The Phases of Selling You a Videogame


New member
Dec 8, 2009
3nimac said:
StriderShinryu said:
3nimac said:
Why do articles by this dude always get the least responses? This is some good stuff here. SCARY stuff, but good nonetheless. Maybe there's my answer...
Personally, I don't reply often because of two reasons:
1.) There's really no revealing of the man behind the curtain here. What's posted is generally common sense and, I would think, common knowledge. It's sort of like writing a column about the fact that oranges are orange.
2.) There's little actual discussion value outside of perhaps semi-feigned shock that this is what marketers do for a living.
2.) As opposed to the discussion value of "Hulk Hogan flashes his junk to the camera"... But about 1. i generally agree, there is no revealing of the man, but i think that this isn't something most people think about because they are used to advertising being passive, an ad on TV, a printed flyer etc, but nowadays someone is actively working to make you not just a customer but a tool at their disposal and i would think that something like that would provoke a response.
I find most actual editorial content on the Escapist to be worthy of at least some discussion. Sure the "news" stories aren't exactly all winners, and forum posts are.. well, forum posts, but the editorial stuff is often not only good but seems written with an eye towards spawning discourse.

As for advertising being passive, I don't think that's ever been the case. Even ads on TV, fliers, etc. have been targeted for a long time. Maybe the local pizza joint just hands out whatever they can to whoever they can, but I'd bet that even they spend at least a few minutes thinking about the ad layout, their target market, etc. The fact that media used to advertise (and, really, what media isn't?) reaches so deeply into everyone's lives these days is somewhat new but marketers have been using everything they could to get people to buy products every since there were products to sell. That seller in the open air marketplace in Turkey a thousand years ago was working the exact same angles that marketers do now, he just had less direct reach.


New member
Mar 9, 2010
"gamers are savvy, skeptical and observant."


Almost the perfect thing to say to manipulate people. You really are a marketer. Nice one.


New member
Nov 11, 2010
SaintWaldo said:
So, you can market all you want, promise all you want, and plan on retention all you want, but a crap game is a crap game (*cough*Age of Conan*cough* *cough*Warhammer Online*cough*), and all the marketing in the work isn't going to close the loop if you don't provide something close to what you created in the players mind. Do you seriously put marketing above, say, Ken Levine's brilliant writing in determining the success of a game? I'm pretty sure marketers themselves, when you catch them being honest, which, seriously, is only after a bar tab the likes of which very few humans who don't OWN bars have ever seen, will tell you that they can't do anything sustainable or closed loop like you describe without, gasp, something that someone actually wants behind it all.
Actually that's one of the first things you learn from marketing and advertising study books: marketing and added values cannot make up for lack of functional performance, in this case, content that buyer wants.

3nimac said:
Why do articles by this dude always get the least responses? This is some good stuff here. SCARY stuff, but good nonetheless.
Yeah, it's interesting to learn how a videogame marketing person does his job. I tend to disagree with some theories and practices he writes about but usually there's not much to comment on without going into opinion-laden debates about psychology and ethics of marketing.


New member
Jul 11, 2008
I follow these columns with interest each week, and I think it does provide some insight, although obviously, like Penn and Teller, a magician cannot reveal all their secrets and remain in a job :)

However, my burning marketing question this week would be...

Who decided that the escapist would be a great place to advertise 'Fred - the movie'?

The escapist, at least my view of it, is somewhere where internet trends and popular fads are treated, at best, with derision and cynicism. I just can't see the average escapist thinking 'Oh great, a Fred movie - his face doesn't annoy me at all!'

Of course I don't blame the escapist for displaying it, I'm sure there's a stupidly large budget behind it, and it'll do really well at box office, however, I do wonder why the marketers would choose to push it to us, as I don't see us as a target market.

If it was'nt for the fact that Moviebob covered it, I'd expect something like Four Lions to have a great return on advertising dollar spent here, but then all the conspiracy theorists would be shouting about bribes to Bob.