XCom Designer Tries to Sell His Game

XCom Designer Tries to Sell His Game

XCom: Enemy Unknown Lead Designer Jake Solomon recently pulled a less-than-subtle undercover stint at his local game store.

Do you know who Jake Solomon is? More to the point, would you recognize him if he walked up to you in the street? For most of us, the answer is "no." We might know the name as belonging to the guy at the head of the new XCom game, but I doubt any of us could pick him out of a lineup.

Confident in his lack of any actual fame, Solomon did what a lot of game developers do when their project winds down: he went looking for a new job. He found one, at least temporarily, at Power Gamer in Glen Burnie, Maryland, where he suited up in an XCom t-shirt and did his best to pimp the product. And make no mistake, his best was pretty good. Even if I didn't have a pre-existing interest in XCom, there's no doubt in my mind that I'd buy it from him.

Like RPGs? XCom! Like shooters! XCom! Don't like aliens? XCom - because you get to shoot aliens! The secret of success in retail is flexibility and Solomon has it cooking big-time. My only concern is that he seems to be pushing the Xbox 360 version of the game - he actually tells one customer that they don't make this sort of game for consoles very often - and the response is tepid at best. Even worse, despite all the excitement over an XCom rebirth in our little corner of the world, none of these people appear to have even heard of it.

"Your soldiers, they die, and none of that fake videogame bullshit, when your guys in this game die they're gone for good... your soldiers are out there dying from decisions you've made, you're crying, you feel terrible about yourself... sound like a good time?" Yes, I would definitely buy a videogame from this man.

XCom: Enemy Unknown comes out on October 9 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

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you have a typo
stunt intead of stint.

i am somewhat excited to see this game.
and the features that are "missing" might be "fixed" with some mods.

Already bought it so I can't wait till it finally gets released. Also would anyone really recognize ANY developer aside from Gabe or even Notch? Lets see someone recognize the head developer of Halo 4 or Black Ops2 on the street.

Alright. That was hilarious. I love it.

kajinking:
Already bought it so I can't wait till it finally gets released. Also would anyone really recognize ANY developer aside from Gabe or even Notch? Lets see someone recognize the head developer of Halo 4 or Black Ops2 on the street.

He's such a cool guy I don't think Solomon mines.

rhizhim:
you have a typo
stunt intead of stint.

I don't think it's a typo. Jake Solomon's career now includes a stint as a game salesman at Power Gamer.

The Dictionary:
stint
noun
- a period of time spent doing something: a two-year stint in the army.
- an allotted amount or piece of work: to do one's daily stint.

kajinking:
Would anyone really recognize ANY developer aside from Gabe or even Notch? Lets see someone recognize the head developer of Halo 4 or Black Ops2 on the street.

I think I'd only recognise CliffyB/David Jaffe/John Carmack/Sid Meier. Just all the old people who were big names from before when development teams were much smaller, maybe with more indy games coming around we'll see more Notches popping up.

I wish more game designer would do this, it'd be awesome and they'd become more recognisable! Anyway I wasn't planning on buying this game soon but now I may have to rethink that decision.

If i hadn't preordered already, I'd certainly buy from him.

Every single video I've seen of this guy (and there are quite a lot of them now) only makes me like him more :D
Such unbridled passion towards his product is rarely seen in the market today. Most people tend to leave the sales pitching to the PR guys.

This should be mandatory for all lead designers, right before their successfully shipped games emerge. The hilarity would be epic and marketing would be served.

I also loved his lines at the start of the DTOID multiplayer video that's linked next to this one:

Jake: "Hmm...yeah, that's a good squad. But you wanna know which units' points I'll be ramping up right before the game comes out? Cyberdiscs - way fucking overpowerd! The heavy floaters? OP as hell! So if you wanna win, you might wanna pick those!"
Reviewer: "Naaaw...naw, that'd be like cheating, right?"
Jake: "Well, it's not cheating because I haven't fixed it yet."

Hahah, I honestly wish more developers were this upfront.

That was funny. The guy in the green, he was like the embodiment of all that is dude-bro in gaming xD.

Ha, this was great!
Guy: "i'm gonna get all my guys killed!"
Jake: *looks at him* "Yes you will."

Awwwww nuts. Here I was thinking Julian Gollop had a new game out, instead it's just some other guy riding on Gollop's coat-tails.

I guess I don't get the joke because I found this a pathetic display of marketing. His words are full of doubt, his arguments forced to be liked. I seriously wonder what's going on in his mind right now.

He really didn't want his game to be Unknown to the public!

OT: Great marketing, he made me want to go buy it! :D

Would definately buy from him with that sales pitch.

Sadly though due to the unfortunate reality of thousands worth of damage done to the car by some arsehole hit and run driver, no XCOM for moi this year.

P.S. If anybody notices/knows of any compo's running to win a copy, I'd appreciate a heads up! :)

God damn it, He seems like a genuinely nice and funny guy trying to sell the game he's proud of.

"You have successfully pre-ordered X-com enemy unknown"

I HATE it when advertising works on me.

plus I bet this guy gets ALL the clunge.

I would have totally went halfsies with him! Sixty bucks is a steal for that $120 bad boy. On a more serious note, I do hope that XCOM sells a incalculably stupid amount of copies.

This is priceless. With all the press these guys are doing, I recognize his voice. So far Giant Bomb, Game Trailers, and Gamespot have all had playthrough sessions where Jake and Garth played the game with characters named after personalities from their respective site. They're pretty entertaining.

Seeing this video makes me wish I hadn't already bought the game on Steam. That way I could say Jake talked me into it with this video.

I bought the original game on steam after a former coworker ranted on and on about the rare PSX version. You know what.. It was pretty intense and fun. I hope the new one brings back that feeling of unease when yours assaulted by a new opponent with more sophisticated weapons and you're struggling to retro engineer their stuff while under assault. Come to think of it, that's why Robotech/Macross was interesting, way back when.

This video opens with warning of M rating
You know "Blood and gore" "Strong language" "Violence"
My first thought:
"Holy crap, what kind of stuff that guy did?"

Edit: Ok, there was no blood or gore, and no violence. Even "strong language" wasn't that strong- he said BS once (and the word shit was censored). I wouldn't rate this video higher than T

UFO: Enemy Unknown was one of the best games of the '90s, & certainly one of the best games on the Amiga. The Steam demo shows lots of promise, making me optimistic that this remake has kept the demanding tension of the original. If only they could have remade Syndicate in the same vein.

Goddamn it now I want to buy this game, and he wasn't even talking to me. This guy needs to start working in marketing ASAP xD.

He is a funny guy, and he looks good on camera, but boy does he lack timing. People in a game store don't want to pre-purchase they want to buy something they can play now.

Yeah I know the video is meant as internet marketing, just trying to stay with the setting. ;-)

I do like their attitude of trying to bring a cerebral game to a mass market. It's great to try open up people's minds a bit. In the long run that can be beneficial to both the hardcore strategy niche of gamers as well as those with a taste for action.

blackrave:
This video opens with warning of M rating
You know "Blood and gore" "Strong language" "Violence"
My first thought:
"Holy crap, what kind of stuff that guy did?"

Edit: Ok, there was no blood or gore, and no violence. Even "strong language" wasn't that strong- he said BS once (and the word shit was censored). I wouldn't rate this video higher than T

That was the rating for the game ^^; Which has all of those things you mentioned.
5 more days... maybe that's why I've been sleeping normally lately?

I wonder if that cop(y/ies) was actually for sell or not or just to get a pre-orders.

"Your soldiers, they die, and none of that fake videogame bullshit, when your guys in this game die they're gone for good... your soldiers are out there dying from decisions you've made, you're crying, you feel terrible about yourself... sound like a good time?"

..... YES!

Mid Boss:
"Your soldiers, they die, and none of that fake videogame bullshit, when your guys in this game die they're gone for good... your soldiers are out there dying from decisions you've made, you're crying, you feel terrible about yourself... sound like a good time?"

..... YES!

If your soldiers are out there dying because of the decisions you made and you're laughing, then you're playing Dwarf Fortress.

Also... I feel his pitches, while enthusiastic, didn't really try to sell to the people he was marketing it to... such as the guy who said "I like to play RPGs" - he could have talked about how XCOM had some of the same things that make RPGs good in it as well, on top of the combat and strategy.

Scow2:

Mid Boss:
"Your soldiers, they die, and none of that fake videogame bullshit, when your guys in this game die they're gone for good... your soldiers are out there dying from decisions you've made, you're crying, you feel terrible about yourself... sound like a good time?"

..... YES!

If your soldiers are out there dying because of the decisions you made and you're laughing, then you're playing Dwarf Fortress.

Also... I feel his pitches, while enthusiastic, didn't really try to sell to the people he was marketing it to... such as the guy who said "I like to play RPGs" - he could have talked about how XCOM had some of the same things that make RPGs good in it as well, on top of the combat and strategy.

That's the difference between a PR guy and a developer. The first knows how to say it, the developer doesn't always do these things well.

So...

Whereas Cliffy B was the charismatic avatar for the dude-bro gamers, this guy seems to be the avatar for the nerdy gamers.

Sounds good to me.

I was already considering buying the game before, but if the team behind the game was as passionate about making it as this guy seems to be, then I may just break down and actually buy it.

Guess I should get around to trying that demo. Just haven't been able to pull myself away from playing Torchlight 2 and Dota 2.

Lono Shrugged:
God damn it, He seems like a genuinely nice and funny guy trying to sell the game he's proud of.

"You have successfully pre-ordered X-com enemy unknown"

I HATE it when advertising works on me.

plus I bet this guy gets ALL the clunge.

I have never heard that word used outside of the inbetweeners

Aetherlblade:

Scow2:

Mid Boss:
"Your soldiers, they die, and none of that fake videogame bullshit, when your guys in this game die they're gone for good... your soldiers are out there dying from decisions you've made, you're crying, you feel terrible about yourself... sound like a good time?"

..... YES!

If your soldiers are out there dying because of the decisions you made and you're laughing, then you're playing Dwarf Fortress.

Also... I feel his pitches, while enthusiastic, didn't really try to sell to the people he was marketing it to... such as the guy who said "I like to play RPGs" - he could have talked about how XCOM had some of the same things that make RPGs good in it as well, on top of the combat and strategy.

That's the difference between a PR guy and a developer. The first knows how to say it, the developer doesn't always do these things well.

If by "PR Guy" you mean anybody trying to sell a product, from best friend to store clerk to head of a marketing department.

 

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