A new study
released by the Blitz
marketing firm suggests that current video game marketing practices are coming up short*. The study focused on the factors that influence the buying decisions of "avid gamers" -- anyone who plays games for at least seven hours a week, according to Blitz. According to the study, it's these "avid gamers" that most game marketing fails to attract. That's a bad thing, as the study also notes that avid gamers actually have the most influence over purchases. In other words, gamers make purchases based on the opinions of their friends.
The basic conclusions drawn by the study to boost marketing muscle: Utilize social networking and mobile marketing, show actual gameplay, make websites that are relevant to users and give incentives for registering on said websites (cheats, discounts, etc.). The study also notes that marketers should focus on "what's new" when marketing sequels.
Most of the points seem in line with the kinds of things gamers have been saying for years, especially the note about actual gameplay footage; just read the comments on any CG trailer posted on Joystiq and you'll see. There are some interesting ideas in the study though, particularly using mobile phone marketing for "on-the-go" coupons. Instant discounts from the ether? Yes, please.
Alas, the study offers no tips for marketing Wii titles. For now, we'll assume that most companies will stick with the usual Wii marketing strategy: Don't even bother
*Download the complete report [PDF]