Corporate brand building

The only place you'll ever hear the truth
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Chris
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Corporate brand building

Postby Chris » Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:56 pm

We'd like to thank Tom Francis and PC Gamer this month. Thanks for the great preview. For those that haven't bought it yet, PC Gamer has a two page preview of Multiwinia, an article about Chronometer (just reporting the news, not a preview or anything), and all three of our games show up in their top 100 games list. The articles quote a lot from this blog, taking our brutally honest words and combining them with editorial opinion.

We think quite carefully about what we write on this blog. One of our golden rules is that everything written in the blog is the truth - we don't want it to become an extended press release. This doesn't mean we will always tell you everything - we can just say nothing and frequently do so - but if we write something here, it will be honest and true. I love hearing about the inside workings of games companies, and the decisions that people make along the way. I'm sick of reading and hearing dishonest propaganda and marketing euphemisms from big name developers who really can't seem to stop spouting shit. They really should know better.

E3 seems to bring out the worst of them.

Franchises. Titles. A flood of Innovative and Compelling new content. Market demographics. Maximising the Value proposition to our consumers. Brand building. Platform Exclusives. High definition experience. Core gamers and casual entertainment enthusiasts. Winning the format war. Into the 21st century and beyond.

When did videogame PR become a party political broadcast?

As a company the only time we visited E3 was in 2002, trying to get Uplink distributed worldwide. I remember looking around the show floor at the massive cinema screens showing identical looking trailers on loop, the bored attendants explaining their new games to cynical journalists, the even more bored girls in really stupid outfits forcing a smile while a long line of gamers queue to have have their pictures taken, thumbs up to the camera, and most of all the overwhelming NOISE - everything turned up to 11 in some crazy audio arms race. I remember wondering how Introversion fitted into all of this.

We can stand around all day sending press releases to each other. We can totally dehumanize the process, building a franchise title and increasing its value proposition amoungst our core demographic of consumers. Or we can decide we don't want to be part of all that nonsense, and commit ourselves to creating games with the passion and soul that made us love gaming in the first place.
Last edited by Chris on Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby jelco » Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:13 pm

<3 Introversion.

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Postby Xarlaxas » Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:13 pm

I agree completely, the truth is always (in my opinion) the best way to reach out to people and it's for this reason that I have grown to love Introversion and hold it as my favourite games company over others. ^_^
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Postby shinygerbil » Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:13 pm

\o/

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Re: Corporate brand building

Postby xander » Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:34 pm

Chris wrote:...the even more bored girls in really stupid outfits forcing a smile while a long line of gamers queue to have have their pictures taken...

Does this mean that Vic won't be dressing up in stupid outfits for us? :( Sorry -- maybe it didn't HAVE to be said, but, really, someone had to say it.


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Postby Pentadact » Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:34 pm

Thank you: honesty makes great copy. I didn't go too much into judging the game at this stage, because I don't like to pretend I know what a multiplayer game's going to be like without having played it against humans. But for what it's worth, I'm having great fun in the bigger matches against the AI.

-

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Postby MarkHB » Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:51 pm

It's all part and parcel really, isn't it? When you start wandering off into "Let's milk our key demographic with Tony Wood's Need for Street 478 (Playstation III Exgluesniff with the £40 extra downloadable codpiece pack)" territory, you're no longer making games for the sake of gaming, you're making games for the sake of extracting bunce from impressionable wee kiddies who wouldn't know a stimulating gameplay element if it walked up and stuffed a flaming Cluestick in their left ear.

Not that there's anything particularly wrong with that. Let's face it, without the EAs of this world, consoles and high-end graphics cards would be either prohibitively expensive, or not as yummy as they are. So Little Timmy Four-Thumbs and his overlords at BigStudioHoldingsPLC get a vote of thanks from me. The danger, though, is that the creative and fun software companies - that is, those who want to write games because games are fun, a great artistic expression, or even just a good excuse to biff a handful of grenades over a hill and make things go all splodey - might get squeezed out.

But you haven't. Which is bloody marvellous.
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Postby shinygerbil » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:14 pm

Also, everyone should watch the latest Zero Punctuation. (I know most of you already do. :P) It's very relevant ;)
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Postby The GoldFish » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:06 pm

Consoles - I think they're to blame.

What I mean is, the mass commercialisation of games and big brand competition. It's not enough to compete in the present with existing games that you're producing. It's progressed into competing with game futures. They don't have to worry about pushing games that they end up not making, since they've already filtered out all the new ideas and innovation and stuck with the safebet sequal to their iconic franchises. Once things start being run by over opressive marketing... that's when things start going wrong, I think.

Marketing is a word to be feared more than Health and Safety, I think.

On that note, any well grounded human being who turned up into the computer gaming market would probably have exactly the same reaction Chris has talked about here.
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Postby NeoThermic » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:20 pm

Today Introversion announce new Cooperate Buzzwords for the gaming industry. "This should allow a flood of innovative and compelling new content." says Chris Delay. "We looked at the market demographics and worked out a percice way to maximise the value proposition to our consumers using XML." In the modern days of brand building with platform exclusives that allow a high definition experience, IV have decided to focus on core gamers and casual entertainment enthusiasts. All this because IV have truly won the format war into the 21st century and beyond.


*feels sick* ;)

I still think that "dohicky" needs to be a buzzword. "We added a whole new selection of dohickies to the game!" sounds like such an amazing sentence. In my insane mind at least.

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Postby Orange Soda » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:30 pm

This sounds like introversion's epic pre-battle (programming?) speech. I can picture the ranks of IV lined up as Chris paces back and forth uttering these words. Throw in "We will not slip silently into the night..." somewhere, and it is completed.

Seriously, there is a reason I love IV, and this is it. Don't ever change. In an industry filled with repeats, duplicates, sequels, and knock offs, IV has original ideas. In an industry consumed by graphics and appearance, completely and utterly convinced that if a game doesn't have the latest and greatest, it will fail, IV makes stunningly beautiful, yet simple, games.

IV truly does represent the last bedroom programmers.

Sometimes, I wish that IV's community would never grow. When your fan base becomes too large, you can loose communication with the people, which is where it always goes wrong. That is where bedroom programmers become businesses. When the community grows too large, the people themselves loose communication with each other, lost in the sea of never ending newcomers. The latter is unavoidable, but the former is in your hands. Don't forget about us as your fame grows.
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Postby MarkHB » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:09 pm

I very nearly agree with you, Orange Soda - but it's not losing communication with the people which is the danger. It's getting Demographicked to death - when you've got too many people yelling, and you end up listening to them, instead of listening to the creative juice which got you doing things your own way in the first place.

Keep listening to yourselves, fellers - you're going great.
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Re: Corporate brand building

Postby *Chron* » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:47 pm

Chris wrote:We can stand around all day sending press releases to each other. We can totally dehumanize the process, building a franchise title and increasing its value proposition amoungst our core demographic of consumers. Or we can decide we don't want to be part of all that nonsense, and commit ourselves to creating games with the passion and soul that made us love gaming in the first place.




:arrow: man, spoke straight out of my heart
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Postby KingAl » Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:35 am

Chris wrote:We shall fight them on the beaches...
Gentlemen, you can't fight in here: this is the War Room!
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Postby MarkHB » Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:54 am

KingAl wrote:
Chris wrote:We shall bite them on the features...

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