Games Magazines – friend or foe?

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Chris
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Games Magazines – friend or foe?

Postby Chris » Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:54 am

The first magazine articles about Multiwinia should be in shops any day now, as we collectively dive into our largest and most comprehensive PR campaign to date. Vicky has really pulled out all the stops to make amazing things happen in the run-up to the game launch, and will shortly be hiring an assistant to help lessen the burden, bringing our total fulltime staff count into double figures. If by some freaky collision of calendars every single Introversion staff member and freelancer decided to work from the Flying Hamster on the same day, we’d have 15 people in the office at once. Not to mention blocked toilets, I’d imagine.

One of Vicky’s biggest achievements this time around was securing our first print magazine cover. We’ve been on the cover of a couple of industry trade magazines (anyone remember the cover of Develop years ago?) but this was our first consumer games magazine. This was a really big thing for us and a clear sign that we’d stepped up in the eyes of editors and readers around the world, and could now command the ultimate bit of promotional space for our latest game. Vicky dealt with the editors of this print magazine in good faith, and we traded a “World Exclusive Preview” of Multiwinia for the cover of their mag. A pretty good deal all around, and great news for us. We set to work and hired our graphics freelancer Morten to do a cover for us, and the results are awesome – even in this incomplete state. Imagine how cool and striking it would have been to see this in the shops.

Image

Sadly, it was not to be. We came so close this time, but in the end the magazine changed their minds pretty late in the day and put something else on the cover instead. We really did everything right – we had the deal in writing, we spent a whole day with their writer showing him the game and talking with him, but in the end it’s up to the magazine to make the final call. We won’t go too far into messy details, but some sort of “editorial mixup” was involved, and you can read into that however you want.

We were a little bit upset by this, to say the least. Losing the cover was disappointing, but the far bigger problem was that we’d given them this one week long world exclusive period, so all the other print magazine coverage had been timed to come out a week later at least. Over the last few years we’ve built some strong relationships with certain games mags, particularly in the UK, and we’ve come to respect their writers and editors to a large degree, and this time around we told them they’d have to wait before they could print anything because of this exclusive. They were of course totally professional about it. But to have traded in some of that good will in order to get this magazine cover, then to lose that cover, leaves a nasty taste in all of our mouths.

But it’s reminded us why we respected those other games magazines and their teams so much – throughout this whole experience they’ve been very understanding of our decisions and totally professional – the kind of journo’s we love dealing with. And in Future we will certainly be dealing with them first.
Last edited by Chris on Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby martin » Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:44 am

Anyone recognise the style of cover design? I suggest an embargo ;)

Seriously though, that's really bad luck, I assume it's too late for other magazines to modiy their contents to include MW stuff earlier?
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Postby PetrGasparik » Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:46 am

I!m keeping my fingers crossed for Multiwinia
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Postby MarvintheParanoidAndroid » Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:49 am

martin wrote:Anyone recognise the style of cover design? I suggest an embargo ;)

Hmm, I wonder, just who they could be referring to... Well, I might go and pick up a copy for the Introversion coverage, but in general I think I'll be sticking to PC Gamer UK (I wonder if the capitalised 'F' in Future is a hint there? :P)
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Postby Rkiver » Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:56 am

Damn, so near, yet so far. If I saw that in the shops I'd pick it up straight away (Like I did with that Edge one with the Darwinian on the Optimus a few years back).

Ah well, keep on trucking, some day the media will cop that IV deserve the spot.
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Postby estel » Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:10 pm

Shucks :(

And in Future we will certainly be dealing with them first.


Hmm...
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Postby Nutter » Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:11 pm

Its a shame it didn't happen but I guess thats what happens sometimes
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Postby zach » Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:41 pm

There's something I don't understand here ...

You traded away the two-week exclusive - only for the possibility of a front cover?

I'm curious as to how your contract with the magazine - if any - was worded, to allow this sort of "editorial mixup" to happen and yet let the magazine keep their exclusive rights.

And of course, bummer - I was all worked up in the first half of the blog post, and now this. *sigh* Well, I can only imagine what faith in the industry it gives you that - despite everything - some magazines are very large and understanding about the whole thing.
They wouldn't be so if your games usually sucked though, so you're definitely doing things right (yet different than most), even from an industry point of view :roll:

--- Oh, and by the way, great job on that cover, Nutter!
I absolutely find it fantastic ... I wonder where you have that "background" image from, it looks really great.
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Postby Nutter » Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:50 pm

Thanks! The background is a screenshot I took in game (burning trees never gets old). I can't post the screenshot though as its Vicky's call to decide when and which screenshots to release :)
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Postby estel » Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:07 am

More campaigning in Edge is in order, I feel.
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Postby shinygerbil » Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:16 pm

Yes Edge.

(I too bought the Edge with the Darwinian on it, but then I always get my Edge. I'm a subscriber. :))
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Postby pjsxnxgk » Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:20 pm

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Postby KingAl » Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:19 pm

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Postby pjsxnxgk » Sun Jun 15, 2008 2:42 am

Oh balls. Never mind. I recognised the mag from the standard features listed on the spine of the mock-up in the blog, found their site, poked around for the best version of the cover image, made sure I searched on their forums for relevant comments, and registered here to point it out. I thought I'd done quite well :)

As for zero posts... I got an error submitting the first one, went back and did it again, ended up with two identical posts and then deleted the duplicate. I guess it had only registered one of them for counting purposes. It almost seems a shame to post this reply and move into positive numbers!
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Postby xander » Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:39 am

pjsxnxgk wrote:Oh balls. Never mind. I recognised the mag from the standard features listed on the spine of the mock-up in the blog, found their site, poked around for the best version of the cover image, made sure I searched on their forums for relevant comments, and registered here to point it out. I thought I'd done quite well :)

As for zero posts... I got an error submitting the first one, went back and did it again, ended up with two identical posts and then deleted the duplicate. I guess it had only registered one of them for counting purposes. It almost seems a shame to post this reply and move into positive numbers!

Indeed. I would have created a new account.

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