Make or Break

JC Barnett is the nom de plume of a video games developer working and living in Japan:

Ask any developer what they think of their marketing department and you'll be guaranteed a flood of expletives and death threats. The common knowledge dictates that marketing departments have a disproportionate and destructive say in the design of your product; stories of interesting ideas being shot down, due to the uncertainty of their success in an unproven market, or numerous me-too design changes based on today's best-selling competitors are the standard. Indeed,it would seem a lot of games are designed entirely to the marketing department's wishes, so that they have a known entity to sell, rather than the onerous task of actually trying to market something new and potentially exciting. These stories are obviously vastly exaggerated, though I'm sure some have a kernel of truth to them, but it is certain that most developers view their marketing departments with hatred and scorn. Japan, thankfully, seems a different story, with sales and marketing brought in when the project is presentable, so they can learn what it is they have to sell; the way marketing is supposed to work. Either way, and however much we'd like to ignore it, marketing is possibly the most important aspect of your success. The designers may think it's their bold new ideas, the artists their pretty pictures, the coders their bleeding edge technology and the producers their sexy, moody fashion shoots for the popular media, but all those mean nothing without the proper marketing behind it.

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