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Is It Really Necessary To Market The Hell Out Of Dark Souls II?

I'm going from the video game culture perspective here, so bear with me-

According to OXM UK, Namco Bandai PR director Lee Kirton says they'll be treating the upcoming Dark Souls II as a "massive AAA game." Basically, he said that while Demon's Souls and Dark Souls were "very focused, small-scale," the sequel will be marketed as something much bigger. He also added:

"We're going to go guns-blazing with it, and hope to God that it works. We're going after people who love and adore Dark Souls, while hopefully widening the net a little. I'm not saying that every Skyrim player's going to be jumping on Dark Souls, but it would be nice if some of them did. It's a different game, sure."

Kirton specifically cited fans of The Elder Scrolls franchise as targets, which makes sense. But I have to spending the extra dollars on marketing for Dark Souls II really necessary? Look, this is the epitome of a hardcore title, right? Only the hardcore will be interested; the casuals run screaming in the other direction. Now, as far as I can tell, marketing has very little effect on the hardcore because they always remain up-to-date and educated on everything, and they usually know precisely what they want. In short, they know games and the industry.

The hardcore fans of the first two titles in this series don't need a thousand ads to convince them to buy Dark Souls II. They've already made that decision. And you're not going to budge the casual gamers, unless you trick 'em with a few slick TV ads that make the game look like something it's not. The Elder Scrolls followers? Hardcore. They likely know all about Demon's Souls and Dark Souls; even if they haven't played them, they're probably aware, and they're also aware of DSII. They'll look into it with or without ads, I believe. I'm almost certain they will.

Dark Souls sold 2.3 million copies worldwide. I just don't see the sequel selling much more than that, even with this "massive" campaign. Ads really have little effect on the ardent, the avid, the die-hard. They already know what's what; they've probably already read dozens of articles and seen dozens of trailers and gameplay footage before ever laying eyes on that ad. And they're the only ones who will be interested in DSII. I'm just saying.

Related Game(s): Dark Souls II

Tags: dark souls ii, dark souls 2, dark souls sequel, namco bandai

5/15/2013 11:35:13 AM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (14 posts)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 @ 12:17:24 PM

I think you have a valid point. I knew about Dark Souls 2 before they officially made the announcement as I'm sure many other fans of this franchise did.

I don't know. I feel that advertising should be left for games people don't have knowledge that they exist.

The fans of the "Tales of..." franchise have done more get the word out that the Tales of games exist than Namco has. Its only now, at the 'tale' end of this gaming generation, that they're making the franchise more known.

Tales of = needs advertising
Souls franchise = doesn't

All my opinion of course .

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013 @ 1:01:45 PM

I agree with Ben. I say if this AAA push succeeds with a kinder, softer, and more 'accessible' game we may see the series continue to cater to the masses all the while offending it's original base.
Some games don't need to be mainstream AAA. Some games are better for it.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/15/2013 1:02:04 PM

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013 @ 1:13:21 PM

I'm getting this game. I knew I was getting this game a long time ago, before I had seen anything about this game. I knew it because I adore both Demon's Souls and Dark Souls. I don't think a big massive push in marketing is going to "widen the net" too much because this is a punishing series and I just don't believe it's a "mass appeal" sort of thing. Not that that is a bad thing, on the contrary, we need niche titles to keep innovation high.

This to me smells like a waste of money and a poor decision going forward. Hope it doesn't do so much damage that we see another casualty to the times.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013 @ 1:42:08 PM

It isn't necessary to market it as aggressively as they seem to want to; it might even be wasteful. The original was an uncompromising game made for a very specific type of player and they loved it. It was budgeted carefully, marketed carefully and turned a profit on two million units sold over the course of a year. A massive ad push-beyond raising the number of sales required to make a profit-isn't going to help them.

Last edited by Kryten1029a on 5/15/2013 1:42:48 PM

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013 @ 3:20:08 PM

Unless they change something fundamental about the gameplay this game is still going to remain niche. That has been my concern about everything to do with this title. I am afraid they are going to sacrifice what made the first titles so great in order to try and pull in more gamers.

The problem is I think that it is going to backfire and you will have neither the hardcore, nor the casual wanting to play this. Much like what happened with the Final Fantasy series.

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Deleted User
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 @ 5:08:46 PM

What's the definition of hardcore and casual? Itseems pretty vague. I know a lot of people that don't play tons of different games throw themselves into one or two games a year and master every inch of it. Plus there is a void in fantasy titles this year so an aggressive ad campaign may pique the interest of the gamers that decided to purchase Elder Scrolls over Dark Souls because their friends did two year ago.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013 @ 6:33:27 PM

I doubt Elder Scroll fanbase would like it much, not offense to him but I'm gonna use World as an example, he loves to have his fun in his own way playing that and hated how criminal Demons Souls was with him xD, I wouldn't market Dark Souls II much but whatever...hope things turn okay.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013 @ 8:06:39 PM

So he meant the ads would go after more gamers? Not the game?

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013 @ 8:09:43 PM

It is great to hear that Namco is going push Dark Souls 2. This will be a day one purchase for me and I would encourage any Scrolls fan to give it a look.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013 @ 4:52:03 AM

putting all your eggs in one basket, what could possibly go wrong!?
eh, just keep it reasonable.
dont go spending the money $E has done with eidos games, and expecting them to break sales records!

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Thursday, May 16, 2013 @ 11:28:59 AM

There is almost no title that doesn't benefit from increased advertising, so I see no logical reason not to do it. There's the possibility that they will over-extend their budget and thus make the game not profitable (or not as profitable as they would like), but that could be a trade off for when the next version arrives. They won't know until they try.

I don't know about you folks, but when it comes to games I like, I want them advertised -more-, because I know it will result in increased sales. Seldom do games that I like seem to have respectable advertising budgets.

All the comments about "only the hardcore are interested" to me seem myopic. Final Fantasy was once seen as a hardcore title from a niche genre as well, until FFVII (3 month advertising blitz for those who don't remember) blew it up.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013 @ 2:02:57 PM

Give me an easy difficulty and I'll buy it.

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Friday, May 17, 2013 @ 11:54:37 AM

The game is simply not for you.

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Friday, May 17, 2013 @ 11:54:22 AM

Seems wasteful, but the fan base has no reason not to buy this title so it shouldn't hurt them too much.

Can't say I'm not happy to get a new souls game. Hopefully they don't get attached to this notion of reaching out to everybody though.

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