Thursday, 10 May 2012
Don't be a Facebook Pawn
I get an email from big game publisher A about their big game sequel B that is coming out Autumn. This email excitedly tells me that if I share out a link to their game sequel's web page, I can help towards them revealing a gameplay trailer for the big game B. I can do this by either liking it on Facebook or tweeting with the appropriate hash-tag on. This generated a not inconsiderable amount of rage inside me.
Hang on, I thought, you want me to pimp out your game to my acquaintances, for free, in order that you can reveal a trailer for a game that you hope I will buy in the future. I don't swear often in blogs, however I can't think of any other way to put it than "Fuck you Publisher A". As you will have notice I have not confirmed the game in question. That is because, as much as it pissed me off, I have no intention of giving game B any more publicity.
This is not the first time marketers have tried this tack. EA, on the run up to Battlefield 3, demanded 1 million likes on Facebook before releasing the trailer. Again in that case they were the subject of much derision. I think we, as gamers, need to make a unified stand against this sort of coercion. Lets be honest should Publisher A never get enough social networking shares, are they never going to release the trailer, or indeed the game? No of course not. I understand the desire to see footage of a enticing new game, but playing these stupid games isn't going to get you to play it any earlier.
Also if you are interested in the game, it sure as hell doesn't mean that everyone that you know is going to be interested as well. Case in point is the Secret World's web page game, The Secret War. This is a simple flash game were you have to "recruit" people on Facebook, to progress, with the incentive of guaranteed beta access to The Secret World. My wife played this but she couldn't recruit any of her actual Facebook friends, because they weren't interested, so she found a Facebook group specifically for The Secret War and added loads of people as friends. Yes that's right, this silly web game resulted in her exclusively expressing an interest in The Secret World with people who were already interested in the game.
These Facebook and social networking marketing schemes ultimately fail because the only people that use them, are already interested. And if anything has a negative effect, spamming your friends with stuff they simply aren't interested in. Lets start the boycott now huh?
Posted by Laurence Cook at 19:55