to participate in a trend rather than advertising the game itself. Has anyone else noticed this?

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I don't think it's all necessarily marketing (or at least, is not necessarily deliberate). Peter Molyneux posted on the Lionhead Boards for the first time yesterday, apologising for the features he'd said would be in Fable and didn't show up - quite simply, he had been describing the game that he wanted to make, rather than the one that production realities allowed.

As such I think it's very easy for a game developer to over-hype their own games, and for the most part, not be doing it deliberately.

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Companies do it deliberately. It’s all about hype.

Some examples are for example the commodore 64 and one game was street fighter where at the back of the back the art work looked good because it showed the art from other systems like Amiga but when you played the game it looked like crap.

Or let’s try a new one like Final Fantasy 7 which I am sure many have it and can see that at the back cover the art only shows the FMV or the summoned creatures close up and not the actual game play.

Even when you see commercials they show mostly the FMV and zoom by fast like a blur on how the game plays. They show the rare high points and not the main point of the game.

Or the game magician lord where the cover shows a strong bearded magician in black and when you play the game you are this skinny weak small blue magician taking on lame enemies. Cool name and box intro but the game is not cool.

It’s all marketing strategies and they can sometimes help or hurt the industry and annoy people. Every company high balls, and you can see this on TV adds for you to buy insurance, mortgages, etc. that say a very low rate which less than .01 of the population can get. Even sweepstakes are lame since practically no one can win and most people do not. The same with movies and TV shows, and some wait until they see it on cable TV or rent it. Most things are overpriced and over hyped. “Hook, Line, and Sinker”

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Guest Anonymous Poster
The marketing machine kicks in far too early. Lionhead and many other developers (and publishers) have PR companies that charge by the month. To justify those fees they have to ensure that there is always some news/story about their client. That means a lot of pressure to talk about products far too early, well before features are set. Red Faction was a product that suffered from that. The was promoted from the moment it was signed on the basis that you would be able to destroy all the walls/buildings. When the game came out it had been cut back to destroying only those parts that had been designed by the team to be destroyed (shown by cracks in the walls). Ditto Haven from Midway - billed as revolutionary new game play from the beginning but nothing like it when released.

Dan Marchant
Design & Development Consultant
www.obscure.co.uk

(can't be arsed with having to login every other visit.)

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It makes me sad that some games don't get more marketing time, tbh.

I mean, look at Viewtiful Joe. I didn't see ONE commercial for that VIEWTIFUL game until about a week ago. And they advertised the horrendous PS2 version, slowdown-not-included.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Diodor
Ignore the marketing - just play the demo and decide based on that.


Agreed. In fact I usually wait a week before buying a game as that is how long it takes for people to start saying "hey this best game ever is as good as we thought".

Dan Marchant
Design & Development Consultant
www.obscure.co.uk

(Anon due to the stupid new (repeated) log in process.

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