In the latest edition of Sessler’s Soap Box, Adam says goodbye to Pandemic Studios and shares his thoughts on the economic impact as it pertains to the gaming industry and EA’s new IP experiment. I’ll share my thoughts on the subject with you after you’ve had a chance to watch the video which happens to open with a nice shot of Sessler sporting a Mercenary Mohawk. Kudos to the G4 Photoshop expert.
All interesting and valid points made by Adam. We tend to complain about companies like Activision and EA when the milk franchises like Madden and Guitar Hero but the fact of the matter is that most consumers, especially in a down economy, are going to go with something they know over something they don’t. You can blame a lackluster marketing effort if you like, but I think the problem is larger than that.
I found myself in a local Best Buy a few weeks back with an opportunity to pick up three games for the price of two, when I originally came there to pick up Madden 2010. Having to now choose two other additional titles on short notice, my wallet urged me to go with what I knew. Ultimately my choices were Batman: Arkham Asylum and the latest Uncharted sequel over Borderlands and Brutal Legend.
Batman is a pop culture icon and Uncharted had a track record that I was familiar with. Both Borderlands and Brutal Legend looked cool, and from a marketing standpoint it wasn’t like they were foreign to me, but I just wasn’t willing to shell out forty (normally sixty) bucks for something I had no prior experience with. You can’t blame that on marketing.
Ultimately, I believe that change in strategy may be in order. One solution developers and publishers can possibly look to employ is a very early demo release backed by significant marketing of said demo, as apposed to simply releasing a demo two to three weeks before a game comes out as a last minute push for awareness. This would give the average consumer juggling a job, family, and some semblance of a social life, a larger window of opportunity to play the game before hitting stores — which would ultimately give them more to base their purchase on then a television commercial and a handful of secondary opinions.
What do you think of all this? Are some games just destined to be cult classics as apposed to block buster hits regardless of marketing and release strategy or do you think otherwise? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.