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All publicity is good publicity
November 30th 2000, 01:05 CET by Intaglio

Daikatana's week one sales were mediocre. Certainly not of the caliber one would expect from a game which had been in development for more than four years.

No-one expected Daikatana to sell the astronomical number of units required to match its development costs, but its first week sales did little to even approach the cost of John Romero's hummer.

After the Dallas Observer stories surfaced, ION Storm entered a veritable PR vacuum, releasing very little information, presumably in the hope of quelling the current storm in which the company was engulfed.

However, was it this storm which stirred up interest in Daikatana in the first place?

After the initial shock of John Romero hiring the gaming industry's hot shots to form a super-company, the glamour of the high-rise Chase building offices and the starry-eyed gaze of young map-makers hoping to be the next ION Storm employee died down, the only news Daikatana was producing was missed deadlines and engine switches.

At first, John Romero told us we were to become his bitch. Now we wondered if he was even going to shoot us a threatening look.

The truth is, the Dallas Observer article did more to bring Daikatana to the attention of its audience than countless interviews and screenshot releases could have. The situation created by the Dallas Observer put Daikatana in the spotlight and handed them the metaphorical ball. And they dropped it.

Each additional day the title was in development, it lost money, money which both Eidos and ION Storm knew it wouldn't be able to recover. Would it have been better to cut back the incredibly ambitious storyline, polish what content was already created and release it whilst the gaming world was still buzzing, or sit back, push until the very end and release a game whose fate was dealt before it was even born? Obviously, after seeing the results of the latter, one is inclined to go with the former.

Publicity is publicity is publicity. No-one is going to remember Daikatana in 10 years, in the same way that no-one is going to remember the movie "Water World" -- it doesn't possess the attributes of a classic. It's hard for me to imagine that the management at ION Storm couldn't see that. So if they knew the game wasn't going to be a hit, and they knew that additional development costs weren't going to be recovered, what was the point of pressing the game for an additional six months?

An opportunity arose (the articles and subsequent Internet fever) which would allow the game to sell more copies than it could by itself, and that opportunity was passed up. Yet another bad PR decision to strike up for ION Storm.
Home » Topic: All publicity is good publicity

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#1 by "mcgrew"
2000-11-30 01:07:36
Nobody gets it! Hah!
#2 by "MrSparkle"
2000-11-30 01:21:05
I can see it now:
Daikatana: The day gaming died (The Ion Storm Story)
Possible VH1 or HBO investegative documentary?
#3 by "mcgrew"
2000-11-30 01:25:26
Hey, I <i>liked</i> waterworld!

One of (maybe "the") last old planet crap thread mentioned bitchx and the observer, but everybody has forgotten flamethrower's input into this. Flamey was roasted, but good, lots of places but especially here for his expose' on his page.

Even Chet, his new host, didn't mention flamey; and flamey was the one who started OMM's rise to success, the first to give OMM a link. I doubt anybody would have heard of either my page or chet's page had it not been for flamethrower; my first decent exposure was from evil avatar, who heard of the fragfest from flamethrower's real audio show.

The Observer article vindicated his page. Nobody thanked him or apologized to him.

And you wonder why he thinks so highly of you all?

I, for one, thank flamethrower not only for exposing my page, but turning me on to old man murray, and for a whole bunch of other stuff.

The gaming community would not be what it was without flamethrower and I wish he's hurry up and post that page on POE.
#4 by "Intaglio"
2000-11-30 01:27:40
I played through a good portion of Daikatana and I don't feel that it was completely bad as much as it was just out of place.
#5 by "NikNak"
2000-11-30 01:33:36
Yeah, I feel sorry for Romero and the Daikaitana gang.  They got loads of free publicity (sure, a lot of it was negative) but they really dropped the ball with the finished product.  Imagine if JR and Killcreek had produced a Half-Life caliber game when they first said they would finish Daikatana.  I would've glady admitted to being Romero's bitch.  Heck, even if they had finished Daikatana the way Romero hyped it out to be, I would've been impressed.  As it is, though, JR's opus is a mediocre offering at best.  It looks even worse when compared to ION Storm's own sister title Deus Ex.
#6 by "Intaglio"
2000-11-30 01:50:26
Well thats the thing, from what I understand John Romero didn't actually do any work on Daikatana.
#7 by "SubcommandantePedro"
2000-11-30 02:14:39
Um...can't planetcrap do any better than "why daikatana sucks" topics?

Surely there are other more topical things that suck.
#8 by "Desiato"
2000-11-30 02:58:05
Then submit a story you dumbass.

Ooops - I mean, loyal planetcrap whiner.

#9 by "Intaglio"
2000-11-30 03:08:06
can't planetcrap do any better than "why daikatana sucks" topics?

You obviously missed the entire point of the article. It wasn't about "why daikatana sucks"; that was presented as a given. The article revolved around how Ion Storm could have used the negative publicity they got from the Dallas Observer to benefit the sales of their game.
#10 by "SubcommandantePedro"
2000-11-30 03:21:01
Whatever.  I'm personally done pummelling that deceased equine.  You folks feel free to go ahead, though.
#11 by "Kelster"
2000-11-30 04:40:37
4, I agree. There were things about Daikatana which bothered me, but overall, it was a somewhat enjoyable game (I didn't find any of the hate Daily Radar expressed). IMHO, JR and crew did drop the ball, but the story of the game isn't the black/white picture many folks portray in their raves. Geoff's article, Knee Deep In a Dream - Daikatana, opened my eyes quite a bit. There were more forces in play than most of us care to examine.

I believe that Ion's next game under the leadership of TheRomero will be a huge success. I think they learnt their lesson and hope they're wise enough to view Daikatana as a learning experience.

#12 by "JMCDaveL"
2000-11-30 06:22:24
God bless the Texas Martini Foundation! *sarcasm*

~I'm for real~
#13 by "Lumberjack"
2000-11-30 07:10:05
You might want to make a correction to the into to the article on the front page.  It has been nearly two years since the Dallas observer article was published.  The article was written and published in the fall of 1998.
#14 by "Lumberjack"
2000-11-30 07:21:37
Sorry, just checked the Geoff Keighly article, it was published in late January of 1999...still almost two years, not one.
#15 by "DukeNukem"
2000-11-30 15:34:12
Andy:  "After the initial shock of John Romero hiring the gaming industry's hot shots to form a super-company..."

This statement isn't correct.  What hotshots?  John himself admits that hiring all those developers "off the net" resulted in a poorly experienced team

In any case, all the PR would have been fine had the game been a Half-Life.

PR does the job of generating awareness and curiousity, but word-of-mouth is the only way to generate hit-selling numbers, and word-of-mouth only comes from the game selling itself.

Scott Miller
#16 by "VictimsWrongs"
2000-11-30 17:08:55
The topic that will not die. The only difference is that each subsequent piece becomes more factually incorrect and logically inane.

Daikatana did prove, however, that you can have infinite publicity and still not have huge sales.
#17 by "CreoleNed"
2000-11-30 17:47:36
Scott, Andy did not write the article.
#18 by "Gunp01nt"
2000-11-30 20:44:06
All publicity is good publicity? this is only partially right. I'm a communication student and this issue would belong to the expertise of my education and we have been taught that bad publicity is better than no a certain end. When all those old guys/politicians started to whine about Carmageddon (at least, they did in the Netherlands) the game's sales skyrocketed with kids thinking either: 1 FUCK my parent and the government, I'll buy it to show them they suck, or 2 HAH! THEY don't like it? that has to mean it's good!

But in the case of Daikatana (double bad cuz from now on every gamer will link Ion Storm to Daikatana and might decide not to buy a game based on this) expectations were too high and Johnny Romero (who, in contrast to what he claims, is NOT the inventor of the FPS genre; the FIRST EVER FPS game was Ken's Labyrinth by... Ken Silverman, the MAN! that made the BUILD engine of my all time favorite game: DUKE NUKEM 3D) was boasting all the time. He even put Doom high up in his personal game top ten.
#19 by "Intaglio"
2000-11-30 22:21:11
"After the initial shock of John Romero hiring the gaming industry's hot shots to form a super-company..."

This statement isn't correct. What hotshots? John himself admits that hiring all those developers "off the net" resulted in a poorly experienced team

When you think of a hot shot you think of a youngish, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, "new wave" rebel type person. What I mean by the statement was that he hired mainly younger, "new school" type people whose first games were DOOM, Quake, etc.

Regardless, it seems to me that the point of the story wasn't picked up by most people: I could have easily based the article on (mentioned by Gunpoint) Carmageddon or Postal or DOOM for that matter. What I was trying to get across was that Daikatana would have done better had it utilized the mass amount of publicity it garnered from the Dallas Observer article, the kind of publicity you couldn't pay to get.
#20 by G-Man
2004-09-23 08:16:15
I am an asshole.
#21 by Greg
2004-09-23 23:37:58
no thread ever ends at 20 posts

#22 by "John Romero"
2004-10-03 22:20:40
J00 = wR0nGxx0R!!!
#23 by "Anonymous"
2004-10-03 22:23:51
We should all just go play Zombies Apocalypse

#24 by "John Romero"
2004-10-03 22:24:42

#25 by "George Romero"
2004-10-03 22:25:04
#26 by "George Romero"
2004-10-03 22:25:16
Did somebody mention zombies?????
#27 by "Cesar Romero"
2004-10-03 22:26:46
I was so the best Joker
#28 by "Romeo Montague"
2004-10-03 22:28:24
I'm not dead.

Oh, and Juliet is a right slapper.
#29 by "Burgess Meredith"
2004-10-03 22:29:25
#30 by "Danny De Vito"
2004-10-03 22:32:34
You suck, I was the better Penguin.
#31 by "Hercules in New York"
2004-10-03 22:34:43

Let my muscles hug you..........
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2004-10-03 22:36:18
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They spelled my name wrong :(
#33 by Max
2004-10-03 22:51:14
It's like watching a tennis match played by Timmy and Jimmy.

Fox was planning a show called Who Wants to be Teabagged by Marlon Brando -hangedmanAG
Check your FSI!
#34 by "Cartman"
2004-10-03 23:03:21
CRIPPLE FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
#35 by "Timmy"
2004-10-03 23:25:49
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#36 by Penguinx
2004-10-04 18:34:47
I'm the best Penguin, fuckers.

Jesus sayeth, "UAC can save your eternal soul."
Home » Topic: All publicity is good publicity

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