GWJ Conference Call Episode 270

Conference Call

Not Playing Skyrim, Skyward Sword,Back to WoW, Infinity Blade II, iPad Boardgames, Better VGAs, What to Do With Franchises From Dead Studios, Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn, Julian, Elysium and Cory tackle your Twitter questions and emails!

To contact us, email [email protected]! Send us your thoughts on the show, pressing issues you want to talk about or whatever else is on your mind. You can even send a 30 second audio question or comment (MP3 format please) if you're so inclined.

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Zelda: Skyward Sword
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Infinity Blade 2
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iPad Boardgames

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Final Wave Theme - Dungeon Defenders - http://dungeondefenders.com/ - 22:27

Spike in a Rail - Bastion - http://store.supergiantgames.com/col... - 44:27

Comments

ClockworkHouse wrote:

There's always the Valve route of turning popular indie games into advertisements for your new product. People ate that up.

Which way around did that work though? Once the Potato sack - Portal2 link was established, was the indies selling Valve, or Valve selling the indies? None of those indie games was a mini-Portal2 that trailed the main game.

I guess what I'm driving at is that there's no demo for an upcoming game coming out attached to other games. Publishers don't put out a teaser demo for their games that come out in a few months time with something releasing now. Why doesn't Activision trail Diablo3 in purchases of COD:MW3 (probably a bad example with the beta being around). With things like onlive/gaikai they have new possibilities to explore to get previews into the hands of potential buyers, why not show the vertical slice demo to the public, why not show the same thing you're showing the press.

Probably a part of this is how big an item games try to be now, it costs me a quarter to a third of the cost to go see a movie at the cinema than it does to buy a game new (lets just imagine they're broadly equivalent), it's often right up to the wire that the thing is even being completed, with patches even to the release day, or afterwards for buggy games.

I'd be interested to see a 2 minute trailer-game of Diablo3. A compressed little snippet that gives you the condensed core of the game, and cuts to the title just as a big juggernaut of a boss appears on screen.

(Bleh. My train of thought got lost in there somehow)

Scratched wrote:

I'm not saying games need to force you to watch trailers before the 'main feature', but that they lack an equivalent way of getting customers aware of upcoming games. That said, when EA puts up a notice in Origin of a game they want to sell me I promptly close it.

I take it your town doesn't get covered with ads for each upcoming EA game the way mine does.

wordsmythe wrote:

I take it your town doesn't get covered with ads for each upcoming EA game the way mine does.

Reason #234 Chicago sucks.

St. Louis definitely does not see that.

And I don't mean that about Chicago. I think it is awesome, except for the Cubs. Would move there is a second.

wordsmythe wrote:
doubtingthomas396 wrote:
hbi2k wrote:

You could probably dedicate a whole podcast to how to make a good televised video game awards show.

How to make a better VGAs, though? That's easy: drop "awards" from the title and stop pretending that anyone involved cares about honoring the creative people who make video games. Instead, be honest with the audience, and call it the Annual Televised Airing of Trailers and New Game Announcements Spectacular, since that's clearly what they care about, and that's fine. There's a place for that. It's getting that mixed up with a half-assed attempt at an awards show that causes confusion.

I can get behind that.

They can call it "E3"

Which makes it more obvious that they're trying to solve a problem that already has a solution.

Except that E3 isn't really televised in a single two-hour "event" that's easy for the massive audience of people who don't hang out on forums like this (we're going to get all the news and see all the trailers we care about anyway) to tune in for.

Now, if Spike wanted to coincide its Trailerpalooza with E3 or some other big trade show so that publishers could double-dip, that would certainly work.

I think the biggest problem here is trying to sell an inherently interactive product through a passive outlet. A two hour show of video game trailers would boil down to a collection of extended commercials that don't necessarily reflect the product, or five minutes of seeing how much fun some random dude is having.

There's nothing wrong with either of those things, but they're kind of built for youtube either way. It's not something I'd want to block out two hours to watch if I could be spending that time doing something else.

Conventions like E3 give people an actual feel for how the game is going to be. Movies are two hours long, on balance, and a minute long trailer can give you a good taste of it. Games run between 8 and 40 hours, so a minute of footage doesn't convey the same flavor, as a percentage.

i think Little Big Planet 2 had a good solution to the problem of getting the word out on new games. There were demos and trailers of upcoming titles for the PS3 built onto the disc. You could access them, or not, as you wished, and they were on a separate "disc" labeled "bonus features" which tended to attract the curiosity and encourage people to open it. If you strap trailers into gateway games like that, games that people who don't spend a lot of time on gaming forums might play, then you get exposure. And the good kind of exposure, not the kind that accompanies a CNN crawl about some controversy involving dead goats or half naked women.

Sounds to me like the industry (or at least the PR wing) needs some sort of big event in the winter to promote everything that slipped from the holiday release window into the new year. Which is kinda odd given the Europeans already have Gamescom and Eurogamer Expo in the fall. Plus there's PAX Prime for the Americans.

Maybe some companies should consider returning to CES?

Jayhawker wrote:

Reason #234 Chicago sucks. :-P

Cambridge was blanketed with ads for L4D and Spore a few years ago. Haven't seen much from EA aside from the MBTA bus ads for Portal 2 earlier this year. Which was pretty awesome actually.

Jayhawker wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

I take it your town doesn't get covered with ads for each upcoming EA game the way mine does.

Reason #234 Chicago sucks.

St. Louis definitely does not see that.

And I don't mean that about Chicago. I think it is awesome, except for the Cubs. Would move there is a second.

You know, a pretty big part of our city agrees with you. Roughly 2/3 of the geographic area of Chicago is on the Sox Side.

But just about every big release gets billboards and posters on CTA busses around here. Maybe it's the population factor, since we are largely without major dev presence. I suppose we do have a lot of non-games tech workers, though.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

I think the biggest problem here is trying to sell an inherently interactive product through a passive outlet.

It certainly isn't the first time that a medium has been advertised in a different medium. The Casablanca poster I have on the wall certainly doesn't capture the dynamic nature of film.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

There's nothing wrong with either of those things, but they're kind of built for youtube either way. It's not something I'd want to block out two hours to watch if I could be spending that time doing something else.

Me neither, but publishers who advertise on TV aren't aiming at us. All they need to do to get our attention is issue a press release (or, hell, a tweet). They're going after the large mass of people who don't read video game blogs or post on forums or listen to podcasts. The great advantage of television is that it's a "push" medium capable of reaching people who don't even know they're interested yet.