Second only to Call of Duty, the Dr Kawashima titles are one of the biggest selling games franchises
in the UK.
Having captured the Nintendo audience many years ago, the series now sets its sights on Microsoft gamers with Dr Kawashima’s Body and Brain Exercises.
Like the good doctor’s previous titles, the game helps players stimulate their dormant mental muscles with a variety of challenges.
However, rather than depending on simple button or touch screen inputs, this brain trainer uses full body motions thanks to Kinect.
Gamers will have to pose to complete on-screen puzzles, such as separating coloured objects or to indicate the correct answer in maths teasers.
There are over 20 activities available to choose from, and all of them cater for up to four players.
It’s the first time that Dr Kawashima has appeared on home consoles, and Namco Bandai is confident that he will prove to be just as big a hit as he did with handheld gamers.
“Dr Kawashima’s Body and Brain Exercises will arguably be the largest licensed product released so far on Kinect,” says product manager Lauren Bradley.
“The success of this game does hinge on the install base of Kinect, but we see this as one of the key titles coming out that is sure to boost sales of the hardware.
“There is a large crossover between DS and Xbox ownership meaning we have a large universe of Dr Kawashima fans that already own an Xbox 360.”
As with all Kinect titles, the focus for Body and Brain will be to reach the newer audience Microsoft’s console is targeting.
Namco Bandai is putting the finishing touches on a mammoth campaign that will drive this further (see ‘Marketing Exercises’).
“We are spending to capture existing Xbox customers – young parents of 30 to 44 years old who will repurpose their Xbox for more family-orientated gaming, as well
as the traditional Dr Kawashima customer who will fit suitably within Microsoft’s new audience,” says Bradley.
“The nature of this title means we are hoping for an evergreen seller. A well-known brand such as Dr Kawashima could well be the title new Kinect owners are waiting for.”
Ads will run in a wide range of women’s publications, all bearing the message: ‘Reclaim the living room’. A separate campaign will appear in men’s lifestyle magazines, with broader ads secured in national and other mainstream press.
Social media will be instrumental in Namco Bandai’s online push. The publisher will be creating a strong presence for the game on Facebook and other popular destinations later this month.
The company is planning to re-promote the game around key selling periods such as Easter, exams and back to school in order to recreate the long-term sales of the previous Kawashima titles on DS.
WORD OF MOUTH
Given the huge popularity of the original Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training titles, you can be sure that Brain and Body Exercises will draw in the crowds as word spreads of its health benefits.