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Silicon Knights President Criticizes Game Marketing Methods

| 1 May 2007 14:05

Denis Dyack, founder and president of Canadian game developer Silicon Knights, said in a recent interview that the game industry must change the way it markets products, because the system as it stands is inherently wasteful and encourages publishers to release incomplete games.

Speaking in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Dyack blames many of the game industry's current woes on the marketing model in use, which both forces developers to focus on previews and press shows rather than actual game development, and inflicts considerable extra financial costs when release dates are pushed back.

Dyack states that he would like to see marketing for new games follow a model similar to that used for movies, with advertising campaigns not beginning until the game is complete. He also makes clear his belief that early builds of games meant as previews for the press can have negative consequences, and that reviewers and critics should only have access to final, release versions of games.

Citing ever-increasing costs in game development, Dyack says he believes the industry has "no choice" but to change. Referring to Silicon Knights' own experience at E3 2006, he said, "The press that we got at E3 didn't make any sense, it never justified the amount of work that we had to spend on it when we should have been working on the game itself. Three months of development time to produce a demo for a three day show? That's crazy."

Silicon Knights, based in St. Catharines, Ontario, was founded in 1992, and has developed games for both the console and PC markets. Currently, Silicon Knights is working on the action-RPG Too Human for the Xbox 360.

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