2K’s marketing taking hits left and right

Posted June 21st, 2007 at 4:05 pm
APF 2K8 Trailer Screen 16

You know its not a good sign when the marketing of a game becomes the most discussed topic about it. Whether it be on the 2K Sports or Operation Sports forums (really the only two places the game is being discussed at all), reading up on All-Pro Football 2K8 you'll find many comments and threads talking about the marketing (or lack thereof). When message boards are overrun with marketing discussion something has gone terribly wrong.

If that isn't bad enough, right in the middle of all this, the VP of Marketing Eric Whiteford has left his position. Not the type of press you want out in the midst of the most important time for this (potential) franchise.

The article I wrote up last week got a huge response on Operation Sports. Some people agreed with my points, while others deflected the issues at hand or denied they exist. Since then it seems that more and more are coming around to understanding the full effect the debacle that has been the marketing surrounding this title has had. The question isn't whether the game will be good or not. It's that if the game plays great, will it actually matter if no one buys it?

There have been so many questionable decisions behind this game. Going with no franchise mode, including OJ Simpson, naming a team the Indians, offering reduced presentation, creating ridiculous over-the-top stadiums and environments that conflict with the legends idea, and going only for PS3/360 thus ignoring the PS2 consumers are just some examples. The only good move seems to have been signing legends, and even that can be debated as it forced them into selling the game at $60.

There certainly is reason for concern from fans hoping this game would deliver and establish itself for the future. With no support behind it, things are looking bleak. That is not good news for those who enjoy football games as the competition has been shown to be a positive thing and the varied selection is always a good thing to have. Yet when the company developing the title doesn't support it, clearly there is a big problem at hand.

There still is no "official" release date. There still haven't been any videos out other than a trailer that brought about lukewarm reaction. We have screenshots from sites disappearing. There is practically no communication coming from 2K and what little there is has been somewhat conflicting. You get the feeling that they're hiding the game for a reason.

The atmosphere around the game can still change. If there are videos that come out ASAP that look promising and if the demo releases to praise that could turn things around. The game always had the dilemna of how to sell it to those outside of the hardcore 2K fans, now however it seems they'll need to win back the favor of many of those as well.

They've certainly backed themselves into a position where they have to make up a lot of ground and the opportunity to do so is running short. It's time for them to change the story from their inept marketing to demonstrating the merits of the game.