Marketing Effect 3

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I agree that there is a dissonance between what Mass Effect is supposed to represent at its core and what is being represented through a lot of the marketing. I think, in a lot of ways, Mass Effect is nigh impossible to market to established fans because the things make the experience memorable don't make for great bullet-points on a marketing statement.

I have never been more excited for a game to be released before, however most of the marketing has been lackluster for a fan who is on board for the intimacy that is offered in a character driven narrative.

Quotes such as '[w]e fight or we die...' are taken out of context and used as catch phrases which inherently shift attention away from the merits of the franchise and give the impression of a throw-away, Friday night action film. Playing the demo, I actually found that piece of dialogue appropriate in its given context, as our hero (avatar) is trying to rouse Earth's leaders to act while the Reapers are descending around them.

Despite a lot of silly marketing, I really enjoyed the launch trailer and a few other choice trailers that weren't trying to force 'stratified' DLC upon me as a consumer. Being able to see how weapons are customized, the voice cast, the story elements and also have a taste of the spectacle is what wets my appetite for Mass Effect 3.

I do wish that marketing would stick their DLC policies up their fucking ass and blow it out the window. I think consumers need consistency and cohesiveness and the selling of Mass Effect 3 leaves a lot to be desired.

Wakikifudge:
I really doubt having one extra gun is going to change the game as much as you are making it sound....
This just sounds like self entitlement at its worst. If you are really so upset that you have to rant on a forum (or article) about not having a gun or some other minor things because you didn't buy a toy or a special edition, then you probably weren't very interested in the game to begin with.

You missed the point then jumped straight to entitlement, congratulations sir. I do not care for any of this DLC nor do I care about Valves hats.

The point was that Portal 2 received so much rage over something that did not affect the game. All it affected is how a player character looks during co op. All of the DLC EA is attaching to all this extra stuff directly affects the main game in the form of special weapons, armor etc. Hat doesn't change anything while guns could change something.

So then why is it that people will whine and rage over aesthetic hats but not over in game weapons that can only be received if you buy all their extra stuff? Simple answer? People are massive idiots and hypocrites. Bioware gets a pass while Valve gets screamed at over giving people the ability to optionally wear a hat. Those people should be whining about ME3.

Personally, I think that all this advertising is just an effort to hush up the nearly continuous leaks, most of which are being received in a heavily negative light.

Basically EA trying to milk it as fast as possible before word of mouth really can get around.

I have a theory, all this marketing is aimed at the COD demographic right?

Thats genius. Because everyone else is going to buy it anyway right? Why not focus on a new market?

Waaghpowa:

Wakikifudge:
I really doubt having one extra gun is going to change the game as much as you are making it sound....
This just sounds like self entitlement at its worst. If you are really so upset that you have to rant on a forum (or article) about not having a gun or some other minor things because you didn't buy a toy or a special edition, then you probably weren't very interested in the game to begin with.

You missed the point then jumped straight to entitlement, congratulations sir. I do not care for any of this DLC nor do I care about Valves hats.

The point was that Portal 2 received so much rage over something that did not affect the game. All it affected is how a player character looks during co op. All of the DLC EA is attaching to all this extra stuff directly affects the main game in the form of special weapons, armor etc. Hat doesn't change anything while guns could change something.

So then why is it that people will whine and rage over aesthetic hats but not over in game weapons that can only be received if you buy all their extra stuff? Simple answer? People are massive idiots and hypocrites. Bioware gets a pass while Valve gets screamed at over giving people the ability to optionally wear a hat. Those people should be whining about ME3.

My apologies I misunderstood your post. I thought YOU were whining about the guns affecting gameplay. I see your point now. I didn't actually know that people were outraged about the Portal 2 hats. Isn't that the same as Valve's micro-transactions in TF2?

However, is this point he's making actually true? I could be remembering wrong but I'm pretty sure a lot of people have raged about the in-game weapons. IMO Anyone who rages about either of these things is a self-entitled jerk (which is what I mistakenly thought you were).

Wakikifudge:
My apologies I misunderstood your post. I thought YOU were whining about the guns affecting gameplay. I see your point now. I didn't actually know that people were outraged about the Portal 2 hats. Isn't that the same as Valve's micro-transactions in TF2?

Yes, kinda. What few items there were, and by few I mean like 5 things, are also available simply by playing Portal 2 single player. Why anyone would buy the items when they just get them from playing is beyond me.

However, is this point he's making actually true? I could be remembering wrong but I'm pretty sure a lot of people have raged about the in-game weapons. IMO Anyone who rages about either of these things is a self-entitled jerk (which is what I mistakenly thought you were).

Of course people have raged about it, but the point is that it hasn't received equal or greater ridicule. If Portal 2 could receive all that crap for the hats, then why isn't Mass Effect getting a hurricane katrina level of shit storm?

Waaghpowa:

Wakikifudge:
My apologies I misunderstood your post. I thought YOU were whining about the guns affecting gameplay. I see your point now. I didn't actually know that people were outraged about the Portal 2 hats. Isn't that the same as Valve's micro-transactions in TF2?

Yes, kinda. What few items there were, and by few I mean like 5 things, are also available simply by playing Portal 2 single player. Why anyone would buy the items when they just get them from playing is beyond me.

However, is this point he's making actually true? I could be remembering wrong but I'm pretty sure a lot of people have raged about the in-game weapons. IMO Anyone who rages about either of these things is a self-entitled jerk (which is what I mistakenly thought you were).

Of course people have raged about it, but the point is that it hasn't received equal or greater ridicule. If Portal 2 could receive all that crap for the hats, then why isn't Mass Effect getting a hurricane katrina level of shit storm?

Maybe it's because people feel more betrayed by Valve because in so many gamer's eyes, they are a spectacular developer who can do no wrong so when this minor offence (if you could even call it that) occurred, people felt betrayed.
Bioware on the other hand is owned by EA and I guess people just don't feel as surprised or betrayed when EA does something like this.

This is the only "reasonable" explanation I can think of.

Wakikifudge:
This is the only "reasonable" explanation I can think of.

The only reasonable explanation is people are hypocritical morons. Hats do nothing and affect nothing. There's absolutely no reason for anyone to get so worked up over something so trivial. Then again, this is the internet. Valve does offer special cosmetic items for TF2 when you pre purchase a particular game, but it doesn't change the fact that they do absolutely nothing.

Waaghpowa:

Wakikifudge:
This is the only "reasonable" explanation I can think of.

The only reasonable explanation is people are hypocritical morons. Hats do nothing and affect nothing. There's absolutely no reason for anyone to get so worked up over something so trivial. Then again, this is the internet. Valve does offer special cosmetic items for TF2 when you pre purchase a particular game, but it doesn't change the fact that they do absolutely nothing.

Ya, you're right. People are just dumb.

Darth_Dude:
I have a theory, all this marketing is aimed at the COD demographic right?

Thats genius. Because everyone else is going to buy it anyway right? Why not focus on a new market?

Haha what makes you think the actual game wont appeal to cod gamers more than you? All of the 10+ hours of advertising suggests that this game will be Moderner Warfare

SurfinTaxt:

Darth_Dude:
I have a theory, all this marketing is aimed at the COD demographic right?

Thats genius. Because everyone else is going to buy it anyway right? Why not focus on a new market?

Haha what makes you think the actual game wont appeal to cod gamers more than you? All of the 10+ hours of advertising suggests that this game will be Moderner Warfare

Don't worry, the core-gameplay mechanics will be the same, the story and the choices will be the same.

There are just emphasizing the actiony features to target a new demographic.

Darth_Dude:

SurfinTaxt:

Darth_Dude:
I have a theory, all this marketing is aimed at the COD demographic right?

Thats genius. Because everyone else is going to buy it anyway right? Why not focus on a new market?

Haha what makes you think the actual game wont appeal to cod gamers more than you? All of the 10+ hours of advertising suggests that this game will be Moderner Warfare

Don't worry, the core-gameplay mechanics will be the same, the story and the choices will be the same.

There are just emphasizing the actiony features to target a new demographic.

Well lets just say Im not worried about the mechanics, the demo proved that theyre identical to ME2.

The very fact that this ... thing image is in the game however makes me terrified for what else they did to the game

Darth_Dude:
I have a theory, all this marketing is aimed at the COD demographic right?

Thats genius. Because everyone else is going to buy it anyway right? Why not focus on a new market?

This marketing is largely responsible for why I won't be buying the game, despite having loved ME1 and pre-ordered ME2. Targeting the wrong demographic can cost you existing customers.

My point isn't that Mass Effect 3 will be bad. My point is that marketing is treating it like it's big, dumb, and loud. It's just sad when the fans of the game have more respect for the material than the people who brought us the game.

Shamus, Shamus, bro, buddy, pall.

Didn't you get the memo? Mass Effect stopped being "food for thought" a long time ago. Mass Effect IS "big, dumb and loud".

Its not a space opera RPG anymore, its a shooter. You are carefully led by the hand from cinematic speech to cinematic speech and romance option with "whack-a-mole" combat encounters as filler in between.

These ads are exactly targeted at the people they want, the hyperactive GOW, HALO, COD no-scope submarine bunnyhoper. They do not want -you-, or -me-.

We are not significant, 14 bazillion shooter fans are, and for them "LOL GUNZ!" is exactly what matters.

I think the thing about Portal 2 was that most people assumed Valve was above such ridiculous nonsense, no matter how frivolous or pointless. That they had more respect for their product and their customers than to make a selling point out of the ability to put silly hats on your robots. Discovering that they didn't kind of rocked their world. Everyone "knows" (yes those are real sarcasm quotes, not just "durr I don't know how to make italics" quotes) that EA are the sort of commercialist pigs who would saw their own grandmothers' arms off and sell them back to them as "DLC," so nobody bats an eye when they pull stuff like this.

People expect EA to be money grubbing dicks, Valve are supposed to be nice guys.

If a reputed nice guy does a dick move it is more off putting than a known jerk doing the same thing.

rembrandtqeinstein:
People expect EA to be money grubbing dicks, Valve are supposed to be nice guys.

If a reputed nice guy does a dick move it is more off putting than a known jerk doing the same thing.

Steve the Pocket:
I think the thing about Portal 2 was that most people assumed Valve was above such ridiculous nonsense, no matter how frivolous or pointless. That they had more respect for their product and their customers than to make a selling point out of the ability to put silly hats on your robots. Discovering that they didn't kind of rocked their world. Everyone "knows" (yes those are real sarcasm quotes, not just "durr I don't know how to make italics" quotes) that EA are the sort of commercialist pigs who would saw their own grandmothers' arms off and sell them back to them as "DLC," so nobody bats an eye when they pull stuff like this.

I think you guys both hit the nail on the head.

It's like the teachers in school who don't care when the scaly wag doesn't hand in his homework, but throw a wobbly when the A+ student misses one due to complications.

It's an unfair double standard, but I think it's just that visceral, honest gut reaction that people get.
I think that's why we all flip our shit over Bioware games. The once great RPG King has gone senile in his old age and burning all of his dearest friends that got him to where he is.

It's both sad and infuriating. Losing something that was once so great, mixed in with a more then unhealthy dose of betrayal. The recipe for a perfect shitstorm.

I wonder when the COD kiddies grow up, will they and their generation have this shame problem? Will the 14 year old racist Live players be complaining about the casualisation of their FPS games some years down the line?
Will we look on in our silver years, and give a bitter chuckle, before going back to our business (or playing Planescape again for the 631st time...)?

Trailers dont mean shit. Just play the game. Why even give trailers any attention any way?

It's almost as if they're trying to market the game to audiences other than the die-hard ME fans [shocked face]

And who are these COD/BF/HALO kids that are supposed to be ruining are beloved franchises?

Hmm, read the article twice and I noticed a rather distinct lack of a rather important part; How the commercials SHOULD be done, since apparently they've all been done wrong. (although that might just hinge entirely on the author's perception of HIS Shepard.)

Well? How exactly should the game be marketed? I remember ME1 commercials that seemed to do next to nothing to describe the game, I remember ME2 commercials that seemed to do little to describe the game...and yet, people still buy the games...and the ME3 commercials seem to be in line with the previous advertisements and marketing drives. They fit together, although the Gamestop adds did make me roll my eyes at them.

So just what exactly should the optimal ME3 ad campaign include? What exactly would suit Mass Effect? Something conveying the scope of what's going on? I think they did that. Something conveying the dire straits that we're facing? I think they did that. Something that tells you about just what you're going to be doing in the game? I think they did that too...

So what's more suitable for presenting Mass Effect 3 to the audience?

FFHAuthor:
Hmm, read the article twice and I noticed a rather distinct lack of a rather important part; How the commercials SHOULD be done, since apparently they've all been done wrong. (although that might just hinge entirely on the author's perception of HIS Shepard.)

Well? How exactly should the game be marketed? I remember ME1 commercials that seemed to do next to nothing to describe the game, I remember ME2 commercials that seemed to do little to describe the game...and yet, people still buy the games...and the ME3 commercials seem to be in line with the previous advertisements and marketing drives. They fit together, although the Gamestop adds did make me roll my eyes at them.

So just what exactly should the optimal ME3 ad campaign include? What exactly would suit Mass Effect? Something conveying the scope of what's going on? I think they did that. Something conveying the dire straits that we're facing? I think they did that. Something that tells you about just what you're going to be doing in the game? I think they did that too...

So what's more suitable for presenting Mass Effect 3 to the audience?

This is a great question, and one I've wondered about myself (particularly in reference to those who complain about the trailers not showing off any of the loot 'n' stats "RPG" aspects of the game). For those who don't like the bombastic action movie alike trailers we've generally seen so far, how would you make a compelling trailer for what you believe ME to be?

Shamus Young:
This is a game filled with sci-fi ideas. It's a space opera. Fantastic alien worlds. Strange creatures. Mysterious technology. Ancient secrets. Political intrigue. That's food for your brain, right there. It's the one thing that makes Mass Effect stand out from a lot of other games about a dude in body armor, lugging an assault rifle through a showcase of chest-high walls. So why is the marketing focusing on the assault rifles and chest-high walls?

Did you really just ask that?
About a commercial played on television?
The same television watched by people
The same people who make games like Modern Warfare break sales records?

That's why!

Marketing is a soulless creature and if EA is the king of anything it's not having a soul.
I think the general tone of the Mass Effect marketing team was "Mass Effect has a huge and loyal fanbase, we don't need to appeal to them any more."

It is completely and utterly pointless to try and criticize anything to do with Bioware in general or Mass Effect in particular on the Escapist forums. There is so much fanboy circle-jerking going on here, that if it were a real place there'd be enough spunk to fill a swimming pool.

There was never a franchise in videogame history to receive so much undeserved adulation as this one. This wouldn't be so bad, except that the fanboys cream themselves over the franchise for the very reason its so goddamned awful: its story.

After this, they will slowly collapse from a combination of the weight of their own ineptitude, and EA's propensity for closing studios.

Fucking finally. The sooner they wither and die, the sooner the human waste fanboys who worship them will stop their verbal diarrhea.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Shamus Young:
It's the one thing that makes Mass Effect stand out from a lot of other games about a dude in body armor, lugging an assault rifle through a showcase of chest-high walls.

And there's the problem. Standing out makes it unmarketable in a market designed for yearly releases. The market relies on familiarity now because its main focus is on those who decry critical reasoning.

It's a sequel - so you already know you like it. It's like a re-imagining. Nice and safe.

Why do you think they held back on Femshep for so long? And then made her into Samas Aran. People might think it's a new series; and change scares them. They need a name they can trust, that won't let them down, that will be released on the Friday closest to Easter every year, where the main hero comes back from the dead and shephards humanity before...

Hold on...

Careful TROAE. If you keep playing connect the dots you may end up making a picture you don't like.

Anyway, I have me a question. Why do they want to try to market to new people with the 3rd installment of a game franchise?

I mean it's not like anyone far enough in the gaming community/industry to be at all interested in ME3 doesn't already know about it. Besides, even if you knew nothing about Mass Effect would you or anyone want to start with it's 3rd (and possibility final, but maybe not) game. Also, it's not like either of the previous games didn't do well, and I'm pretty sure anyone who would buy ME3 has already long ago decided to get it because they already played the first games. Plus, wouldn't you be a bit mad if you bought Mass Effect 3 and found out that not only did it have a good story worth seeing in completion, but it actually uses as saved game system that continues from game to game? Though you would probably still get the other games anyone if you did enjoy it enough, but that would still be a pain in the ass.

I just can't see how any of this was much more than a waste of money. Instead of marketing trailers they should focus more on demos at least after they already have done well enough will the first game to make a sequel. Think about it. Anyone who can access a game demo is already a possible customer because they own whatever system needed to play it, and has already shown that they are thinking about getting the game.

But whatever. Not like this will change. ME3 will do well, but not because of its marketing. However, all they will have to do to continue without changing is say, "Well hey, we marketed the game like we always do and it still did well."

EA has done some very bad things when it comes to marketing, but your ranting is mostly misplaced this time. All the rage at something meant to be humorous. Garrus was amusing and the voice over was fun. As for the "LOL Hey Gunz" style marketing, I don't see what the problem is there either. Apparently they developed a whole game mode to appeal to that kind of play.

I can understand some of your issues with all of the DLC, that complaint at least has substance. But it's not irrational at the sales level either. If they can move more products out the door by providing additional content hooks to different outlets then it means that launch day shortages are less likely and there will be no artificial reduction in sales. So yeah, to get Mass Effect we have to put up with some fragmentation in the form of perks and add-ons.

Cause the entire series is going more macho-shoooty shooty chest high walls feck yeah get some big gunsy.

That's how they sell copies. If we lived in an ideal world, I'd be rich and handsome and Mass Effect 3 would continue in the vain of story telling as a focus.

Too bad I guess. Still getting it though, they can't possibly change it TOO drastically. Gotta finish my Sheperd's story one way or the other.

The biggest flaw in that commercial that I saw was that Garrus didn't give some lame excuse about needing to do "calibrations" when Sheppard asked him to help out.

StriderShinryu:

This is a great question, and one I've wondered about myself (particularly in reference to those who complain about the trailers not showing off any of the loot 'n' stats "RPG" aspects of the game). For those who don't like the bombastic action movie alike trailers we've generally seen so far, how would you make a compelling trailer for what you believe ME to be?

Of course, the BEST marketing tool to encourage consistent ME players to get the game would perhaps be groundbreaking and origional and not do much to encourage new buyers (it would probably discourage them to be honest...). But make it a custom commercial. Have the 'commercial' be a download on XBox Marketplace or the Playstation store, or online, have it load your save data and look at the game you played and have it do a recap/narration of your Shepard and your games, who lived, who died, what your decisions were, what those decisions might mean in your Mass Effect 3 game.

It would be an awesome commercial for Mass Effect, it would embody everything that matters in the game to you, it would give you a real connection and incentive to get Mass Effect 3, but the problem is that it wouldn't bring in new players to the game, it would cement in players who would have pretty much bought the game anyway. That would be the 'best' commercial to show you what Mass Effect is and what Mass Effect 3 will be, but it's the worst commercial to actually make people who haven't played a Mass Effect game want to play it. Most newbies would hear about the commercial and try to see it, but find out that they can't because they didn't play Mass Effect 1&2. Honestly, I'm replaying ME2 for tomorrow, and there are moments where things feel slightly like a chore, I can easily imagine a new player thinking;

"I need to play two other games before I can even watch the commercial? Fuck that, they just want me to spend 180 bucks for all three."

So the ultimate Mass Effect 3 commercial that embodies the most integral aspect of the game fails entirely in the core role of advertising, to encourage and entice people who aren't familiar with the game to become interested in it.

FFHAuthor:

StriderShinryu:

This is a great question, and one I've wondered about myself (particularly in reference to those who complain about the trailers not showing off any of the loot 'n' stats "RPG" aspects of the game). For those who don't like the bombastic action movie alike trailers we've generally seen so far, how would you make a compelling trailer for what you believe ME to be?

Of course, the BEST marketing tool to encourage consistent ME players to get the game would perhaps be groundbreaking and origional and not do much to encourage new buyers (it would probably discourage them to be honest...). But make it a custom commercial.

[Snippity]

"I need to play two other games before I can even watch the commercial? Fuck that, they just want me to spend 180 bucks for all three."

So the ultimate Mass Effect 3 commercial that embodies the most integral aspect of the game fails entirely in the core role of advertising, to encourage and entice people who aren't familiar with the game to become interested in it.

That's exactly it. It's not too hard to come up with some way to appeal to the already converted, from kindling an emotional response as in your example to a cut and dried menu slidehow for those who "need more RP!" The problem is, as you point out, those approaches wouldn't actually work as marketing tools. They would, in many sesnes, simply be selling the product to those who are already heavily on the "buy it" side even if they aren't totally sold yet. The purpose of advertising, however, is to expand your market beyond it's already existing niche.

Personally, I think the best way for ME3 to be marketed is to do exactly what they are doing. Show the characters and story as it exists in ME3, but include the previous two games in the package for no extra charge. Make it clear via the ads and packaging that when you buy ME3 you're not only getting ME3 but also the entire epic action adventure RPG saga. Heck, you can already get both ME1 and 2 for maybe $10 a piece as is and I doubt many new copies are still being sold anwyay so it's not like there would be a significant loss compared to the number of new fans that would be brought in.

The ads for this game have been particularly terrible. Having played and enjoyed the first two, I know better, but if I were going on the ads alone, I would be assuming this is just another game like Resistance or whatnot. In other words, I would have no desire to buy the game. As it is, they are doing their damn best to convince me not to buy it.

"This game is horribly marketed, terribly 'Balkanized' and being dumbed down to make a buck....

...I'm buying it anyway."

That was about the time I lost interest in what you're saying. If you're not willing to bite the proverbial bullet and not buy a game who's marketing/design/business practices offend you, then you're part of the problem, not the solution.

I don't have a problem with people who like a game and want to buy it. I don't have a problem with people who don't like a game/company and refuse to buy it/from them.

But I am sick to death of people who bitch about games and companies on the internet and still keep giving them money. It is just pointless and no one in the companies care. In fact, they probably like it because it gives them more press, and as the saying goes, there is no such thing as bad press.

This is mostly an EA thing if you ask me. EA's marketing department almost always has a couple of ideas that are just stupid and out of touch with what they're trying to sell.

Coudn't agree more. I have stayed as far away from ME3 advertising as possible not because I think there's going to be any spoilers per say but because of how nauseautingly bad it all is for many of the reasons you just stated.

I have to agree with you its pretty sad indeed that the people who made the game barely care about it's lore. But it doesn't entirely shock me. EA has been destroying everything it touches for years. As for the marketting people, all they do these days is lie. Blatently, without fear of punishment. So there is never much point in listening to them.

Shamus Young:
Shamus' skewering of Mass Effect 3's commercials continues ...

Is that what we call complaining about things nowadays- skewering? I saw gripes, I saw complaints, I saw a few laughably inaccurate statements about Bioware supposedly not taking the heat Valve took, and I saw a few bits of moaning about how many years constitutes the near future.

... but skewering? No, sir, you did not provide me with anything close to that.

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