Marketing Campaigns - The Push up bras of the gaming industry (No sexist intentions)
In Which ever way you look at it and whether you agree or disagree, advertising in most cases is the prime deciding factor in a products success. Look at Sony with the PS Vita a powerful device with a above average library of games, that is suffering in terms of sales due to Sony's marketing campaign for the device, or rather lack thereof.
Before a marketing team embarks on their marketing campaign they have to look at their target market. When I mentioned push up bras in the title I'm pretty sure most of you reacted with a resounding "What!?" Ill gladly reply to your question. When women use push up bras to enhance their looks or when men wear suits to hide their bellies they are artificially beefing their assets just like how some game companies display pre-rendered gameplay walkthroughs claiming that what you see is what you will get in the final product. Now a certain degree of deception is accepted and is considered the norm with most marketing campaigns but when potential customers are flat out deceived like the recent release of Gear boxes highly hyped and anticipated Aliens: Colonial Marines, a line must me drawn.
The beginning of the deception began back in September 2011 when randy Pitchford "pitched" (no pun intended) the game to the masses via a first look gameplay walkthrough, you can find the same video below. He began with his disbelief that 20th Century Fox entrusted gearbox with the rights to develop the game where he called it I quote "a true Aliens sequel in game form". I'm no Aliens expert but that sounds exciting enough to warrant the game being on anyone's radar. The walkthrough looked breath taking, an Aliens game that fans could be proud of. It led us to believe it was a work in progress video, with the regular "Work in progress" text on the top right corner of the walkthrough. ironically the video that dated more than a year before the release of the game ended up looking better than the final product. More over the segment shown in the walkthrough was not in the final game. He went on to say "This is a big moment for us... You're going to see what the game actually looks like. Not just screenshots. Actual gameplay," Another Randy Pitchford quote that reeks of deception
I had a personal run in with the game where in September of 2012 I had, dare I say the privilege to play the game 6 months before release. Talking to the exhibitionist at the expo I noticed the graphics were really impressive rather too impressive for consoles as I noticed an Xbox controller hooked to the setup. I went on to tell him that there was no way that was running on any console he then replied that it was running on a PC, another form of deception game companies lead us to believe but this time in gaming expos. I continued, asking him if the graphics would look similar on console? he replied with a diplomatic "pretty similar". The game has been released and the cat is out of the bag, the game is neither similar to its PC counterpart in terms of graphics or performance. It is expected that the PC version perform better but the console versions suffer from screen tearing and other graphical issues which has in turn caused a general disdain from both game critics and gamers alike. If there's no deception in what I have just described I do not know the meaning of the word.
Unfortunately the game will most likely go on to sell well. The hardcore will avoid the game like the plague based on the reviews and word of mouth from a lot of gamers . The casuals will be caught unawares due to gearboxes deceptive marketing tactics and there's no denying they are the majority.
Its a sad day in gaming when studios resort to false advertising campaigns with their games aimed at the masses. Its not only Gear box rather the industry as a whole.
In conclusion From a moral stand point what they did was wrong and there's no defending it. People who were deceived and purchased the game may feel bitter right now, but consider it a lesson well learned.The lesson being the fact that we cant trust these studios anymore, their words mean nothing, to me at least. I hope this isn't seen as a personal crusade against a specific company or person, I want the industry to change for the better and I'm sure a lot of you agree. In this day and age with all the different types media sources these studios bluffs are getting easier to call and its only going to end with them losing, and I mean more than their reputation.
If I missed anything with this Aliens colonial marines fiasco please feel free too enlighten all of us in the comment section it would benefit us all to learn their deceptive ways...