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Here, have this game. Now buy our product!
July 27th 2003, 04:58 CEST by Greg

There have been a few examples of products with promotional game tie-ins in recent years. One of the earliest that I can remember was Chex Quest, a total conversion of Doom. It was pretty well done for its time; having the top of the line engine almost ensured that. (Chex is a cereal, if you didn't know.)

It didn't cause me to want to buy the product. Maybe not so much a problem, since the game was bundled with a box of the cereal.

Everyone's favorite rap artists, Dr. Dre and Eminem, put out a mod for Quake 3 called Chronic, which shares the title of one of Dr. Dre's albums. The tie-in was for the 2000 Up in Smoke tour that featured both Dr. Dre and Eminem. I haven't played it, but the images on the site look liked a mixed bag.  

Probably the best parallel to the Underworld mod is the small game that was released as a tie-in to the movie Eight Legged Freaks. The game was a FPS, where you would go around shooting the title characters of the movie. It was also a complete turd. If they were trying to entice me to see the movie based on the game, they failed miserably.

Which brings us back to Underworld: Bloodline. They are using experienced developers with a track record of creating decent mods. If this mod is good, will it entice you to see the movie? Conversely if the mod is bad, will you think twice about seeing the movie? I find it strange they are taking this route for the movie; there seems to be a healthy interest in the movie already, and I would think someone out there would try to develop a full game based around the movie.

In general, creating a promotional game seems like it could be a win-win for everyone involved. The public gets a free game (warez thread) and the product gets some extra exposure. Unless the game is lacking quality.  And that could be a bad omen for an unreleased product.
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#1 by JMCDaveL
2003-07-27 05:01:49
^_^

--jmc
#2 by Bailey
2003-07-27 05:14:27
Fag.

Scotch makes you good at a lot of things, like yelling at your wife, but itís terrible for hand-eye coordination.
#3 by Creole Ned
2003-07-27 05:32:40
Why must every thread start out as a miniature train wreck?

THIS IS A RHETORICAL QUESTION. DO NOT ANSWER.

"I don't bemoan the great paste" - LPMiller
#4 by Creole Ned
2003-07-27 05:38:17
On-topic:

Would people be bothered by in-game advertising, even if it was conspicuous and not necessarily relevant to the game?

Bonus question: Why on god's green earth do so many mappers put images of their favorite geek obsession into their maps? The other night I downloaded a Raven Shield map called Forgotten Jungle. Each building had a Matrix Reloaded poster on the wall because we know terrorists love the pop culture of the imperial western dogs.

"I don't bemoan the great paste" - LPMiller
#5 by Charles
2003-07-27 05:50:37
www.bluh.org
The quality of the games wouldn't particularly influence my choice about seeing a movie.  I decide based on the previews, and perhaps a review or two from friends, and not much else.

I'd like if these projects were all tie-ins like ETM rather than you playing the movie.  I think it is exceedingly cool to see what is happening in other parts of the movie while you watch it.

Whating the what?
#6 by Desiato
2003-07-27 06:00:19
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
If it had a saucy puppet show, I'd take the game.

Or just booze.
#7 by Warren Marshall
2003-07-27 06:29:20
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
"28 Days Later" rocked.

They should make a game based on it.

#8 by Greg
2003-07-27 07:35:19
In case anyone wants to try out the Underworld mod, it was released a few days ago. Hit the official movie site link in the topic.

We are OK in a misguided, sadist way.
We are OK in a disabled veteran's way.
We are OK.
#9 by Your Friend
2003-07-27 08:34:23
Tomb Raider 2 was pretty bad.  I hope they don't make a game bas -- oh, nevermind.

"Take Two needs to STFU imo." - G30rg3 Br0uzz4rd
#10 by JMCDaveL
2003-07-27 08:39:12
Not even a command from God could make me install anything based on the ancient Half-Life engine.

--jmc
#11 by JMCDaveL
2003-07-27 08:47:33
On an unrelated note, the second to last level of the xobx Buffy game has swore me off of any game that has jumping puzzles in any form or fashion. Why ruin a good brawler with silly tomb raider jumping on moving blocks?

--jmc
#12 by Eric T. Cheng
2003-07-27 10:56:33
erictcheng@hotmail.com
Not even a command from God could make me install anything based on the ancient Half-Life engine.


I haven't played Counter-strike in probably a year and it was the only reason I still had Half-Life on my computer (which was taking up about 2GB of space on my harddrive). I recently uninstalled the game.

Kilt Wearing Pixel Pushing Monkey Boy
IMDB Entry
DVD Collection
#13 by Ashiran
2003-07-27 10:56:53
Because designers think gamers like variation*?


*gamers do not like variation

"Your beam weapons are just a thinly-veiled analogy for giant throbbing plasma cocks violating new orifices in enemy ships." - Bailey
#14 by BobJustBob
2003-07-27 12:27:51
I wouldn't want too much fighting in my fighting game.

Voices tell me I'm the shit.
<Whisp> BJB is a troll. <Whisp> Troll I say!
#15 by ProStyle
2003-07-27 16:04:47
http://prostyle.deviantart.com
I think the main point of interest here is that this Underworld mod is going to be a multiplayer team game referred to by HomeLanFed as
Counter-Strike with horror elements
. If it were a single player game I could understand their motives. However I think it's a bit dangerous to do a multiplayer team based add-on seeing as how there is a much more competitive environment that the new players have to adapt to. Not only that but to appeal to the hardcore and gain an actual player base the game has to be good enough to steal some of the players from many other well established Half-Life mods which I see as being unlikely.

I'm like a quote out of context...
#16 by ProStyle
2003-07-27 16:57:03
http://prostyle.deviantart.com
For anyone who's interested and has Half Life already installed here is a map I made recently for Counter-Strike. There are also some screenshots in the directory.

I'm like a quote out of context...
#17 by Warren Marshall
2003-07-27 17:16:35
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Nice map ... I like the rock/cave brushwork.

#18 by Bailey
2003-07-27 17:36:24
As previously ranted, the PotC was clearly rushed to retail in order to meet the movie release date. Oh, but for a few more months of intensive debuggery!

Scotch makes you good at a lot of things, like yelling at your wife, but itís terrible for hand-eye coordination.
#19 by Matthew Gallant
2003-07-27 17:56:20
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
#18 Bailey
intensive debuggery!

Yarrr, arrr, I be a landlubbing pirate/programmer joke hybridizer.

"All I've ever wanted to be is a monkey of moderate intelligence that wears a suit. That's why I'm transferring to business school!"
#20 by Jamiekin
2003-07-27 19:10:44
Why would you invest all your time on something that clearly violates someone else's IP copyrights..

I have a crocodile down my pants.
#21 by VeeSPIKE
2003-07-27 19:21:57
You've never met an idea man, have you?

The media doesn't educate, it sensationalizes. That's why there's no learning curve, just repeated bouts of gross stupidity. Bailey
#22 by Greg
2003-07-27 19:27:52
Jamiekin:

Who is your question referencing? In the case of this Underworld mod, it's a 100% licensed mod.

We are OK in a misguided, sadist way.
We are OK in a disabled veteran's way.
We are OK.
#23 by BobJustBob
2003-07-27 20:08:14
Apparently, there is also a full game coming out based on the movie.

Voices tell me I'm the shit.
<Whisp> BJB is a troll. <Whisp> Troll I say!
#24 by hangedmanAG
2003-07-27 20:26:40
www.livejournal.com/users/hangedman_ag/
I can't imagine free games/mods can offer any significent impact in selling a brand.  Isn't America's Army the most conspicuous example?  Has there been any reports on its success?

Myself, I'm more interested in why developers haven't been trying to attract significent ad revenue by selling advertising in their games.

"I'm not so dumb that I'm making conclusions built on top of baseless speculation." - CultureShock
#25 by Hugin
2003-07-27 20:38:38
lmccain@nber.org
#24 by hangedmanAG

 I can't imagine free games/mods can offer any significent impact in selling a brand.


Well, that would depend on the popularity and quality of the game/mod wouldn't it?  Right now there's what looks to be a fairly generic action movie coming out, based very loosely on the old SWAT tv show.  Take away the SWAT name, make a few minor plot changes, and call the thing Counterstrike. It's just another marketing leg-up.
#26 by Dumdeedum
2003-07-27 23:04:20
http://www.dumdeedum.com
I doubt the mod is going to massively boost the films figures, but the mere act of releasing it has implanted the title into the brains of lots of gamers, and since people are more likely to watch a film they've heard of over one they haven't, it'll be successful regardless of the mod's quality or lack thereof.

It's also worth noting that funding a small mod isn't exactly going to break their budget, so even if it fails miserably they're not losing much.

Do you rent downstairs?
#27 by Gunp01nt
2003-07-27 23:56:20
supersimon33@hotmail.com
I think games and mods are beginning to be discovered as a new marketing instrument, a different and theoretically constructive way of bringing something to the attention of people.
By theoretically constructive, I mean that a game or a mod is not simply a poster or commercial screaming "BUY OUR PRODUCT!" but it actually delivers entertainment (theoretically) in itself.

This is of course an interesting development, because using a game primarily as a marketing instrument is a pretty fresh insight. Note that product placement or games based on movies aren't primarily marketing instruments, at least I'm not sure whether games such as the LOTR ones are meant to sell the movie, or if the movie is meant to sell the games for some extra revenue.

As intersting as this development may be, it may also reduce games to vehicles for products, movie franchises, and things like that. And you all know that everything marketing touches, turns to shit. If using games as marketing instruments becomes standard practice, there may financially speaking no longer be a place for games that are primarily games, because the former type of game creates more revenue and certainty for publishers: there's a solid and big company backing the game with loads of money.

And then there's the unavoidable decline of quality. But I think that for now the use of games solely for marketing will be limited to a certain category of products. everyone has a tv and can be subjected to commercials, less people have a PC or console and even less people play games on their PC. Also, for a mod or game to actually reach a substantial amount of people, it'd have to have its own marketing campaign.

Though theoretically I suppose it could help to boost sales of something else, but not with the hardcore gamer crowd. stuff like the LOTR games are appreciated by the LCD, and this makes me think mods might not be the best way (albeit the cheapest) to go at it because to install and run a mod you'd have to have above-zero knowledge of games, which is more than the LCD can claim.

If games-for-marketing is something for the future, I think it'll amount to loads of rushed games using a crappy engine, with crappy gameplay and a crappy storyline. hey, loads of people are enjoying the LOTR games.

"What kind of hopelessly superficial society do we live in where a guy can't have a little explosive diarrhea in public without losing the love of his life?"
#28 by keefer
2003-07-28 00:09:10
keith.johnson@sternpinball.com
Did the release of America's Army Operations result in a large increase in the number of people joining the US Armed Forces?  "You've done it in a game, now do it for real!"
#29 by Gunp01nt
2003-07-28 00:21:35
supersimon33@hotmail.com
no, but the "You've done it in a game, now do it for real!" slogan did inspire many GTA3 players.
Also Urotsukidoji fans.

"What kind of hopelessly superficial society do we live in where a guy can't have a little explosive diarrhea in public without losing the love of his life?"
#30 by hangedmanAG
2003-07-28 01:13:42
www.livejournal.com/users/hangedman_ag/
#25 by Hugin

Well, that would depend on the popularity and quality of the game/mod wouldn't it?


I think most gamers would/should be dubious of said quality of such games.  Movie tie-games are more often than not derided and justifiably so.  A bad game or mod, even if free, could turn someone off a product.  It's not so easy to make a fun game, even a mod, and it seems to me that it's marketing moolah that could best be spent elsewhere.

#27 by Gunp01nt

This is of course an interesting development, because using a game primarily as a marketing instrument is a pretty fresh insight.

Is this really that fresh?  I remember games-as-advertisement back during the Atari 2600 (The Kool-aid Man), C64 (7-up Spots) and NES (Domino's Noid).  I even remember Coke testing a vending mahcine that would let you play an LCD video game every time you bought a Coke.  What I don't remember are these marketing attempts to ever work.  The only difference is instead of sending in UPC's or some other proof-of-purchase, you can download in off the web.  It still strikes me as a useless fad that will never take root.

If games-for-marketing is something for the future, I think it'll amount to loads of rushed games using a crappy engine, with crappy gameplay and a crappy storyline.

I agree (though I kinda like the LOTR games).  I think advertising has a future in video games but I see it more as how movies have it: Companies giving out cash for product placement.

"I'm not so dumb that I'm making conclusions built on top of baseless speculation." - CultureShock
#31 by Bailey
2003-07-28 03:26:37
MattG

Yarrr, arrr, I be a landlubbing pirate/programmer joke hybridizer.

Step off my poopdeck, matey.

Scotch makes you good at a lot of things, like yelling at your wife, but itís terrible for hand-eye coordination.
#32 by Bailey
2003-07-28 03:28:26
Bob

Apparently, there is also a full game coming out based on the movie.

Careful there, they almost managed to squeeze some content inbetween all those ads. Also, from the looks of that game, they're better off going with a mod.

Scotch makes you good at a lot of things, like yelling at your wife, but itís terrible for hand-eye coordination.
#33 by G-Man
2003-07-28 05:15:39
Gunp01nt in #27 said:
I think games and mods are beginning to be discovered as a new marketing instrument, a different and theoretically constructive way of bringing something to the attention of people.
Games have been used as forms of advertising for a long time. Selected examples from the last two centuries include: Acrostics and crossword puzzles for newspapers; Riddles, short mysteries, quizzes and brain teasers in print ads; Bingo for churches and charities; Monopoly for McDonald's; Flash games for movies and television shows, etc.
#34 by Desiato
2003-07-28 05:40:05
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
So what is up with this wrestler "Maxx Payne" suing G.O.D., Rockstar Games, 3D Realms and Remedy Entertainment?

All that fuss over one "x"!!

Here's the short blurb on the topic.

Took him long enough to bring it to bear, eh?
#35 by Bailey
2003-07-28 06:00:36
I guess the marketing was ineffective at best.

Scotch makes you good at a lot of things, like yelling at your wife, but itís terrible for hand-eye coordination.
#36 by Warren Marshall
2003-07-28 06:09:48
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Odd how he didn't sue until he was sure the game was a success.

#37 by BobJustBob
2003-07-28 06:24:19
Hey, I just got the link from Blue's. That's the last time I repost a recent and easily accessible news item that most of you have probably already seen!

Voices tell me I'm the shit.
<Whisp> BJB is a troll. <Whisp> Troll I say!
#38 by BobJustBob
2003-07-28 07:31:51
To spill the PVR talk into another thread, what about those PVR programs for the PC? The lack of a monthly fee and the ability to easily upgrade would be nice, while the obvious con is that it would tie up your PC. Has anyone tried these?

Voices tell me I'm the shit.
<Whisp> BJB is a troll. <Whisp> Troll I say!
#39 by "Gunp01nt"
2003-07-28 09:10:44
supersimon33@hotmail.com
hangedman:
Is this really that fresh?  I remember games-as-advertisement back during the Atari 2600 (The Kool-aid Man), C64 (7-up Spots) and NES (Domino's Noid).


well, I remember the Spotty games (they were even on NES) which featured the 7-up spot as the protagonist and had him picking up red 7 up spots for bonusses, but imho that's more along the lines of product placement.
Take the Zool games for example: set in a candy world with chupa chups logos as bonusses, but the main element of the game didn't focus around the product. it was just a platform game, that had chupa chups logos where there might as well have been diamond graphics or bags of gold or whatever. Also, the Zool and Spotty games were in regular retail (IIRC) and therefore primarily a gaming product, and only secondarily a marketing instrument.

g-man:
Games have been used as forms of advertising for a long time.

agreed, but we're focussing on computer games here. which are an entirely different medium than crossword puzzels etc. altogether.
#40 by The_Joker
2003-07-28 11:35:47
http://www.jackinworld.com
i have a penis.

Joker, Ph.D. Procedural Assholian Behaviour, Pedophilosopher
- All your ass are belong to my wang Jafd. Prepare to are penetration.
"I fart in THX." - Sgt_Hulka

PENETRATOR: Rise of the Wang Cuming "When it's done".
#41 by JMCDaveL
2003-07-28 11:37:57
call us back when you have a brain.

--jmc
#42 by Greg
2003-07-28 17:03:51
#36 Warren Marshall

Odd how he didn't sue until he was sure the game was a success.

Isn't there a statute of limitations on trademark dilution? The game has been out for a couple years now, an the wrestler did nothing. I'm pretty sure that Max Payne the game has fairly far-reaching television commercials, so it wasn't like the game was being hidden.

We are OK in a misguided, sadist way.
We are OK in a disabled veteran's way.
We are OK.
#43 by Caryn
2003-07-28 17:28:58
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
The problem I see here is that they're making a mod to promote a movie, not a game to promote a movie, and there's a big difference. Games are becoming more mainstream; mods are still very much a hardcore thing, and very few casual gamers know what one is, let alone where to get it. Games are stand-alone; mods require another game already purchased to play.

I think they're possibly creating more work for themselves here as they'll have to market the mod almost as much as the movie if they want to see a huge success with it (note that I'm not dissing the potential quality of the mod -- I'm saying that while the team behind it is certainly high caliber and their previous projects are very much stand-out projects in the mod world, they're still not known well outside of the hardcore audience). They at least, however, have an audience that will have much more crossover than some other genre of movie.

SNIKT!
#44 by Warren Marshall
2003-07-28 17:32:59
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
I think Caryn has an excellent point.  The way around it I guess would be to package the mod as a stand alone thing, but that would require including the game and then it becomes a ton of legal hassle ...

#45 by Gunp01nt
2003-07-28 17:43:00
supersimon33@hotmail.com
yeah, like I said: for a game-for-marketing (or shall we call it something stupid like 'gamercial' or 'modvertising'?) to reach a significant amount of people, it'd have to have its own marketing campaign.

that's why I don't think mods will be the road to take for this type of thing. I'm sure some company will create some really crappy but cheap to license and easy to use 3d engine so games can be quickly made at a low cost. then I suppose handing cd's out for free or for really cheap would be the next step.


As an aside, in the Netherlands, there was a government campaign several years ago that tried to motivate people (especially kids) to dispose of batteries in the right way and switch to rechargables. I don't exactly remember how, but you could collect coupons (I think by handing in used batteries at disposal units at schools etc.) and with 5 or so coupons you got a little platform game for free that had some guy who needed to collect batteries.

But that's the other way around: the game was basically intended as the center of attraction, not the battery-disposing. With games-for-marketing the game would have to generate interest in the main product.

"What kind of hopelessly superficial society do we live in where a guy can't have a little explosive diarrhea in public without losing the love of his life?"
#46 by Bailey
2003-07-28 17:46:47
Warren

Odd how he didn't sue until he was sure the game was a success.

Oddly, professional wrestlers are rarely known for keeping up to speed with third-person shooters. As for the point of success, the peak of Max Payne was quite some time ago, and the sequel hasn't made any waves yet. Right now would seem to be the least likely point in time it would come to his attention.

Caryn

I think they're possibly creating more work for themselves here as they'll have to market the mod almost as much as the movie if they want to see a huge success with it

Possibly, but keep in mind that all four elements involved in this production are primarily focused on the nerd/freak internet hardcore. You've got a mod, for a movie that is pretty much a pretentious vampire flick ala Interview meeting the Matrix, with a dash of furries.

All of these have a strong internet presence, so it seems a successful job of cross-marketing. Think about it.

Scotch makes you good at a lot of things, like yelling at your wife, but itís terrible for hand-eye coordination.
#47 by CheesyPoof
2003-07-28 17:56:02
So, did you donwload the movie yet?
#48 by Bailey
2003-07-28 18:14:29
I'll get around to it, don't rush me!

Scotch makes you good at a lot of things, like yelling at your wife, but itís terrible for hand-eye coordination.
#49 by ProStyle
2003-07-28 19:43:52
http://prostyle.deviantart.com
They could probably nudge Valve into allowing them onto the Steam platform, which is now in functioning public beta again. Natural Selection was the first and so far only non-Valve mod onboard if I am not mistaken.

I'm like a quote out of context...
#50 by Bailey
2003-07-28 19:51:09
Hasn't Steam been panned nigh universally?

Scotch makes you good at a lot of things, like yelling at your wife, but itís terrible for hand-eye coordination.
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