EA, its marketing, and how gaming as a whole is viewed


#1

The Escapist is awesome, and not just for Yahtzee. One of their other really cool weekly video series is Extra Credits, where game designers talk about a wide variety of gaming topics: art and music, atmosphere in survival horror games, why game music evolved the way it did, etc.

This is their latest, an open letter to EA marketing:

The Escapist : Video Galleries : Extra Credits : An Open Letter to EA Marketing

Go. Watch it.

After, think about it. What do you feel about EA’s latest marketing campaigns? Are they damaging to games and gaming as a whole? Is it really just no big deal?

Discuss.


#2

I’ll watch, but the last time I did watch this bit I vomited from the guy saying regenerating health was a blanket positive for FPS games.

EDIT: I don’t think EA has any responsibility to make everyone else look good.


#3

EA don’t give a fuck about what people or their mom’s think about games, or whether their peers think they are real swell guys. They want each title to sell as well as possible, and will market them with that goal in mind. If that means ads for Deadspace 2 that many ‘gamers’ will find offensive it’s beside the point.


#4

EA like any big business will sell and make each title as big as possible until this gold vein runs dry. Eventually people will get tired of having to buy block buster hits so often since EA will flood them, but honestly EA couldn’t care less since they will have made ridiculously too much money in the process. And like everyone else said, it’s not their “responsibility” since we’re not commies.


#5

They canned Mirror’s Edge, so they will continue doing their current trend.


#6

umm… it was fuckin great!

its not that they are selling gaming future, its that their marketing fuckin sucked and while they were in the board room, they PROLLY thought it was a great idea!
I liked all the ideas jus coulda used more thought!
C’mon, Bad Nanny achievement is fuckin golden!

yall stupid Cuz we should give a fuck! The dead space commercial was cool but it shows but it offers nothin about the game except violence! lmao, very easy ass way to sell shyt!

  • GUINNESS BRILLIANT* !!

haha… and molest a booth babe! shyyyyyt!


#7

Why worry about this? Who cares? Are you all “gamers” why put yourself in such a loose box?

[media=youtube]2_2lGkEU4Xs[/media]


#8

Interesting


#9

I must admit when I first posted this I wasn’t expecting this much a) stupidity and b) people who clearly didn’t watch the fucking video.

EDIT - Okay, so maybe the above was a touch harsh, but still:

Some of you are saying that it isn’t EA’s job to give a fuck about the game industry. I’m asking if you watched the video at all, or at least with attention paid to it, because it’s talked about right in there: this sort of marketing is NOT just hurtful to the industry as a whole, it’s hurtful to EA, even in the short term. By marketing their games this way, they’re hurting themselves.

EA is a company that started with ideal origins, turned “evil” for a while, and recently has shown that, occasionally, now and then, they really want to be a known, relevant company in the gaming industry. It’s not so far fetched to believe that their higher-ups would consider that maybe, just maybe, their current marketing directions is going to screw them.


#10

yeah… to me it just came off as a half ass job or an idea that they thought was gonna be awesome… and the sugar turned to shyt b4 the could help it!


#11

Not going to lie, was expecting something along the lines of “video gaming journalism.” That was surprisingly a well made video.

Dead Space 2 ad was just a terrible way to market an M rated game to a younger crowd. Give the IGN Dead Space 2 review a read. The reading level caters to a specific demographic (still poorly written).

The video talks about EA’s bottom line (money!). I would argue that EA is completely aware that a solid game can generate very good sales.
EA’s 2011 lineup (excludes yearly titles)
-Mass Effect 2 (despite being a re-release, it gave non-PC/x360 owners the chance to play a solid sci-fi shooter)
-Dead Space 2 (already exceeding Dead Space’s sales)
-Bulletstorm (forget the MP, bring on the SinglePlayer action FPS back. Might noe be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is something different)
-Crysis 2 (have no words for this one)
-Battlefield 3 (HELL YES! Everyone needs to pony up for a new PC for this game. No MP experience will get you going like BF.)
-DarkSpore (follow up to Spore, hopefully without DRM)
-Dragon Age 2 (following the Mass Effect route)
-Mass Effect 3
-Star Wars: The Old Republic
-Portal 2
-Shadows of the Dammed (Shinji Mikami at the helm)

When you look at this list you see one thing is certain, EA is more than just a developer now. They produce and publish more games than they develop. The author in the video talks about EA’s beginnings. He reads an article about how early-EA wanted to challenge the idea if a computer could make you cry. The EA then and the EA now are much different, but after the ps2 re-has era, EA is clearly a power house of solid titles. Video game marketing does need a change. They do need to give the idea of gaming a much more tasteful tone. Think along the lines of the movie industries “Green” and “Red” band trailers. There needs to be a separation between online and TV marketing. To a degree there is a split, but line needs to be even more clear.

The Dead Space 2 and Dante’s Inferno ads should have been market directly toward gamers, rather than to a general populace. Was the Dead Space 2’s Mom hating ad distasteful? Yes, but months from now people will forget about it. Did EA lose money from it? Nope, they more than doubled their Dead Space sales.

When you look at EA’s executive board, you see names like John Riccitiello and Larry Probst. These guys are business brand geniuses. Clorox, Johnson and Johnson, PepsiCo, Sara Lee, are just a few of the companies these guys help run. I am sure these guys know what they are doing their games (brands).

As for EA’s bottom line, they expect their DLC sales to exceed their retail sales.

/edit: crap this became a mis-mash of topic points. Short Stuff: EA is going to be fine. Gamers will be fine with solid titles. Marketing will always bring up something negative, especially if the title is meant to be gruesome.


#12

I don’t know how you guys use sugar down south but here in Canada sugar never turns to shit before it goes through the digestive systems.


#13

I watched the video, thought they were overreacting a bit :S


#14

Extra Credits is one of my favorite things to watch, although I do not agree with everything they say. They do put out quality every week and at least back up what they have say.


#15

Word… word to your mother.


#16

If every business made major decisions based on what “the consumer” wants then there would be no businesses.
Everyone isn’t going to like every decision a company makes.

Hell, I couldn’t even tell you how many people I know who have said “fuck nintendo for releasing so many versions of the DS” and guess what? They bought each new model day of release.


#17

I watched the video and now think that if you want to " stand up as a gamer " maybe you should take some time to think that maybe if you define who you are by what you consume you’ve already lost the battle.

The video was a huge waste of time. Such an awful awful video of something completely trite.


#18

I watched the video when I made my reply. It’s not EA’s job to make the “gamer” look good. Just like any other industry, the video game industry has the ability to reach to various demographics. The creator of the video is myopic for being unable to glean as much. Perhaps he is just as bad as the people he so vainly wants respect from, as he also places anyone who enjoys video games into a single arbitrary demographic.

If EA is going to create video games for those who are immature, then I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t market their games in a way that will easily grab those people’s attention. The argument is exceedingly flimsy in the respect that it hurts anyone, including EA. As far as I can tell, EA is still doing very well in product sales. Their marketing techniques, while they don’t appeal to me, haven’t noticeably impacted their income negatively. Furthermore, the image of a “gamer” is better than it has ever been. Possibly in part due to EA creating and marketing games such as Rockband and The Sims, both titles being examples of products that draw in people who may not have normally been interested.

Basically, the guy in the video takes himself too seriously.


#19

MIRC continues to deliver spot on analysis on dumb video. I too used to concentrate on outside things instead of focusing on the real task at hand which is concentrating on what’s happening inside my mind.

Maybe it’s easier to focus on something completely pedestrian since it requires zero effort compare to taking a look in the mirror to what’s really important.

The only think stinkier than this thread is Dr. B’s body of work.

Wow, the overall terribleness of the video is hard to express on a single post. Good job SRK for continuing to be sharper than your average bear. I’m glad we aren’t gathering against a cause only someone completely out of touch with themselves would commit to.

The man behind the videos doesn’t even have the decency to use his own voice and we are instead subjected to chipmunk telling us how us “gamer” need to stand for something… Geez.


#20

Man if I didn’t know better I’d say Rush Marine was a Genshiro disciple.

anyway yea I love Extra Credit. I watched it back when it was only on Youtube.

Anyway I think the video is really good and brings up good points. Yea EA doesn’t have to care about the image they project about their industry, or care about what they make their consumers look like. This is all very true. They should care tho. Almost all the marketing for Dantes Inferno was pretty bad stuff that not only makes us, the consumer, look bad, but it makes them, and the industry they operate in look bad as well. i mean it’s pretty bad when your encouraging people to break even the simplest of rules like “Don’t touch the booth babes.” Like come on thats common sense, and encouraging people to break those rules is a bad idea on so many levels. Something that can only get out of hand, and it did. What the video is really saying is that yea EA doesn’t have to care, but they probably should. That seems to have gone over some heads tho.

I will say tho that I thought the Dead Space Ads where hilarious and I really liked them but in hindsight they probably should have been online ads and not TV ads. I didn’t think about who they where marketing to, just that I thought they where funny. Now that I think about it “Your mom is going to hate it” is pretty obviously marketing to minors, the kind of people who probably shouldn’t be playing that game, and who can’t buy it without parental consent anyway. That is pretty irresponsible. Still thought it was hilarious tho.