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COMMENT | We Need To Talk: An Industry's Stubborn Failure To Communicate

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Adam Orth, Always-on, Comment, Commuication, EA, Marketing, Peter Moore, PR, SimCity, Valve

COMMENT | We Need To Talk: An Industry's Stubborn Failure To Communicate

We're living in an age where connectivity and communication has never been easier nor more widespread and accessible than ever before. The supercomputers in our pockets present an enormous virtual tapestry filled with thoughts, concepts, notions, and ideas. Consuming information has never been more immediate, and presenting it has never been easier. Yet in spite of this, there've been a number of gaffes, controversies, issues, spats, dramas, and follies to have emerged over the past couple of months, and one factor that has contributed to them all has been a failure to successfully communicate.

Of course, most of the little issues have centred around one topic: the concept of a game or console requiring a permanent connection to the internet.

This week's little drama came to a head with Microsoft Studios' Adam Orth playfully tweeting the following:

"Sorry, I don’t get the drama around having an ‘always on’ console. Every device now is ‘always on’. That’s the world we live in. #dealwithit.”

Whether or not he meant it as part of a personal, jest-filled exchange or not, it clearly struck a chord.

Once again battle lines have seemingly been drawn between creators and consumers: big companies will do whatever the hell they like, and those who object will simply have to learn to like it, or lump it. From the alternative perspective the vocal mob are an impossible to please minority who don't know what's best for them, and are mired in conservative nostalgia.

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EDITORIAL | A Note On Previews

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Aliens: Colonial Marines, Games journalism, Games previews, Hype, Impressions, Marketing, Medal Of Honor: Warfighter

EDITORIAL | A Note On Previews

It's a difficult thing when you realise that you've been played, but that's a feeling that critics and consumers alike have been dealing with this past week. We were led to believe certain things about Aliens: Colonial Marines, shown screenshots, watched video, played demos, and run previews of material that simply wasn't up to scratch in the final game, or worse still, didn't exist.

Jonathan issued an apology at the end of his review the other day that went as follows:

I can only apologise for how long it took to get this review on-site and how useless it will be to many of you who bought the game at launch. SEGA only sent us review materials several days after Colonial Marines released, which is rather suggestive in and of itself.

I also feel responsible for anyone who pre-ordered Colonial Marines on the strength of my hands-off preview, which as it turns out, was based on a made-to-order demo build that doesn't resemble the final product in any meaningful way. Many of my peers have already weighed in on this reprehensible bait & switch, but frankly, any of my feelings of betrayal will pale in comparison to paying customers and loyal fans.

I'd like to add my voice to that, along with a few words on how the 'system' operates currently, along with a few points on how we'll be  dealing with previews going forward.

Everything these days is geared towards encouraging consumers to make a commitment before a game shows its face. Pre-orders have become everything - encouraging gamers to make a financial commitment ahead of release, and driving that decision with trinkets and treasures that would normally perhaps have been unlockable prizes just a few years previously, but now tend to exist as day one DLC for those who had the strength of mind to be rather more conscientious with their money. That'll teach 'em.

EDITORIAL | A Note On Previews

Only this week, pre-order listings emerged for the Bioshock Infinite Season Pass - essentially a pre-order for a pre-order for multiple blocks of downloadable content that are completely unseen and have yet to even be announced. We're pre-ordering pre-orders now. How did it come to this?

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American McGee Retracts EA "Tricks Gamers" Statement

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Alice: Madness Returns, American McGee, EA, Marketing, Spicy Horse

American McGee Retracts EA "Tricks Gamers" Statement

After suggesting that EA were trying to "trick gamers" with the  marketing campaign for Alice: Madness Returns - with the trailers making the game out to be rather more horrific and gory than it actually was - American McGee has moved to clarify his statement and amend his previous criticism.

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EA Defends Controversial Marketing Campaigns

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Bulletstorm, Controversy, EA, Games news, Hype, Marketing

Publishers Should "Court Controversy"

bulletstorm violence

EA know that any publicity is good publicity... and whilst their marketing campaigns undoubtedly cheapen us all and everything we stand for, they certainly know how to hype a game beyond all reason. However, EA Games Head Frank Gibeau has spoken out to say that the controversy over Mass Effect, Bulletstorm and Medal Of Honor is better than any advertising run - and that there's nothing wrong with "courting controversy."

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