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Brand Power Spills Over Into the Games We Buy…

by on16 November 2012 2632 times
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Although this is not a new or novel concept we are seeing companies begin to use the power of branding to make their games more attractive to the consumer. The concept really started many, many years ago when software companies noted an increased demand for games that had not only similar themes, but the exact same theme and setting. To capitalize on this they began making follow-on installments to their games. Some of the more notable are Doom, Quake, and Wing Commander. Certainly there are more than this small list, but these represent some of the early franchise names that pushed the market along. For those of you wondering why HalfLife is not in there, it is simply because of the length of time between the first and the second games, but yes HalfLife is certainly one of the major Brand Names in gaming now.

Now there are more game franchises than we would be willing to list. These franchises command almost immediate respect and reverence amongst gamers. When Halo 4 was first announced the web was littered with new about it and the same thing can be said for Medal Of Honor Warfighter, Call of Duty Black Ops 2 (which just made $500 Million in 24 hours), Crysis 3, and more. The question is; how long can game developers milk these names and maintain brand loyalty? While we felt that Medal of Honor was an incredible game with an excellent combination of reality and fantasy, Medal of Honor Warfighter was short and lacking in some important ways.  We have watched this happen to a few franchises over the years (Including Doom, Quake and even HalfLife with their Mini Episodes)). The urge by some to push out another installment as quickly as possible to rake in more money can often result in a game that is disappointing to your user base.  

However, it appears that the risk is worth the reward to many companies. After all until you hit the tipping point (where the name can no longer carry a bad game) you are still making money. Let’s take Black Ops 2 as an example.  As of this morning the game has already hit $500 Million in sales. That is a staggering amount of money for 24 hours. At this point we do not even know if the game is any good or not (we do have it in the lab for testing though). As of right now it could be a complete flop (we doubt it will be though) and it will still have made its money. If it did turn out to be a flop, people might be hesitant to buy the next installment, but with the right spin and good marketing you can overcome the first failure pretty easily and the power of your new “brand” will get you through. It is typically not until the second or third failure that it becomes time to rethink things from a financial stand point.

But where does this leave consumers? Well it leaves them in the same place they have been for years; in the dark for the most part. It really is a “buyers beware” market again in everything including automobiles, computers, phones, and now the software and games we buy. All because marketing people truly know how to sell a brand name to the masses. Maybe one day we can get back to products being sold for their real selling points like what they actually bring to the table instead of the psychological games that we have going on now…

What do you think about the massive brand marketing in gaming and other areas of tech? Tell us in our Forum

Last modified on 16 November 2012
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