Game over for television advertising?

Television, that box in your living room or bedroom that not only connects to your chosen games console, but also transmits them fancy moving pictures – or television programmes as they’re also known. Now, while television is of course still a massive form of entertainment in many households throughout the world, publishers seem increasingly keen to move away from advertising their games on the box.

Why? Well, some just don’t see TV as that relevant to video game marketing anymore. Speaking to thealistdaily, THQ’s VP of core games Danny Bilson said;

“One of the bigger questions we have to ask ourselves is how important is television? How important is television to a core gamer on a non-television brand? So I think television has some relevance on WWE and UFC because I consider those TV brands. But our other stuff, I question it severely.”

“It’s incredibly expensive, and what I can do with two million dollars, which will buy a few TV spots on a big sporting event, what I can do in outdoor, or on the web, or direct-to-consumer is way more exciting.”

“You know where I want to market? I want to market on Xbox Live. I want to market on PSN… Television is a big question mark for me.”

Mr Bilson does appear to make a good point, why spend millions on a television ad which non-gamers will not be interested in, when you can spend much less on advertising the game online?

EA share a similar view, and senior VP and head of European publishing, Dr Jens Uwe Intat recently revealed that they also plan to spend less on advertising with the intention of investing the saved cash into games development.

“Part of it will go online, but most of it will actually be invested into making good games – despite the fact that a lot of marketing money is spent on a Call of Duty or FIFA, when we look at our research, most people actually buy a game because of a referral from a friend.

“So the product quality at the end of the day is still the dominant criterion,”

Online games communities are ever expanding and it’s likely that a gamer will see more adverts online than they would on television, or as EA point out, hear about a game from a friend via word of mouth or perhaps an internet forum.

The very nature of online advertising also means that it’s easy for smaller independent Games Developers, Games Designers and Games Artist & Animators to market their games. Of course, a Train2Game student is unlikely to have the millions needed to fund a high profile television campaign at this time!

So, what are your plans for advertising your first game? How will you market your first creation? And do you think online advertising will become superior to its television counterpart?

As usual, leave your thoughts here or on the Train2Game forum.

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