The success of the Dead Rising 2 DLC shows that it's a more effective marketing tool than TV, says Capcom.
Half a million gamers bought the downloadable DR2 prequel, Case Zero in just two weeks, which, according to Capcom's UK product manager Karl Reader, is about the same about of exposure as you'd get from a TV campaign costing millions.
Reader called DLC the "most dynamic sales weapon" Capcom had ever had. He thought that by offering a complete experience for a low price, Capcom had found a marketing solution where everybody won. He said that gamers got to enjoy the game, retailers got a surge of pre-orders they might not otherwise have gotten, and Capcom was able to more accurately gauge demand for the game and adjust its plans accordingly.
Reader believes that Capcom will set a precedent that other publishers will be quick to follow, resulting in a tide of episodic gaming with Capcom at the helm. He said that with development costs and risk rising, it was only a matter of time before premium DLC like Case Zero was common. Capcom isn't the first company to take a stab at episodic gaming - Valve and Telltale are just two developers that beat Capcom to it - but Case Zero might help the idea pick up momentum.
It's not really surprising that Case Zero was so effective; Xbox Live is essentially a direct channel to Capcom's target audience, whereas with TV advertising you can never be sure exactly who's watching. Dead Rising 2 is available today in Europe and will be released on September 28th in North America.