Marketing means everything as far as today’s game market is concerned. For better or for worse, no matter how good or bad your game is, chances are it’ll sell if you put the right kind of marketing behind it. This applies to every dedicated game platform on the market today, save perhaps, the DS where even games with zero marketing manage to get noticed.
There are three publishers today that I think are doing a fantastic job of marketing their products directly to fans. Barring Nintendo who could sell hyenas to a sheep farm, Atlus, Capcom and recently SEGA have all been doing a bang-up job of addressing their specific audience. Most Siliconera readers are probably familiar with Atlus’s countless teases by now, and I’m sure quite a few of you have also seen Capcom’s Bionic Commando efforts.
But coming back to MadWorld, the game currently has no less than three sites dedicated to providing wallet stimulus for its fans. The first is SEGA’s official MadWorld site, which acts as a sort of hub for the marketing campaign. The flash-heavy site contains a brief overview of the game, screenshots, a link to a pre-order page, and two separate links to their MadWorld blog and MadWorld TV, which is finally “live.”
The blog mostly talks about SEGA and Platinum Games’ TGS presence and is completely separate from Platinum’s own developer blog, which is completely in English.
MadWorld TV, on the other hand, capitalizes on the concept of Deathwatch – MadWorld’s ingame bloodsport that Jack participates in – to the fullest. Deathwatch sports a look similar to NBC’s numerous talkshows hosted by two very intentionally cheesy hosts, Bob and Dan. Like the game, the colour palette for the set consists almost entirely of black, white and red, with a heavy emphasis on the red. Bob and Dan talk abou…you know what, I’m not going to spoil it for you. Just head on over to the site and check out the hilarity for yourself.
Kudos to SEGA for coming up with an awesome marketing blueprint for MadWorld. They saw an opportunity where they could go creative, and they took it. The Deathwatch ads are smart, informative and are probably going to strike a chord with MadWorld’s target audience. In fact, I believe MadWorld even features in GameStop’s House of the Dead: Overkill commercial, making for some nice synergy for SEGA’s two big core Wii games. It makes me wonder if they plan to be equally creative with games they are publishing in the future like Let’s Tap and The Conduit.
All we need now is for these Deathwatch ads to start airing on TV.
Nominee #2 for smart marketing this week is XSEED with their Retro Game Challenge ad.