Are AAA Game Marketing Budgets out of control?
Yes. They need to reign them in before the whole industry collapses.
88.9% (16)
88.9% (16)
No. They're fine, and should continue to rise.
11.1% (2)
11.1% (2)
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Poll: AAA Video Game Marketing Budgets are completely out of control.

Holy shit, a thread in GID that has nothing to do with #GamerGate? Isn't that against the rules here? /sarcasm

Now, that out of the way... Advertising and Marketing Budgets. Everyone has no doubt seen how much AAA game development budgets have ballooned lately. Somewhere, advertising companies are making a killing.

Personally, I believe this is a net negative for game development. It takes funds away from the more important things, like quality assurance testing and gameplay development. It makes sure that big publishers get all the money while the devs that actually worked their asses off on the game get very little in comparison. It shouldn't be this way.

That's not to say that indie development doesn't have its own issues. But at least indie games tend to focus on the things that matter, especially gameplay. Maybe I'm just cynical, but I'd say that if not for the "social justice" cliques found in indie game development, I'd probably play far more indies than AAAs these days.

Of course, I play very few of either, mainly because of cynicism and doubt that anything actually going to be good. But I think that AAA games need to have their advertisement budgets put on a crash diet. Hopefully, without all the excessive hype, we might actually be able to enjoy games again.

Am I alone in thinking AAA games need to cut back their ad budgets?

On the other side, I'm not sure how that would had helped Mass Effect: Andromeda. Having more resources? Yeah, it may had helped. But there are some problems in the AAA industry that can't be fixed just by throwing more money at them.

CaitSeith:
On the other side, I'm not sure how that would had helped Mass Effect: Andromeda. Having more resources? Yeah, it may had helped. But there are some problems in the AAA industry that can't be fixed just by throwing more money at them.

Agreed, I'd state my opinions on the people at BioWare, but it would get into topics best left not mentioned.

Personally, I don't think BioWare have been good since Mass Effect 2.

Funny thing, for all of their marketing budgets I almost never see a single trailer for games I buy anymore. I tend to buy games based almost entirely on word of mouth and based on lets players who I know have similar taste as me.

I bought Nioh entirely because people here on the escapist were talking about it, and because I got to try the beta. I bought Nier Automata pretty much entirely based on hype created by the Best Friends Play channel and the demo that was released. I've never seen a single trailer for either game.

This isn't really a problem of the gaming industry so much as it is of entertainment in general.

Though I'll echo Dirty Hipster in that I don't really care for the trailers or ads. I know if I'm going to like something or not usually just by who it is who made it (which is how I knew Power Rangers was going to suck) and it's only if I was wrong based on the reactions of people I know that I'll otherwise give something a chance (didn't see Rogue One until a friend assured me it was okay and better then TFA)

I remember an article I read by, I think Danc of Lost Garden some time back. One of the take-home points is that it is difficult to market a new game in an established genre. Built a new first person shooter? Great, except that you need to convince potential purchasers that they should spend money on your game, when they may have already played dozens of prior FPS'. Which means that you need to add new features, improved graphics, bigger worlds, more characters, and anything else that can distinguish your game from the rest of the marketplace. But that costs, and if you do it, the next developer has to spend even more to make an even better FPS in order to compete with you.

I see marketing as the same. Either a) it is a means of distinguishing a not-that-different game from others of the same genre ("we may not be significantly better, but we're the one you think of because you saw us on TV"), or b) a means of making your better game, which you invested more than ever before, into something that might make a viable return on investment.

Indy developers tend to compete by going after innovation (much as Nintendo has done). If the market is not saturated with your game mechanic, your game using that mechanic has a chance of getting traction without a huge investment to make it look better than other games, as the (relatively cheap) mechanic or design element is what distinguishes you.

You could just cross out "marketing" from your title and still be 100% accurate. We're talking about games selling millions of copies being disappointments.

Publishers need to spend less making and marketing games, games need to be more expensive, gamers need to get over it, and devs need the space to breath.

Or we can keep chucking millions of dollars into the fire just to make sure we get an accurate, 4K reproduction of the exact placement of Kevin Spacey's pores.

 

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