The Business of Manipulation

J.P. Sherman

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Aug 9, 2010
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The Business of Manipulation

Why gamers despise marketers, but cannot get enough marketing.

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laryri

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May 19, 2008
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Nice to see the issue of marketing from a different perspective than just a gamer criticizing marketing techniques. I hope a lot of advertising agencies see this article, they could learn a thing or two.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Agreed that a lot of agencies should see this...

Very interesting :D good read! I'd like top have some kind of career in gaming so all information is useful!.
 

Jason Danger Keyes

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Mar 4, 2009
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Could this be in itself a subtle marketing ploy? Drawing attention to some tricks to distract from other ones?

Probably not. Very well written, informative, and the perspective is refreshing.
 

StriderShinryu

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Dec 8, 2009
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Some good points are made but I get help but get that preaching to the choir feeling here. As the article itself says, we gamers are pretty much on to a lot of the mistakes that marketing companies make. For us it's more a case of "lol didn't company X make the exact same mistake on the last game they were trying to hype?" I'm always for interesting written commentary here, but this is really an article that should have skipped the Escapist altogether and just gone straight to the big game companies and their associated marketing groups.. printed on poster board.. in a giant red bolded font.
 

Tzekelkan

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Dec 27, 2009
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A superb article! I've always been amazed by the crazy marketing campaigns some companies do and actually think they'd work. It's like they always understand the other way around how the gamer thinks and functions. Hopefully there are more people who see things as Mr. J.P. Sherman here.

An interesting thought though: I've been reading some of Valve's demographics-targetting/game-testing/game-designing techniques from <a href=http://valvesoftware.com/company/publications.html>here and they make it seem so easy to take input from the gamer and their needs and apply it to make great games, but it's definitely not. They're either extremely talented or extremely lucky.
 

Applejack

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Aug 1, 2010
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On underestimating gamer's intelligence was he talking about Sony's psp blunder?
 

JuryNelson

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Mar 3, 2010
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As a marketing copywriter myself, it warms my heart to see someone from the other end of the story step up and join the dialogue.

More companies need to do this. It is not the case that marketers are mustache twirling hollow suits who never learned the true meaning of Christmas. Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to reading more.
 

JuryNelson

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Mar 3, 2010
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laryri said:
Nice to see the issue of marketing from a different perspective than just a gamer criticizing marketing techniques. I hope a lot of advertising agencies see this article, they could learn a thing or two.
I hope a lot of gamers read this. The world of marketing is a constant battle between agency and client, creative professionals and account executives, broadcast and audience. It's a much more complex business than it is often given credit for.

More marketers need to join the conversation like this.
 

TsunamiWombat

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Sep 6, 2008
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I... A videogame marketer admitting that they do ba things?

NO! THIS IS A TRICK! I DISBELIEF THE ILLUSION! UNLOCK THE BOMBSHELTER!
 

Mr. Omega

ANTI-LIFE JUSTIFIES MY HATE!
Jul 1, 2010
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Good to see that there are some game marketers willing to admit that there are problems with the marketing industry. I'm sure there are more people who know this, but it's good to be reminded every once a while.

I agree, this article needs to be seen by some powerful marketers and gamers.
 

Lvl 64 Klutz

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Apr 8, 2008
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This article is awesome. And considering I went to school for Public Relations, and hope to get in the video game industry, I'm looking forward to more good reads.
 

Grigori361

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Apr 6, 2009
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ShredHexus said:
Could this be in itself a subtle marketing ploy? Drawing attention to some tricks to distract from other ones?

Probably not. Very well written, informative, and the perspective is refreshing.
While I'm of the opinion that nobody it at least yet actively doing that here, I wouldn't put it past anyone, but then I'm a bit off in the deep end without any water wings :p
 

cerealnmuffin

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May 15, 2010
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Good article, I especially like the point about marketing for gamer girls. I find many of those Imagine titles condescending. I usually go for story and character interaction, but some girls enjoy the weapon selection etc, so instead of stereotyping genders I like the point about highlighting different aspects so those interested in the categories can learn more about it.
 

Jared

The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
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I dont mind marketing, but, its only people who literally try and thrust it in my face that really, really get my backup...

Advertising is great, as, long as its not reiculous...like, say the human avatar
 

ThreeKneeNick

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Great article. I am not a professional in the field or anything, but i am often disgruntled by sloppy marketing and the sight of someone succumbing to sloppy marketing, i guess your article is informative to both sides. You seem to know your stuff. Plz write more? And in the meantime ill be checking out your website. Oh, was that the intent in the first place? :)
 

Jhereg42

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Apr 11, 2008
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Great read, and if I knew anyone in marketing I would say required reading.

I will say this about the firm behind Dante's Inferno, though, they learned from their mistake. After the fake protests and "acts of lust" issue were over, they managed to turn in a uniquely interesting ad campaign targeting the reviewer blogs rather than trying to play to the general population.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/98241-Dantes-Inferno-Ads-Buried-in-Web-Site-Source-Code
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/94584-EA-Tempts-Media-to-Sin-With-Dantes-Inferno-Promotion
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/96316-Send-Megan-Fox-to-Hell-With-Dantes-Inferno-Facebook-App
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/95781-EA-Rickrolls-Yahtzee

They really managed to turn that around, and I think that happened after they actually LISTENED to the backlash from their first couple of stunts.
 

Fusionxl

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Oct 25, 2009
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I really and truly hate the "hot chick" trick people use from the very bottom of my heart, so many gaming sites are guilty of thinking that letting a good looking woman with a babe accent open her mouth is going to drive legions of horny males to their site. Especially IGN.

I literally cannot watch IGN reviews because their incredibly dumb chick makes me lose faith in humanity with every passing second.
 

TheMadDoctorsCat

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Apr 2, 2008
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TO THE AUTHOR: When the revolution comes, sir, you and yours will be first against the wall. Death to the evil corporate marketing legions, starting with That Guy. You all know who I'm talking about. You know, That Guy. The one who came up with the "Evony Online" cleavage campaign!

(PS - good article, very snappy and informative.)
 

similar.squirrel

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Mar 28, 2009
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Much of this makes sense, but it has done nothing to diminish my hatred of marketing. Admiiting to your crimes is by no means absolution.

I've only recently become a 'gamer', so these feelings go back quite a while. One of the things that really puts me off being identified as somebody who plays games is the level of idiocy seen on the consumer side of the transaction and the sheer bloody-minded cynicism and disregard for art and integrity on the behalf of the marketing people.

You don't get that kind of obsessiveness elsewhere, with the possible exception of sport. These people actively fuel fanboys.

/incoherent rant

Excellent article, though. Well-written, and the man clearly has a conscience. And has a better-paying job than I could ever hope to get.