Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car.

January 5, 2011

Just a few hours ago, a friend and I were having a few matches of EA’s NHL 10. For those of you who are unaware, or have repeatably tried to forget the memory that sports games exist, it stands for National Hockey League. Now, I still enjoy sports games every once in a while. My buddy is a big hockey fan, and I enjoy competing for bragging rights!

You’ve might have noticed though that I said NHL 10, not 11. The reason being is that I don’t care too much for sports games. I don’t see the point in buying them every year just because they’ve updated the team rosters, included a few “neat” features, and have improved graphics. With each costing at least $60, it’s been a challenge looking for that bang for my buck!

NHL 11 Preview at the Sony Holiday Event last October.

What confuses me the most is their ability to sell well every year! Do they have a fantastic advertisement team like the characters from Mad Men, or do they just expect it to sell based on the population of the sport itself?

I hardly see any billboards, posters, or even commercials  advertised , even on the internet (The only exception would be video game stores or events). It’s leading me to believe that their is no real advertisement team, and their entire market group is  solely based on fans who purchased the game previously (Obvious, I know). I bet if there is a team that does marketing, they probably just smoke and drink during all day anyways.

However, during the final week of 2010, FIFA 11 lead UK in all-platform sales. Not only are these sports games selling well in their own league, but topping the entire market. It’s moments like these that make me yell, “What the fuck is going on?”, and die a little inside. Just to be fair though on sports games, I’m actually a huge soccer fan and I currently own FIFA 11 myself (It was a gift).

Still, this shouldn’t be happening. Sports games should be patched, instead of re-released. They should be more creative with their titles. Sadly, it means one of two options instead: 1. Non-gamers are suddenly becoming “gamers”, or 2. Existing gamers are starting to like sports. Whatever the outcome is, they both lead to an increase in casual gaming, and less risk taking.

More money for people upstairs I suppose, I’ll see you next fall sports!



One Response to “Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car.”

  1. Damian said

    Hey Arthur, if you have some free time and are more curious about sports video games, you might want to check out this lecture:

    Basically, what Bogost is saying is that sports videogames are a whole different beast from other videogames because they’re essentially just a variant of the sport itself. That is why there are a lot of folks that love both sports and sports videogames, but not much in the way of other videogames.

    Also, if a company like EA Sports were to just patch in new rosters every year, that’d be a huge amount of effort with absolutely no profit, which doesn’t make sense for a company whose main goal is to make money. DLC wouldn’t be nearly as effective either, because only a fraction of people who buy games buy the DLC for them. It only makes sense to keep minorly tweaking the game and boxing it with a different number every year because they know they can keep making money this way. They have a loyal and dedicated fanbase, they can get away with it.

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