Washington Post (free registration may be needed) has a very interesting piece on the efforts by Game Development companies to attract journalists and get publicity for their products– like Pete Hines at one point says, control the information.
A little validation from Masson, a writer for the French game magazine PC Jeux, and others like him can help tip the scales in the competitive game industry, where a cutting-edge title takes many years and millions of dollars to develop. That’s why game designers, like movie studios, have learned to lavishly court such tastemakers, the guys who write for the major blogs and magazines and play a key role in today’s big-bucks video game industry.[…]
In addition to an hour-long demo and chats with the game’s designers, the trip included a two-night stay in downtown’s swank Helix Hotel, dinner at Logan Tavern and a private party at a nightclub in Adams Morgan. Airfare, hotel, food, drinks and shuttle bus were provided, courtesy of Bethesda Softworks. Although a few attendees paid their own way, most did not.
“What we’re trying to accomplish with an event like this is to have the undivided attention of the important people in our industry, that cover the industry,” said Pete Hines, vice president of marketing at Bethesda Softworks, whose Fallout 3 will be set in a version of Washington that’s been scorched by war. “There are a lot of titles out there competing for attention.”
It looks like Bethesda Softworks is getting that attention: Fallout 3 is scheduled to soon grace the covers of 20 gamer magazines, largely as a result of the event.
Bethesda Softworks’ parent company, ZeniMax, is privately held and won’t disclose the game’s budget, but it’s not uncommon for the budgets of cutting-edge titles like Fallout 3 to exceed $20 million, including marketing costs.
The previous Fallout titles, first released a decade ago, are beloved by many computer gamers for their quirky, dark sense of humor. The franchise still has rabid fans who anxiously pore over and debate every scrap of information Hines makes public.
Some fans of Bethesda Softworks’ last blockbuster, Oblivion, still stake out the company’s front parking lot, hoping to chat up employees and score their autographs. One tried to sneak into the Fallout 3 preview event.
“That’s why we have security,” the receptionist at the front desk explained.
Give the man a medal :salute:
The best part is a video displaying highlights of the event and an interview with Pete Hines, very interesting stuff.