A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post on how games are affecting us differently, specifically Modern Warfare 3 and the crazy antics surrounding its release.
This week is the followup and I'll take a peek at how gaming marketing has changed.
While it can be said the media landscape and competition is very similar between now and 20 years ago ie Sega vs Nintendo is similar to Sony vs Microsoft and each system heavily promotes their key titles and exclusives, a change in lifestyle and greater acceptance of gaming means impressive results for carefully planned marketing efforts.
Today's campaigns are huge, incorporating social media, transport, billboard, press, TV and more with history's most anticipated game, Modern Warfare 3, starting its campaign five months before the release.
As a result, MW3 destroyed records by making $775 million in only five days. To be fair, the momentum of the franchise and its sales history would allow a moist turd in a box to sell like this however other non-COD games have smashed records too, with GTA IV and Halo 3 earning $500 million and $300 million in their first five to seven days respectively
In terms of cinematic releases, The Dark Knight and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 only earned circa $202 million in their first week. (Source: The Guardian).
Although this sales information is impressive, comparing ticket sales to units sold tells a more accurate sale of consumer penetration.
Game content is even changing with professional writers being consulted to ensure a solid plot and Hollywood actors voicing characters for greater character development and depth.
Outside of the actual game, merchandise including toys, clothing, comics, anime and movies have become much more prevalent. Devil May Cry and Street Fighter both put forward great anime series while the recent array of Gears of War 3 toys, shirts, belt buckles and accessories available online and at Gametraders are, for the most part, pretty cool.
And let's not forget the years of Mario and Sonic merch from as early as 1990 as well as promo items on special edition releases such as figurines, remote control cars, T-shirts and DVDs.
As with any brand, publishers are doing everything they can to get you to choose their game over others. Have you fallen victim to clever marketing lately?
Source: The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/nov/18/modern-warfare-2-records-775m?cat=technology&type=article