Video game companies invest a large amount of time, money, and effort in upcoming games and new releases. This is so the interest and awareness is there, but isn't the awareness already there. Avid gamers already know the release date to the titles they want, from numerous magazines, tv shows, web shows, websites, posters, store listings, and blog posts. Most of which cost the companies little to nothing for advertisements.
Should the advertising and marketing budgets be cut?
No if anything the budgets should be increased. A larger investment in advertising and marketing will result in more sales. Their is a point when more advertising will not result in more sales. Tradition advertising does work but more can be done to improve sales and awareness. Bungie and Microsoft spent over 250 million on the creation and promotion of Halo 3. This allowed for one of the best first day sales ever, as well as the best selling game in 2007. What should happen is the budgets should be adjusted to allow for new ideas and avenues for advertising.
One idea would be for hosting a video game tournament at college(s) around the country.
Taking 10 million from the budget, or cutting the number of commercials by as little as 10 airings could cover setting up and running a tournament at a large college. College students are one of the main demographics of video game players. Video game tournaments have been around since the days of the arcade machines. Many movies about video games and tournaments have been made including The Wizard showed the popular Nintendo World Champion Tournament. Tournaments are continually becoming more popular with profession circuits, teams, advertisements, fans, in all aspects a sport.
Tournament logistics for a successful event:
- The tournament should be held on a campus with the resources and size to be able to host a large gaming tournament in both space and utilities.
- The tournament should be the weekend prior to the release date, this will allow for fair play, the game will be completed, as well as the most "buzz" will be generated.
- There will be a tournament entry fee and prizes similar to other cash tournaments.
- Each participant will have 1 hour practice time to get accustomed to the controls of the new game and strategize.
- The platforms and games will be provided for the tournament from Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo.
- The number provided will be dependent on the number of entrants and size of campus but between 100 and 200 platforms and copies of the game.
- The televisions will be rented out as well as anything else that is required.
- The game chosen will be one with multiplayer, a highly anticipated release, and can have quick yet detailed matches.
- The format will follow standard cash tournament setup with matches, eliminations, and rules.
- Held once a semester, at different campuses.
Basically the rules and set up will follow those of other cash tournaments. The systems, games, and anything else that is needed will be rented or provided from the game system's company, who ever the tourney is for. The game will be one that will be released in the upcoming week and has multiplayer.
Halo 3 Tournament: What could have been
As stated earlier Halo 3 had one of the largest budgets for a video game. There was a lot of press for the release of the game and numerous parties. Bungie and Microsoft could have also held a video game tournament with Halo 3 the weekend prior to its release at one of numerous colleges. This tournament would have brought numerous popular video game all stars to the event and press coverage. College students would also attend and compete and the hosting college and city would receive a large amount of press and increased revenues from the travelers and event. For the cost of about 10 national commercials Microsoft could have paid for the tournament, or had the fees cover a majority of the costs. To also help with the costs, which are minimal for the amount of exposure that will be received, many sponsors could help spread the costs. Some sponsors could include beverage or retail companies including Walmart, Best Buy, and GameStop. Additional PR is always a benefit especially when its free and gets covered and picked up all over, which this tournament would have.
Would you like a tournament like this at your college, city? Would you attend a tournament? Would this make you more likely to purchase the game?