Articles & Editorials: Marketing Strategy

  • Date: 14/01/2006 | Author: Mr Lee

So you’ve all jumped onto the ‘Mark Skaggs Conspiracy’ bandwagon, and you now want to wield large maces and flails while smashing apart EALA for their blasphemous crimes against us, the community? Maybe you need to wake up and smell the sale potential, for you are being subject to something much better than you expect. You’re being used as sales chickens, and EA is just waiting for the right time to feed you so you don’t go dropping the precious eggs off to Petroglyph and other people.

This ladies and gentlemen, is called a marketing strategy.

I’ve heard cries of murder and conspiracy within this community. The death of Westwood Studios to the conglomerate that is EA is not the fault of EA really. Some people don’t seem to realise that EA are one of the most benevolent of the games people because they have so much in their power that they can afford to take their times with some of their smaller titles and make them into great things. You look at the evolution of the Sage graphics engine and tell me that there isn’t room within it for a new C&C, and then I think you’re full of it. There’s easily more room for improvement in that engine, and if there’s any doubt of that, take a look at the new water effects on BFME2.

Speaking of BFME2, and that kettle of fish, maybe you should consider the following: BFME2 explores unfamiliar territory in a universe made by someone else. Star Wars just shoves itself into a well documented storyline that everyone knows, and the hype of familiar ground draws people in like flies to decaying flesh.

We’ve seen the BFME2 beta, and EA has done something very clever. There are people out there now drooling because of a BETA, this means guaranteed sales and hype that will sell more games. That’s clever marketing strategy. Relying on a heavy fan base for a game normally sells, so Star Wars vs. Lord of the Rings really looked to be the fist fight of the century. However, BFME2 explores something you all hadn’t expected, it goes into different scenarios and different places than a conventional LoTR game would. Is that such a bad thing? I don’t think so and neither does EA. This is clever market strategy because it’ll penetrate to hardened fan boys – the hardest ones to win over. These are the types who’ll spread the game as a proclamation of the lords gaming will, and insist you know nothing until you buy it. Again, clever strategy.

While we’re passing by drooling fan boys, I feel you, the community need a mention. How many of you are buying the First Decade? I see that’s a majority then. How many of you can afford the First Decade and Empire at War in a short space of time? I see the hands decreasing. Well, you’ve got a real dilemma on your hands now. Part of the rabid base of EAW is you, the command and conquer veteran expecting something great and then you have to decide between reliving all of the old and moving to the unexpected. EA has already proved that we don’t like the new by the way BFME2 is not the way forward, and EAW is not as familiar ground as the good ole C&C games. This is a very clever marketing strategy, and one I think will show EA’s moxy and the kind of cunning that’s made them into the number 1 gaming company in the world. BAR NONE!

Can you see how this fits in with Mark Skaggs? His early announcement about RA3 is a real spanner in the strategy, and the weak link was removed, it just happened to be a very public link. There’s no conspiracy in that, just common sense.

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