This Just In….Marketing Works for Video Game Sales!

Posted: January 22, 2014 in Gaming, The Cptains Talk
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Many dollars in the format of a gift box

So I am hitting the iron while it is hot on this one. Last week I saw this starting and then some other events occurred and I knew what was coming next. I just wish I had time to write the article then as it would have made me look like a GENIUS of the future! Oh well, I guess I can just catch people up instead 😀

Here is the timeline:

Last week people started “attacking/blaming” YouTube content creators that they KNEW Battlefield 4 was in bad shape and hid the fact about it and instead only showed the good of it and therefore TRICKED people into purchasing a flawed/broken game. ( I wrote about some of the problems here. ) This all happened on twitter with several YouTube people.

On Monday, the 20th, it gets reported that Microsoft paid Machinima YouTube creators to promote the XBox One. Normally that is not a big deal, but the stipulations to the deal was that they ” may not say anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One or any of its Games in your Campaign Video”. Actual quote from the contract.

Yesterday, the 21st, it was leaked on Reddit that EA had a similar campaign as Microsoft for Battlefield 4. So this is causing a blow up even more-so that started last week.

So you might be thinking several things like;

  • That’s OUTRAGEOUS! They are totally lying to everyone!
  • Nothing new. Everyone is on the take.
  • I can’t believe people still fall for marketing tricks.

So, since I am typing this in my blog, you all know that I have a few points to make and my own opinion on the matter.

First, my thoughts on marketing:

  • Marketing is a necessary and effective tool for any business.
  • Marketing can be abused and get annoying.
  • Marketing doesn’t always tell the entire story, but usually shows the good stuff or one side.
  • Marketing helps get your money to the company that paid for the marketing.
  • Marketing can sway or determine thoughts on an idea, belief, or product.
  • Marketing is EVERYWHERE constantly bombarding us with information. (It’s probably on my blog at the bottom as this is a free blog.)
  • Marketing is not always evil

Those are my thoughts and facts on marketing. You now know where I stand with marketing. It also shows an example of “disclosure” and what you can expect going forward on something. My little blurb about “free blog” also shows that I have not been paid to make this blog or this article. This blog also tells you I am a Battlefield fan, like Battlefield 4, despite the issues, and play video games. So pretty much full disclosure.

We know that commercials and celebrities are used for marketing. Our phone apps have ads as well as our Google searches, YouTube, Facebook, twitter, etc… The list goes on and on and you get the idea.


When marketing goes bad is when there is not full disclosure. Here is a piece of the Microsoft Agreement with Machinima:


(I) Your specific duties shall be to promote the Xbox One Release, as described below. (II) You shall perform the following “Promotional Requirements” during the Campaign Term: a)   Campaign Videos:  Create at least one (1) or as many video(s) as You desire, with minimum running time of sixty (:60) seconds, in which You provide commentary about Xbox One Release and Games (each a “Campaign Video”).  The Campaign Videos shall be uploaded and viewable on Your YouTube Channel, and nowhere else, during the Campaign Period.  The Campaign Video shall include: – You Campaign Video is “Tagged” with the following tag “XB1M13” (“Campaign Tag”).  The Campaign Tag must not be modified in any way and Campaign Videos that do not incorporate the “XB1M13” tag in their tag section will not be eligible for the Compensation (as defined below) under this Agreement. b)  Campaign Video Guidelines:  As part of the Campaign Videos, You must comply with the following guidelines for this Campaign: 1.   Do not post any Campaign Videos until January 13 at 12:00am PT; 2.   You may not say anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One or any of its Games in your Campaign Video.

Click here for the full agreement.

The main focus is #2 at the bottom of that quote. The commentators that agree to this campaign may NOT say ANYTHING negative… So even if they find a glaring issue that would adversely affect customers, they cannot mention it. Microsoft has come out and said that this is just standard practice and no big deal. It IS a big deal because of the lack of full disclosure. When you are watching someone for their opinion it is usually assumed that the opinion hasn’t been swayed or paid for.

Here is what has been leaked on Reddit for the EA campaign:
There may be a more detailed agreement out there, but as of this writing all I have is the above information.
What people are focusing on is “Do not make a video that focuses on glitches in the game.”
Now you may think that the above statement is the exact thing Microsoft did with Machinima, but it is not. It all comes down to wording. That is part of marketing, how you play the words. The intent, good or bad, is that if you decide to do the above with EA that your video not focus entirely on glitches. It does not say that the YouTube partner cannot say anything negative. It does not say that if something is noticed it could not be said. It does not say only buy Battlefield 4. The idea is to not focus on Alpha/Beta issues that are common in a game. The time period is prior to release of the game. When we beta tested we were told that the beta was an outdated version of the game.
Some of you may be going, “Crunch, it’s no different because EA is wanting to hide the TRUTH!”. I understand that argument and with the state Battlefield 4 has been in, it seems fair, BUT, again, not focusing a video entirely on glitches does not stop someone from speaking the other truths. It doesn’t stop someone from saying “Man, this game is laggy and the stuff doesn’t work and nothing is balanced or wont load.” That has nothing to do with glitches. You can still state your opinion, whereas on the Microsoft agreement if the opinion is negative then you must remain silent.
YouTubers went and played BF4 in alpha and I watched the videos and live events of them playing. I liked what I saw. The issue I had with it, and that I posted a few times on, is that it was all done in a controlled environment without a heavy load on infrastructure. All the PCs were the same. The network was a LAN. The overall player count was low. It was the perfect setup for Battlefield 4 and I KNEW there were going to be a lot of issues still. That’s marketing! It is also using some knowledge from the past knowing there will be issues.
That is a big difference between the two.
I love Battlefield. You all probably know that by now. I’ve been called names for liking Battlefield 3 and 4. I love playing Battlefield 4. It’s a fun game and I am glad I bought it. That is also my opinion. I haven’t had issues with it like others have. I get to play it. Yeah, its laggy, buggy, has bad hit detection at times and so on. That doesn’t mean I can’t say I like it or that you should go ahead and get it. You may have as great a time as I have had. That doesn’t mean someone has paid me off to say that. A lot of YouTube content providers are getting HAMMERED because they said some positive things about Battlefield 4 and it’s not right to do that.
IGN posted this story about it. This is the same company that talked about how Battlefield 4 was better than Call of Duty then gave Ghosts a better score. It’s not the first time that has happened either and IGN comes forward and says that different people have different views on games and not everyone has the same mindset. That is true enough. The guy that scored BF4 was probably not the same guy that scored CoD:Ghosts.
My point in all of this typing is that we, as consumers, have to stay informed and continue to make our own decisions. You can blame EA, Microsoft, YouTube, greedy people all you want, but in the end you have to decide what you want to purchase and if it is OK for you. You can blame others for this type of thing but in the end you bought what you bought. There are many ways to get the information you want and make an informed decision. It’s a BUYER BEWARE world out there and always has been. The video game industry makes BILLIONS of dollars every year. It is VERY competitive and only a small group of companies are in the market, fighting for every dollar made.
There are shady people out there that want to sell you something, but you can find out what you want about a product for yourself. Everything I have said here and in my previous articles can also be “fact checked” using many different things. Just because a number of people are wanting to do a money grab, there are MANY more you do not know about that turned down that work because they wanted their opinions to be true and right with them and their subs. Just because someone says how much fun they are having in something doesn’t mean they have been bought. I have no one giving me money and I still love Battlefield 4. Also, someone being negative on a game may be paid by the competition to do so. I don’t hear anyone saying much about that, but company espionage is real and does happen. Reviews on a product is considered free speech rather they tell the truth or not and very hard to prove otherwise.
Who can you trust? There are a lot of people out there you can trust that still get marketing dollars or YouTube credits or whatever it is and they can lead you to others that are pretty trustful as well. Just to finish off all this typing, here is a SMALL list of people that I follow and enjoy their opinions:
There are a lot of others out there and same on Twitter. You probably have your list of people as well and if we added all our lists up we would probably have thousands of people.
So anyway, the truth is out there you just have to look for it. If you find something on a content providers site, unsubscribe and stop supporting them, but also be sure you are fair about your decision and you are looking at both sides of the information and not just throwing everyone in the same group.
None of those guys above I mentioned paid me to put them there and it’s by no means the complete list. 😉
There are a lot of good people I follow on Twitter as well.

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