There are a lot of things that piss me off about MMOs and games in general. Some would say I’ve got a short temper, or at least, a short fuse when it comes to things that seem to me as somehow stupid, unjust or uncalled for. Video games certainly are no exception to this rule. In fact, I’d say most of my rage usually comes from video games. I usually only get mad at my own shortcomings in games. Either that or when I feel cheated.
However, it seems no one seems to ever discuss the other little things that annoy them about games. Things that aren’t within your direct control, such as ridiculous marketing campaigns.
The phrase ‘sly advertising’ is almost a redundant statement, considering the point of advertising is to entice the target audience into playing or buying whatever you’re pedalling. Having said that, there’s still a grey area in what is acceptable.
The problem comes when your campaign begins advertising using enticement that has little or no relevance to the actual product. The obvious example in this case would be the ever-memorable Evony advertising campaign, which, for those of you who are oblivious, consisted of advertising banners on various websites that included different depictions of women in little or no clothing. Pictures of a women in a bra looking seductively at the camera, drawn or photographed, would be accompanied by a phrase like, ‘Come play, my Lord.”
Having read a lot from the Evony developers, and interviewing one myself, I have to say, they have indeed redeemed themselves since this type of campaign launched.
In fact, I don’t believe they would ever resort to such cheap marketing tactics again, having taken themselves more professionally as of late. I do not wish this article to be a stab at them specifically, but at the trend in general, as many other companies are also guilty of this.
So, in this one, my best guess would be: You ride horses into breasts. SIGN ME UP!
This type of advertising instantly (after breaking my gaze from the previously-mentioned womens cleavage) makes me ask, “Why!”
The subsequent answers I come up with shine no positive light on the offending companies.
Perhaps their game has no real substance so they need to resort to cheap tactics in order to lure in players. Perhaps the advertising team got extremely lazy. Perhaps they don’t value their players enough to be upfront and honest about what they’re in for.
I would much rather be given the truth about a game via advertising than mislead. What happens when someone who sees these advertisements and logs in in hope of playing with busty babes only to find himself micromanaging ancient buildings and wading through text?
My guess: pure disappointment. No one reaches that kind of situation, having been let down, and decides to keep playing. You feel instantly cheated and lose all motivation.
Perhaps advertising teams guilty of this kind of cheap and deceptive marketing have since learned that it really isn’t an effective strategy, because it is hardly seen anymore around the internet.
Above: A much cooler and productive way to lose your advertising budget
This is a fantastic thing; a growth in evolution for MMO advertisement, as well as a clear message to developers. You cannot fool us with your cheap trickery anymore. We as gamers want substance, and we want honesty from developers.
This dishonesty does nothing for your appeal to the gamer demographic, not to mention your chance of garnering a large player base. You instantly lose the ‘word of mouth’ type advertising because no one wants to admit they play your games. You’re met with awkward responses from people when you attempt to (if you’re brave) share the game with people. That and, people are most likely going to think you’re perverted for finding and playing it in the first place. Should they go a step further and decide to try out the game themselves, they’re most likely going to be disappointed with the game, and subsequently disappointed at you for wasting their time.
I mean, I’m all for Asian girls in bikinis, but WHAT THE HELL IS THIS GAME ABOUT!?
What you hoped would be a successful advertising campaign based on cheap tricks suddenly makes you the laughing stock of the internet and the only way your game is ever mentioned is by gamers in another game, making jokes about yours.
This is my plea. A plea for developers to take us seriously. We are not controlled by our genitalia, nor do we want you to try and manipulate us with that assumption. We want honesty and we want to come upon your game due to its merit, not due to the merits of Ms. Double D you’ve crudely photoshopped into a banner.