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Marketing’s 4 Ps: Games Whose Success or Failure Clearly Hinged on One of Them?

Gamingtodaynews1g - Marketing's 4 Ps: Games Whose Success or Failure Clearly Hinged on One of Them?

If you're not in marketing or studying it, the 4 Ps are one of the first things you learn. They're a pretty timeless framework for understanding a company's marketing strategy. It's really simple:

  1. Product: The thing that's being sold, and to whom it's being sold. What it does/is, who would want it.
  2. Price: How much it costs the consumer to buy it/use it.
  3. Place: How the company will distribute it or make it available to people (Steam vs. Epic, store exclusivity is a really high profile "place" decision in gaming, right now).
  4. Promotion: Marketing communications. What the company says about the product (and how) to encourage consumers to buy/use it.

Anyway, I just thought of some games who clearly were screwed or made by a decision in one category. Either it died because the place decision was bad, even though price, product and promotion were great. Or vice versa. It won because the product was so good, despite bad price, place and promo decisions.

The idea that one marketing decision could be powerful enough to counter all others is super fascinating to me.

I'll put mine here, for discussion. I'm also super interested in your takes.

Lost solely because of Place strategy: Killer Instinct 2013

MS decided to make the game an XB1 exclusive, but that console lost the war before it even launched. The console had so little going for it that buying it just for KI was too high a risk. PC crossplay in 2016 was so powerful that it almost created a new fanbase for it. But, enough PC users were scared of Win10 at the time, and you could only buy KI through the Win10 store.

Place fail, again.


But, the game was free to try, the marketing was genius (Keats character reveals, those clever trailers), and I would argue it's the most fun competitive fighting game ever made.

Lost solely because of Product strategy: Dead Island

Remember that

? That got me so hyped for that game's story.

Otherwise, it was a full AAA game at $60 on all platforms. Price and place also acceptable.

But then you play it. It ended up a goofy, overlong cheesefest. And remember the final act, when it forces you to use it's awful gunplay through the end? Everything else sold me the game. The product itself emptied it into my mind's waste basket.

Lost solely because of Promotion strategy: The Surge

Phenomenal souls-like game at a reasonable $60 price tag that was multi-platform. Graphically beautiful, animations were top notch and fluid, and it got rid of the gear grind. You complete challenges to obtain materials and gear of your choice. Brilliant.

But the promotion? Needed more presence. Some streamers tried it, but they didn't finish on Stream (Angriest Pat, for one). Could have sponsored those streamers' full playthroughs. No podcasts were talking about it, because the hosts didn't seem very aware of it.

I'll leave it there. This is getting kind of long. What have you got? Any interesting additions?

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