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T O P I C
I heartily endorse this event or product.
May 20th 2002, 17:29 CEST by m0nty

This line from a press release by Activision spruiking their E3 line-up took my eye:

From new action sports titles such as "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater(TM) 4," "Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX(TM) 2," "Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer(TM)" and "Shaun Murray's Pro Wakeboarder(TM),"...

The celebrity endorsement is a tried and tested formula for selling games, although I would argue that it doesn't have much effect on the sales of the game. The Tony Hawk games, for example, might be a wildly successful franchise, but that is mostly due to the high quality of the games themselves, not Tony's skill at giving promotional interviews. What does a celebrity's name provide, other than a bit of name recognition amongst people who would buy the game anyway?

In fact, I think celebrity endorsement is a sign of a weakness in the game. I can just see the publishers sitting around their plush offices, all gloomy at the fact that their fly-wall-crawling game doesn't have the best particle effects in the business, when all of a sudden one of them says, "Hey fellas, why don't we slap the name of the world champion on the box and shovel it out for Christmas! Sweet!"

The annals of computer gaming are filled with bad celebrity endorsements, and the suckage is not restricted to sport titles. Omar Sharif's Bridge comes to mind, although it's not as bad as Multimedia Celebrity Poker. I am told that there was a Vidal Sassoon hairdressing game, which scored 1% in a PC Gamer review back in the DOS days (alas, Google does not remember it). Samantha Fox's Strip Poker was mildly disappointing.

Then again, some endorsements do add a certain something to otherwise pedestrian games. There were two Elvira RPGs back in the early 90s, one of which CGW Magazine gave RPG of the Year. The Bruce Lee game wouldn't have been the same without Bruce. Of course, the gaming world is mature enough now to produce its own celebrities, amongst the developer community, game characters and the players themselves.

What are your fondest memories of celebrity-endorsed games? Which celebs do you wish hadn't signed the rights to have their likeness slapped on a box to bring in clueless punters - or which do you wish had done, but didn't? What sector of gaming hasn't been sufficiently mined for celebrity potential? Do celebs just get in the way of a good game, or does the glamour rub off on the screen?
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#1 by Greg
2002-05-20 17:30:24
Thinking...

-RAWWWWWRRRRRR!!! Quit cramping my style, bitch! RAAAAAWWWRRRR!!!
#2 by Greg
2002-05-20 17:32:10
Mike Tyson's Punch Out ruled! At least, until Mike Tyson was convicted of rape, then Nintendo rereleased the game without Mike Tyson's name on it. I never did play the rerelease so I can't say if the final boxer was as much a challenge as MT.

-RAWWWWWRRRRRR!!! Quit cramping my style, bitch! RAAAAAWWWRRRR!!!
#3 by LPMiller
2002-05-20 17:32:24
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Hey, didn't george Pimplton or whatever endorse Intellivision?

I believe I can fly......urk.
#4 by LPMiller
2002-05-20 17:33:14
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
it was the same game, but it was Buster Douglas's Punch Out. For about a week, anyway.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#5 by Sgt Hulka
2002-05-20 17:39:04
Having a "celebrity" endorse a game probably has more to do with getting retailers to pick up the title than gamers actually purchasing it.  Then again, a lot of kids think Tony Hawk is cool, and pick up the game for that reason alone.  

Sgt Hulka says the business of games is one big game itself.  When you finally figure out all the puzzles, you are teh winnar!

....Don't be Left with the chimps. Evolve with us...
#6 by Leslie Nassar
2002-05-20 17:54:11
http://departmentofinternets.com
Does people actually read these articles before they vote on them?

The Tony Hawk series are good games, I think celebrity endorsements are a sign of weakness.  What the fuck?

i like monkeys.  are you a monkey?
#7 by Leslie Nassar
2002-05-20 17:54:40
http://departmentofinternets.com
Do Leslie proof-read am comments before hitting post?  No.

i like monkeys.  are you a monkey?
#8 by HoseWater
2002-05-20 17:59:32
barneyque@hotmail.com
I never even seen this one in the bin.  

The types of games I like don't really suit themselves to celebrity endorsements. A lot of the games I play, would only be properly endorsed by people currently doing time, or very wanted for *cough* questioning.

1968-2002 Robert 'HoseWater" Lloyd
#9 by Matthew Gallant
2002-05-20 18:08:27
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
All of those games are Tony Hawk with a different tricking apparatus, and Tony Hawk, in turn, is just riding a pong paddle.

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#10 by LPMiller
2002-05-20 18:09:19
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
That....blows my mind, man.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#11 by Matthew Gallant
2002-05-20 18:10:54
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
Dude!

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#12 by Kosh
2002-05-20 18:12:35
We are all Pong.
#13 by Nathan McKenzie
2002-05-20 18:30:07
"Then again, a lot of kids think Tony Hawk is cool, and pick up the game for that reason alone.  "

Er... where is the cause and the effect on this one?  I was watching some show on skateboarding not too long ago, and I vaguely recall them mentioning that the game had a huge influence on skateboarding and its resurgence.  I wouldn't have bothered watching the show if it hadn't been for having played the hell out of the games myself, as a matter of fact.

I would venture to say that the game has been far more of a promotional tool for Tony (and skateboarding in general) than the other way around...

I could be wrong, though :)

Nathan
#14 by Duality
2002-05-20 18:33:43
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
How Zen of you.

But he threatened them with Toronto Gosh!
#15 by snowcrash-22
2002-05-20 18:34:15
snowcrash22@excite.com
Clive Barker's Undying contained neither Clives nor Barkers...Howlers, but no Barkers.  As I understood it (which my understanding could be terribly off base) Undying was made and needed something to set it apart from the rest of the 1st person shooter.  Clive may have helped writing the ingame 'books' but that was about all.

For being a scary game, I giggled like a schoolgirl every time I come to a door and Patrick would yell "Jammed"...just like Col. Sanders in Spaceballs.
#16 by snowcrash-22
2002-05-20 18:36:09
snowcrash22@excite.com
every time I WOULD come to a door
#17 by "Balderama"
2002-05-20 18:39:35
support@real.com www.planetcrap.com
why do all these lame topics get posted??? jesus, i'd rather have to read through 100 posts of that idiot Joker than these shit topics.
#18 by HoseWater
2002-05-20 18:42:29
barneyque@hotmail.com
The typical answer to that, is regsiter, and bake us a topic you feel is worthy.

We wont complain...really.

1968-2002 Robert 'HoseWater" Lloyd
#19 by Warren Marshall
2002-05-20 18:54:16
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
snowcrash
Clive may have helped writing the ingame 'books' but that was about all.

Clive was involved in almost all of the design ... main character, monsters, locations, etc.

WoT?
#20 by Arach
2002-05-20 18:54:19
http://www.ng-gamers.com/
The Tony Hawk games, for example, might be a wildly successful franchise, but that is mostly due to the high quality of the games themselves...


And..

In fact, I think celebrity endorsement is a sign of a weakness in the game.


Now look Tony Hawk isn't my cup of tea, but I can apreciate what makes it a fun game and do you really think having a name on a game counts to anyone? Or in anyway really changes the merrit of the game? Did putting "Sid's" on Civ make it bad? No. Did putting "George Foreman's" make the Lean Mean Grilling machine anymore shit? No. So does any of this matter? Not really.

Out of all of the sports games made in the 16bit era, you would be hardpressed to find a Sports game without "Sportsman of the Moment"'s name plastered on the box. All banking on the idea that the Joe Normal was making title choices based on if he liked SportsmanA more than SportsmanB. It's just Marketing division whoring a name for the sake of a sale, reguardless of the quality of the title.

Besides, Super Noah's Ark 3D for the Snes r0x0red.

nG!
#21 by snowcrash-22
2002-05-20 18:55:30
snowcrash22@excite.com
*stand corrected*
#22 by "Balderama"
2002-05-20 18:55:55
support@real.com www.planetcrap.com
Registering requires me to have an email address, and i'm sorry but I don't have one. And I won't need one in the near future either.
#23 by Bailey
2002-05-20 18:57:10
Everyone knows that if you really want celebrity endorsement, Kid Nikki: Radical Ninja is the only name to turn to.

Life without shame.
#24 by Duality
2002-05-20 18:59:13
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
So flamey, how long til you go back to the old persona?

But he threatened them with Toronto Gosh!
#25 by Caryn
2002-05-20 18:59:58
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Hmm, is Balderama our dear Flamethrower?

Heh, I just can't comprehend not needing an email address. To me, that's like saying that you don't need a postal mailbox. To each his own, I guess, but it's just inconceivable to me. :)

You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel.
#26 by Matthew Gallant
2002-05-20 19:01:14
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
Kid Nikki was a good game.

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#27 by LPMiller
2002-05-20 19:02:12
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Whose going to E3, and Warren, bring me a damn present this time!

I believe I can fly......urk.
#28 by Bailey
2002-05-20 19:10:23
Kid Nikki was a great game, but the final boss was insanely difficult.

Life without shame.
#29 by "Balderama"
2002-05-20 19:14:19
support@real.com www.planetcrap.com
I'm not flamethrower. But I really hate websites that REQUIRE you to fill in an email address for you to be able to register. The majority of them simply sell their database to email spammers. Shit, I think I just gave morn an idea.
#30 by Duality
2002-05-20 19:14:32
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Speaking of Nintendo (sorta kinda).
GC is now down to $150.
I'm buying one.

For the longest time, I was teetering between a GC or PS2, simply because every time I go by a GC kiosk, I sit there for 10 some minutes playing Rogue Squadron.  Oh I'm in love.

But he threatened them with Toronto Gosh!
#31 by Duality
2002-05-20 19:15:39
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Morn needs to make money somehow.

But he threatened them with Toronto Gosh!
#32 by "Balderama"
2002-05-20 19:18:44
support@real.com www.planetcrap.com
Also, nice gallery Caryn, have you noticed the pictures with you in them get viewed a lot more often? Joker is probably having a field day.
#33 by Caryn
2002-05-20 19:20:27
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Balderama:

That's the risk you take, I suppose. As long as I don't know what he's doing with them, I'm fine.

You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel.
#34 by Duality
2002-05-20 19:23:39
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
I'm cropping your head and putting on everyone else's bodies ...
You look really funny as a cat, btw.

But he threatened them with Toronto Gosh!
#35 by Caryn
2002-05-20 19:25:08
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Funny...or better?

You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel.
#36 by HoseWater
2002-05-20 19:25:52
barneyque@hotmail.com
Registering requires me to have an email address, and i'm sorry but I don't have one. And I won't need one in the near future either.


Well, actually, I disagree.  It would seem to me that you just identified a need for an email address, not just in the future, but right here, and now.

No big deal, I agree that this was not the best topic I've ever seen, but before I go complaining about a fellow crappers effort, I need to be ready to put up, its only fair.

The interesting thing, is how this just drained straight through the bin, it must have support somewhere, either in numbers, or influence.

1968-2002 Robert 'HoseWater" Lloyd
#37 by Duality
2002-05-20 19:26:38
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Funny.  Not better.  Do you really think we'd still talk to you if you didn't have your current feet?

But he threatened them with Toronto Gosh!
#38 by Caryn
2002-05-20 19:29:02
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Duality:

I think my feet should have rented out their own booth at E3 this year. Maybe next year.

You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel.
#39 by Duality
2002-05-20 19:32:56
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Caryn:
You'd be your own boothbabe!

So what games are you planning to endorse with your feet?

But he threatened them with Toronto Gosh!
#40 by Caryn
2002-05-20 19:34:58
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Well, naturally they'd be showing off Caryn Law's Pro Foot Massager, with features like interchangable toe nail polish colors, and moves that you can unlock as you go through the game.

Ugh, I feel queasy...I think that joke backfired on me.

You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel.
#41 by Duality
2002-05-20 19:43:22
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
I think I'm going to request a moratorium on all foot references indefinitely.

But he threatened them with Toronto Gosh!
#42 by Caryn
2002-05-20 19:52:16
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
The feet will be ANGRY!

Oops. Moratorium. Right.

You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel.
#43 by Bailey
2002-05-20 20:05:27
Foot fetish thread hijacks. There is no hope for humanity.

Life without shame.
#44 by "Balderama"
2002-05-20 20:35:43
support@real.com www.planetcrap.com
There really isn't if that damn austrialian doesn't quit posting these crap topics.
#45 by HoseWater
2002-05-20 20:37:08
barneyque@hotmail.com
Feel free to break the cycle.

1968-2002 Robert 'HoseWater" Lloyd
#46 by BabiG
2002-05-20 20:45:26
and we're supposed to believe -that- isn't flamethrower?

"God is dead." --Nietzsche, 1883
"Nietzsche is dead." --God, 1900
#47 by Martin
2002-05-20 20:58:54
http://www.mocol.nu
Equally tiresome in any case.

#93 by LPMiller:
no it doesn't! NO IT DOESN'T!!!
#48 by "Dinglehoffen"
2002-05-20 21:14:39
WHERE'S DNF, BIATCHES?!?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHahah...

Looks like everyone knows 3DRealms sucks shit.
#49 by Matthew Gallant
2002-05-20 21:18:39
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
I just had a brilliant idea:
"Joey Buttafuoco's Duke Nukem Forever".

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#50 by Matt Perkins
2002-05-20 21:19:11
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
Dingle Lives!

LPMiller - "Really, I'm just a get along kinda a guy, all about the love."
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