"People tell me you need to appeal to the lowest common denominator when marketing products. They tell me it's difficult to present the more ethereal elements of a game coherently. They tell me the poor market performance of games such as Beyond Good & Evil and Psychonauts means the industry will continue to focus on visual glitz, violence and sex appeal. But I feel this approach has done us a disservice. And by 'us' I mean all of us - from the developers and publishers who sweat over their game to the player who craves quality entertainment. The games we produce and enjoy are deeper, richer and more socially relevant than is being portrayed by our own marketing." Corvus Elrod looks at "Lowest Common Denominator Marketing."
Refrigerators to Eskimos ...
"The only thing worse than making a game with no hype, is making one that is overhyped. "Overhype" is when a player's vision of what a game will be far exceeds what a developer can possibly deliver. As a result of overhype, the game is judged more harshly than it otherwise might be." Dana Massey explores the fine line between hype and overhype.
"Everybody thought feelies were cool. Yet as the game market moved to emphasize graphics and Infocom's star fell, feelies declined in originality and production values. George Collins, who ported games for Infocom in its latter days, recalls: 'Return to Zork, Activision's first Zork title after they bought Infocom, included an envelope with a letter that you won a sweepstakes [prize trip] to the Valley of the Sparrows. I think it was the last time Activision tried to do that Infocom thing. Only the first few editions had the actual letter.'" Allen Varney goes in search of the lost, little extras.
"I try to be a responsible adult. I budget amounts for games and try to stay within that budget, but invariably I fall prey to marketing because I'm a simpleton." Shawn Williams chronicles his life as "A Marketing Love Slave."
"Jack is what is called an 'Online Guerilla Marketer,' or 'OGM,' and his name isn't Jack. He's agreed to speak to The Escapist on the condition that we not identify him. Like an undercover cop or secret agent, Jack's effectiveness at his job depends on his ability to remain anonymous. He'll often spend days, even weeks, infiltrating a community to earn the trust of its members before he strikes - inserting a recommendation in the right place, at the right time to generate interest in the products he represents.
A typical day for Jack starts with checking 'to make sure I haven't been discovered,' he says."