Friday, December 21, 2007

There aren't enough game ads on TV!

I was watching TV today, and I realized something: There are nowhere near enough video game commercials on the air! In the last week, I've mostly seen ads for only two games: Naruto Ninja Revolution and Rayman Raving Rabbids 2. Where are the ads for NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams? How about Zack and Wiki? Sure, Zack and Wiki may not be a recent release, but I never saw a single ad for it outside of a gaming magazine.

The point is, not enough games are being advertised to the general public. The most you get with a title most of the time is an ad in a game magazine and perhaps a viral video or two. What's going to happen to next year's games? Where are No More Heroes and Dragon Quest Swords? Almost no games get advertised on television, with few exceptions.

I also see a lot of ads for games that would have sold really well even if unadvertised. Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 would have sold tonnes due to the success and popularity of the first, and Naruto Ninja Revolution would have done great because it's based on the current "it" anime. It seems that the games that most need advertising are the ones that don't get even a second of airtime. Games like Endless Ocean and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn will never sell to the general public without some ads!

I think this may be the core reason that most third-party games don't sell too well. Sure, big titles like the two examples above will sell like made because of their license and/or legacy, but many third-party games don't have a snowball's chance in hell. Nintendo games sell due to the company's popularity, licensed titles sell due to the license, and some games sell due to the reputation of their franchise. But games like Zack & Wiki and NiGHTS just don't have those factors. They aren't the kind of game a person will see on a store shelf and pick up.

I think that more games need to be advertised, particularly those from third-parties who seem oblivious to why their sales are so low. It's the ads, people! Dole out a few dozen grand for an ad campaign, and then you'll see the sales you seek. Make some good ads, and you'll more than make up for the extra expense.

It's a real pity when great games fail to sell due to lack of advertising. I really mean this. Quality titles simply fade away, undiscovered, simply because people haven't heard of them. So come on, third-parties: If you're so confident your game is great, then prove it. Advertise your product.

The Duck Has Spoken.

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