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Ever hear of a game called Enslaved: Odyssey to the West?
Posted on Sunday, October 2 2011 @ 06:28:12 Eastern

(gamerevolution.com/news/ninja-theory-karate-chops-hopes-for-enslaved-sequel-8541)

Comment posted by Guernica - Joined: Mar 13, 2009

“I never really heard about enslaved besides on the forums here. I dunno if they had poor marketing or if I was just always in the wrong place. After the fact I've definitely heard lots of good about it.”

Reply Posted by TheDiesel - Joined: May 4, 2009

“@Guernica - It flew under the radar, there was little to none Advertising when it released, so I find their reasoning for not having a sequel kind of Bull. You got to spend money to make money, and if they don't flash their product in front of consumers, what do they expect but little sales?”

Well, I know I am on the same boat as Guernica. I had never heard of Enslaved outside of the GR forums where Bretimus_v2, used44, and TheDiesel (who reviewed it and gave it a B+) seemed to have enjoyed it (gamerevolution.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=351055#351055).

Ninja Theory (the game’s developer) co-founder Tameem Antoniades told EDGE magazine (as quoted in the GR article):

“Enslaved should have done better... Right now we should have been doing a sequel and perfecting that sequel and doing what franchises do, which is get better over time.”

Namco Bandai was the publisher of this game. It was their job to do the marketing for the game. Little or no marketing, means little or no game sales. I say to Mr. Antoniades Namco Bandai screwed you over and the reason Enslaved didn’t do better is because they didn’t do enough marketing for the game. There can be many reasons why a publisher doesn’t properly promote and market a game, including but limited too incompetence, greed, having other priorities, maliciousness, not fully appreciating the value of a game, or a combination of some, all, or none of these reasons. I have no insight in to why Namco Bandai dropped the marketing ball on this game, but I would think it was a combination of greed, having other priorities, and not fully appreciating the value of this game.

Marketing as it pertains to video games is, well, the selling of the games, plain and simple. A developer tries to determine what game that will be of interest to gamers, or is assigned a game to develop by a publisher, other than that the developer has no hand in the marketing of a game. The publisher makes the sales strategy and like all things some are better than others at this. Marketing is more than just simple advertising, it is about building a relationship with the customer (the gamer) so the company stays profitable, and some are better than others at this also. If a publisher like Capcom, EA, or Activision pisses enough people off they damage themselves, that’s bad marketing.

All advertising is marketing , but not all marketing is advertising. Most people hate advertising, or at least claim they hate advertising, yet if it wasn’t for advertising most of us would have not a clue what was available to purchase, games or otherwise. Trailers, free games for game websites to give away, interviews with gaming journalists, expos (i.e. E3, Pax, Comic-Con, Gamania’s resent shindig that Nick and Josh went to), and free review copies aren’t advertising but are classified as promotions, a related branch of marketing. Advertising is the outright payment to a website, newspaper, TV station, etc. etc. to carry the content the advertiser wants them to show, promotions on the other hand is a much more subtle in the way they approach getting their content in front of the consumer. Recently Gamania paid for Nick Tan and Josh Laddin to fly Taiwan, and attend their expo, where they wined and dined them, gave them swag (which now is going to cyberjim2000), and time with 5 different MMO’s that Gamania runs. Nick and Josh reported to us all about their time there and did previews of the games (gamerevolution.com/tag/gamania). That is promotions in action, or good marketing.

Which brings us to another point GRs’ self-promotion, or their marketing of the Game Revolution website. The resent quarterly The People Speak prize drawing, which was won by used44, wasn’t handled as well as it could have been. I’m not suggesting the publishers clearing house sweepstakes prize patrol should be knocking on used44’s door or a tickertape parade be held, but a separate article to announce his win, what he won, and to inform everybody that a drawing had happened (and would happen again in 3 months) would have been better. In my humble opinion GR needed a better marketing strategy this time. Contests wins need to be played up more on the front page, the recent Gamania contest is a good example of what I‘m talking about (gamerevolution.com/manifesto/cyberjim2000-is-awesome-and-the-gamania-contest-winner-8601). A picture and list of the prize package, a congratulation to the grand prize winner, and a thank you to the provider of most of the swag. That was good promotions for GR, or good marketing of the GR brand.

Another place that GR has done well for itself is bringing the community on to the front page. GR community members StickyGreenGamer, used44, De-Ting, Wes, Oblivion437, and Silios have all been featured on the front page as member contributors in the past 3 months. This, and the Vox Pop are a great ways to engage the community and encourage participation in the forums and the members’ blogs. By creating a chance for any of us to be featured on the front page GR is building a relationship with us, the members of the GR community. By building a relationship with the community GR guaranties loyalty from its community members, and thus GR the company stays profitable.

Grade time: Namco Bandai’s handling of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West’s marketing I give it a D-. GR’s marketing of it’s own brand I give a B, work on it guys.

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