Marketing a game is all that matters to a game publisher, as a good advertisement campaign can make a terrible game into the best selling game of the month. Anticipation for a game usually can reach it’s peak before release with a multiplayer demo a month or two before its release.
Last October for those who pre-ordered Medal of Honor‘s Limited Edition, you got an invite to the Battlefield 3 Beta for this summer. Later, you found out this invite only got you into the beta 48 hours earlier than everyone else; anticipation had been growing ever since. With the twentieth game to be released in the series this November, EA and DICE had to push Battlefield 3 to finally take down Activision’s Call of Duty series as the best military first-person shooter.
With great previews from multiple gaming websites, the hype before the beta was as high as it could get, as many Call of Duty fanboys have firmly shifted their loyalty to the gaming kings of Sweden, and now the beta was just the frosting on the cake. How could the momentum shift now with such a change in the mind of gamers?
EA and DICE did exactly that: shift the momentum back to Activision to have those who swore their money with pre-orders to cancel them, because of a very poorly received Battlefield 3 Beta. I asked on Twitter whether the beta affected gamers pre-orders and these are some of the responses I recieved.
In Hollywood, celebrities always try to get into the news because any news reported on them is good news. Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan have made a career of being bad girls with getting paid to visit clubs.
Unfortunately, this isn’t true with the gaming industry. Once one thing is reported on a game or company, the industry sets off like a wild fire talking about whatever incident happened. This month, everyone on Xbox Live and Playstation Network is spouting their opinions on Battlefield 3 and about three out of four times I hear anything, it’s negative connotations to the beta.
Why was the Battlefield 3 Beta bad for EA and DICE? People have set in their mind that the final retail multiplayer will be as the beta was. Karl Magnus Troedsson of DICE had to comment about the process of submitting it to Microsoft for Xbox Live:
“Just like normal procedure when releasing a game, the Open Beta has had long lead times due to testing, certification, and setting up. This means that the code you are now playing is actually quite early and not representative of the final game.”
This shouldn’t be an excuse. If you are going to release a taste of your game less than three months before the release, you are trying to get people to pre-order your title, and if the demo (it was called a beta, but it might have been considered one if it was released earlier in the development cycle) is terrible you are just doing a disservice to the advertising campaign for your game.
Despite what the actual final product may be, gamers have already set in their mind that Battlefield 3‘s multiplayer will be full of glitches and bugs. EA and DICE, your fanboys will purchase the title and love it, but the average gamer will purchase Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 over Battlefield 3.
This post wasn’t meant to start a flame war. The editorial was meant to address the failure in the marketing done by EA and DICE to attempt to tease gamers into purchasing Battlefield 3 later this month. The fact is that most gamers don’t know the difference between a Beta and a Demo which I have explained previously.
Fans get the wrong idea of the game because of an impression they are given by a sampling of the product that was released within thirty days of the game’s release date. Due to this wrong impression, some gamers will choose to pick a different game instead because of what they experienced.
This editorial isn’t a news article even though the category is tagged because I put research in on the editorial. I hope this can clear things up and thank you for reading.