Viral Marketing: Does It Work For Video Games?

In recent years, viral marketing has proven itself as a viable and cost effective way to advertise a product with less investment than other media. Hollywood studios and Indie filmmakers alike have taken advantage of viral marketing with films such as The Dark Knight and District 9 with great success.

One must wonder why video games in general have not used this tool, one that has proven to be so effective for film and television. Some gaming companies have attempted and have had some limited success with viral marketing, such as Bioshock’s website, somethinginthesea.com and Halo 2′s ilovebees. This helps explain it more. com, the former still being viewable. I think High Ground Gaming does a good job of making itself stand out in the gaming community.

It can be argued that video games actually have a better medium through which to advertise viral marketing. A game can last a person for weeks while a movie is over in two hours or so. If a company can create a certain feel and anticipation with a website or a video that uses viral marketing, one would think that the effect of such advertising would last much longer just by the nature of video games in general.

Recently, Resident Evil 6 has taken advantage of a viral campaign called nohopeleft.com a website with blog posts and accompanying videos. It seems that game makers have not quiet given up on Viral Marketing.

Television Advertisements: Reaching Your Target Audience

If you’re thinking about advertising your business on TV, you don’t want to just set up a commercial and hope for the best. Instead, you’re going to want to take your time and research your audience to ensure that you’re reaching the right people. If you’re asking yourself how you can reach these people, here are some tips that you can use in order to effectively reach them:

What do they want? The first thing that you want to ask yourself is what your customer wants? What is going to motivate them to consider you or even buy from you? The more you know about your customer’s wants, the easier it will be to target them.

What is your demographic? Each product and business is going to have its own demographic. Since each and every TV show and channel will cater to different crowds, it’s essential that you know who your customer is going to be. Most ad planners will have all of this information for you to use.

Timing, creating a positive advertisement and placing it on the right channel are all things to consider and while creating a TV advertisement is going to take time, it’s very important that you take the necessary steps in order to reach your target audience.

Using Atmosphere As A Story Device (in Game Development, think “Heavy Rain,” “Demon Souls,” “Bioshock,” etc)

There are a number of factors that can go towards making a video game enjoyable, but the one aspect that can often set a game apart from the crowd is atmosphere. When done skillfully, a video game can draw gamers into its world and create a unique sense of immersion. Take the Resident Evil series, for example. Though shooter and action style games, in general, are nothing unique, what has set the Resident Evil games apart were the use of building tension and a sense of imminent danger. A subtle combination of tasteful music, believable sound effects, artistic level design, and other smaller, seemingly less significant factors work together to create, for the gamer, a sense of cohesion and significance in the game’s world. This heightens the emotional involvement for the gamer and makes for truly unique and memorable gaming experiences. Some of the most critically acclaimed games from recent memory, such as Bioshock, Heavy Rain, and Mass Effect, have all made great use of atmosphere to create a game universe with a story that became emotionally relevant to gamers. For many, games that artfully evoke a aura of dread, for example, become the most enjoyable and significant gaming experiences.

ESRB Ratings: Do They Work?

The media often blames violence in video games to kids playing Mature rated video games. According to a 2011 study by the Federal trade Commission, stores are much more sensitive of the ESRB ratings. Secret shoppers found that only 13% of the 13 to 16 year olds, who attempted to buy M-rated games, walked away with their purchase. In 2000, a similar study found 86% percent of underage kids scored adult themed games.

Does the improving recognition of ESRB ratings prove game rating actually work? The drastic improvement certainly proves the ESRB is doing its job. But the ratings are not that straight forward. While the stores are screening before selling games to minors, we can’t be sure the parents are as vigilant. Check out this link here. Store clerks can stop kids from getting M-rated games and even educate parents about the ESRB, but there is no substitution for parental involvement.

What is considered appropriate by the ESRB is not necessarily parent approved. The rating systems do not automatically protect children from adult material. When it comes down to it, the only thing that “works” is parental involvement. Personal monitoring is the only way to ensure suitable content for your children. Passing on your family’s standards is something the ESRB simply can’t do.