By Samuel North / May 16th, 2013
There is no shortage of risks that you must take when publishing a video game- the untold numbers of hurdles and pits that litter the race track towards a successful game launch have taken many casualties in the video game industry’s short history. Unfortunately, Namco Bandai may just be heading straight into a pit trap that has been tripping many major publishers recently when they announced that Dark Souls 2, the third game in the sleeper hit Souls series, will be getting a marketing campaign that will rival the likes of other massive, AAA titles.
Sometimes going small is not always an inferior plan, and the success of the first Dark Souls should attest to that. Since its release in October 2011, Dark Souls sold well over 2.3 million copies; an amazing feat when you consider it did not have the million-dollar marketing campaign showcasing it to the masses. However, the series’ publisher, Namco Bandai, has expressed that they have other plans for the Souls franchise now. Public relations director, Lee Kirton, said in a recent interview at a London preview event that Namco Bandai was going to go “gun blazing” for Dark Souls 2, and will treat the game like a AAA title from a marketing perceptive not seen in the previous two Souls titles.
Kirton explains this change in tactics is not only a way to attract long-standing Souls fans, but fans from other series, as well, like those of the massively successful Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim title, which was developed by Bethesda Softworks, and released on November 11, 2011.
Expensive marketing is a double-edged sword, since it does have the ability to help push a relatively unknown title to sell another million or two. But these days, we are seeing a very dangerous trend as the video game industry continues on its downturn; titles that we expect to be successful after selling millions on its release crash and burn when the shocking revelation that its bloated marketing budget completely hampered its ability to make a profit.
So what do you think? Is Namco Bandai taking the right path in marketing Dark Souls 2 this way? Is placing a larger budget to showcase Dark Souls 2 to a bigger market an ideal strategy? Can Namco Bandai balance its budget to allow Dark Souls 2 to be another financial success? Or should Namco Bandai continue to have a more hands-off approach, and allow the title to sell on its own merit?
To those interested in the continues development of Dark Souls 2, take a look at the 12 minute gameplay reveal that was released last month and see what the craze is all about.
Dark Souls 2 does not have a release date as of yet, but its developer, From Software, confirmed their title will make an appearance on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.
Dark Souls 2 is available for preorder on Amazon:
Dark Souls 2From SoftwareNamco BandaiPCPS3Xbox 360