EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews

GamesIndusty.biz quotes EEDAR's Jesse Divnich speaking at the Montreal International Games Summit saying game marketing is far more influential than review scores, where he said: "You can make the greatest game and it won't even matter. I know that's discouraging to developers at first but it's very true." He goes on to say: "Marketing influences game revenue three times more than quality scores. There's a giant myth out there that reviews scores are the most crucial to a videogame." They offer a couple of examples, thought the second is a bit odd, as it reflects an approximate 300% sales boost based on a greater than 1000% increase in marketing budget:
For its first three months on sale, BioShock, which had $5.5 million in US marketing behind it, sold twice as many copies of EA's Dead Space, which had a budget of $2 million. The same results were found for EA Sports Active, which sold around 720,000 copies with a marketing budget of $5.6 million, compared to My Fitness Coach, which shifted an estimated 250,000 units backed with a $50,000 budget.
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29 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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29.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 17, 2009, 17:35
29.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 17, 2009, 17:35
Nov 17, 2009, 17:35
 
BTW check out the article below (that was also posted on Blues News). I think it clearly indicates what I'm talking about here.

No it doesn't. GO to the forum and we talk abuot how that is a bullshit example.
28.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 17, 2009, 14:20
28.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 17, 2009, 14:20
Nov 17, 2009, 14:20
 
two games that should have been blockbusters but didnt because of bad marketing...

undying and psychonaut

when both games came out hardly anyone knew what they were about. both had low price points at release probably due to the low marketing budget.
27.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 17, 2009, 12:13
27.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 17, 2009, 12:13
Nov 17, 2009, 12:13
 
BTW check out the article below (that was also posted on Blues News). I think it clearly indicates what I'm talking about here.

More Evidence the Video Games Industry isn't So Recession-Proof…

In effect, when times are good and we as gamers have a lot more money, we're willing to take more risks in our game purchases. When times are tough though and we have very little to spend, we want to be absolutely sure our meager funds are spent wisely and we get the most bang for our buck.
26.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 17, 2009, 12:02
26.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 17, 2009, 12:02
Nov 17, 2009, 12:02
 
"You say it's only effective when it genuinely conveys etc etc.. But, honestly, when was the last time you saw such a thing?"

ForgedReality: That's easy. Look at how Blizzard markets all of their expansions. They do an excellent job with them. Very rarely do I feel "let down" when I've purchased one. In fact, more often than not, I get exactly what I expected and even more so (which is pretty rare I know).

For the most part, I agree with you though. There will always be people who will be sucked in by marketing hype. Yet on the flip side, once a gamer's been "burned" enough times, he or she will become much more smarter in their purchases. Over the last fifteen years, I've seen a pretty dramatic change in the intelligence of the crowds, especially upon forums, and it looks to me like it's reaching a tipping point.

As for companies still being able to make back their money on games, well that's my primary point. Yes they can do that but it only will work for so long. Once you've lost the trust and loyalty of your customers, it's pretty damn hard to get it back (unless you start a new company which is what some of them do). And as we're seeing out there with the current layoffs, just making back your costs isn't cutting it anymore.

The thing to realize here though is that a lot of what I've talked about doesn't happen overnight but slowly builds up over time until one day the games industry starts collapsing in on itself. And even that won't happen overnight but probably over a five year period.

And I'm not all doom and gloom by any means, as this collapse will be a culling not a destruction of it. I think there is a small handful of game publishers and developers who do get it and are making a noticeable difference in the industry today. Unfortunately it will still probably take a while for other companies to recognize their current practices are no longer working in the long term and they'll eventually start replicating the practices of these better companies.
25.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 17, 2009, 09:00
25.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 17, 2009, 09:00
Nov 17, 2009, 09:00
 
Well put NKD. Today 99% of reviews are bought and paid for. Honest game critics are few and hard to find....

....Hard times indeed....
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24.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 17, 2009, 08:25
NKD
24.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 17, 2009, 08:25
Nov 17, 2009, 08:25
NKD
 
There's a difference between marketing and reviews?
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23.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 17, 2009, 06:57
Prez
 
23.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 17, 2009, 06:57
Nov 17, 2009, 06:57
 Prez
 
Why all the hate on Assassin's Creed all the time? I really enjoyed it, and before I buy the second one that came out today, I am going to play through the first one again, as I missed some things.....and it was a while back since I have played it.

Yeah, I agree that the "badness" of AC has been grossly over-stated. Sure, it had some flaws with repetitiveness, wonky AI, and an absolutely ludicrous ending sequence, but it was an extremely excellent game design, just a few flaws shy of greatness. Were it not for the incredibly inexplicable end with the numerous and interminable 12-on-1 fight sequences (in a game about being a stealthy assassin!) and the feeling of sameness from preparing for each hit, it would have been one of my favorites of all time. As it is, it was quite a memorable experience, and I can't wait for the sequel.
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22.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 17, 2009, 06:43
22.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 17, 2009, 06:43
Nov 17, 2009, 06:43
 
A marketing guy saying marketing is great, what a shock. Marketing lobbyists probably wrote this guy's speech if he wasn't directly recruited from a marketing firm. The mere fact that everything he says is not verifiable (i.e. the data is not been released) show what he is saying is total bullshit.
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21.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 17, 2009, 05:47
21.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 17, 2009, 05:47
Nov 17, 2009, 05:47
 
I think that what's happening with todays Gaming industry in general is what already happened to every single major product based industry in the world.

These few points can summarize it for pretty much anything you can think of, from toaster makers to auto manufacturers and sadly it applies to major game publishers too:

1: Push out more products per year (at a cost of quality) to drive profits.

2: Create demand through massive marketing campaigns and shiny attractive covers.

3: Focus and create your products to appeal to the biggest consumer base
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20.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 17, 2009, 05:45
20.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 17, 2009, 05:45
Nov 17, 2009, 05:45
 
marketers do for games, and the industry(society), what lawyers do for divorces. stir everything up, make money on both sides, then stretch out the problem for as long as the two parties will put up with it. in the end everyone involved's left with a lighter wallet, and and angry fist they have no idea who to shake at.
19.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 17, 2009, 03:43
19.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 17, 2009, 03:43
Nov 17, 2009, 03:43
 
I am sure there is "some" correlation of marketing dollars and sales, but many have already pointed out that between cherry picking data and a perfect example of EA losing money......the correlation is probably pretty damn weak.

Why all the hate on Assassin's Creed all the time? I really enjoyed it, and before I buy the second one that came out today, I am going to play through the first one again, as I missed some things.....and it was a while back since I have played it.
18.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 17, 2009, 02:03
18.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 17, 2009, 02:03
Nov 17, 2009, 02:03
 
Nice post Jason. My first thought when I saw this today was "nice apples to oranges comparison" and I quit reading.

Bunch of bullshit data. Doesn't even jive.
17.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 17, 2009, 01:23
17.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 17, 2009, 01:23
Nov 17, 2009, 01:23
 
Good word of mouth advertising is always worth more than any marketing budget, and negative word of mouth will bury you regardless of how much you spend.

I don't know how true that is. General word of mouth (and reviews) was that Assassin's Creed was a disappointment. However, it still sold like 6 million copies thanks to great marketing campaign and some really slick TV spots.
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16.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 17, 2009, 00:48
Cutter
 
16.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 17, 2009, 00:48
Nov 17, 2009, 00:48
 Cutter
 
In effect, gamers will always go to the forums to hear the straight goods from their peers. If it's positive, marketing will only amplify the sales in a positive way. If it's negative, marketing could potentially have an additional adverse effect because the public knows the truth.

All said and done, yes good marketing can hide a bad product or service...once. But once a person buys it and finds out the truth, you've lost their trust and they won't be back. That's why so many companies fail because they often aren't in it for the long haul and they don't care about creating a genuine long term relationship with their customers.

That's right on the money. And it's something the marketing hacks always forget. Good word of mouth advertising is always worth more than any marketing budget, and negative word of mouth will bury you regardless of how much you spend.
"I like dogs playing poker... because dogs would never bet on things; so it's incongruous. I like incongruity." - Christian Wolff
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15.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 16, 2009, 22:24
15.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 16, 2009, 22:24
Nov 16, 2009, 22:24
 
Generally this is an all too obvious truth.

Look at Wii, Nintendo spent over $250 million on marketing in the first year, probably considerably more.

Then look at PC gaming, no one to market it.
14.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 16, 2009, 21:49
Dev
 
14.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 16, 2009, 21:49
Nov 16, 2009, 21:49
 Dev
 
How about MW2?
13.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 16, 2009, 21:46
13.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 16, 2009, 21:46
Nov 16, 2009, 21:46
 
Bioshock ads talked about how awesome it was. But really, it wasn't all that great. Reviewers were paid to say how revolutionary it was. It was not. At all.

I disagree about Bioshock not being great (though not "revolutionary"), but I felt the same way about Uncharted 1-2. Bleh, both games considered the best the consoles have to offer and they were so bland and boring.
12.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 16, 2009, 20:17
12.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 16, 2009, 20:17
Nov 16, 2009, 20:17
 
At this point in time, I consider most game reviews to simply be marketing.
11.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 16, 2009, 19:52
11.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 16, 2009, 19:52
Nov 16, 2009, 19:52
 
Another big bunch of pseudo science masquerading as marketing advice, probably from a marketeer.

Bioshock and deadspace are not the same game. They weren't released on the same day. They didn't spend their budgets in exactly the same places. My fitness coach was released 4 months before sports active, and rates a long way below sports active on reviews.

In other words any effect they try to draw is completely confounded with other variables, and no attempt is made to determine what is enough or the right amount of marketing for each product.

One imagines that second rate products can't provide the same return per $ spent on marketing anyway, therefore will hit $ gross earned per $ marketing spend line at lower marketing spends (above which further marketing is obviously pointless).

That and there are mechanical relationships between distribution and marketing. Some places won't carry your shit if you don't have evidence that X is being spent. Whats more important, being carried, or the X ?
10.
 
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews
Nov 16, 2009, 19:34
Prez
 
10.
Re: EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews Nov 16, 2009, 19:34
Nov 16, 2009, 19:34
 Prez
 
Well, there's effective marketing, then there's the kind of marketing that the videogames industry uses...
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
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