Q&A: Dieter Marchsreiter from Marchsreiter Communications on PR challenges in the year ahead

Well that was an interesting year. According to most commentators, not the best in terms of marquee games, but, as ever, plenty of evidence in the games we did get that the industry is as creative and forward-looking as ever. If nothing else, 2023 will be every bit as fascinating when we come to look back on it.

It wasn’t just about the games of course. Events were back in a big way (apart from E3 of course), NFTs went away just as spectacularly, and we had the year-long soap opera of Microsoft and Sony’s custody battle over Activision Blizzard. How those played out from a comms perspective and what will shape the PR challenges in the year ahead is the subject of this month’s panel. Next up is Dieter Marchsreiter Managing Director and Owner of Marchsreiter Communications. Enjoy!

It’s fair to say that 2022 wasn’t the greatest year for quality releases or launches… or was it?

For us it was a great year for quality releases and launches, we couldn’t have done more PR for great games – and we’re happy about any additional delays!

E3 aside, it was a full house for live events last year. How do you see expos, conferences and other game events panning out this year?

Gamescom was back in full in 2022, we had a very busy time in the B2B area with clients and events set at or near the show. A physical Indie Arena Booth @ Gamescom was great again, so were hybrid events like devcom, Nordic Game and Games Industry Conference and also Reboot Revelop Blue had a comeback. We hope for a great E3 2023 and that all events will be even better in 2023, not all new small events will likely survive.

How else did the PR landscape change during 2022?

We still have many digital preview events, however physical events had a comeback and we likely going to see more desk tours and events in 2023.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard dominated thinking in 2022. What’s your take? How well did Microsoft and Sony make their respective casse? Will the deal go through, and what will it mean for the industry in the years ahead?

We cared more about Sony and Bungie or Nacon and Daedalic as those are clients. Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are still unsettled.

Without blowing your own trumpet too loudly, what was your highlight of the last year (2022) in terms of the PR campaigns that were waged?

Gamescom with great meetings, and the Metal Hellsinger concert. Plus a Ghostbusters party as special highlights!

What are the PR challenges for the year ahead and how will you be preparing to overcome them?

Number of games covering journalists still shrinking while the influencer sector in Europe is not really growing anymore. We see an opportunity of web content creators cooperating with mainstream media.

AI is threatening to change the way content is created and received (ChatGPT does a pretty good press release). What are the issues for PR as AI content services become increasingly competent and compelling?

Personal relations will matter in the future. The use of constantly improving tools will increase all over the games industry. Also in PR but rather in key distribution or collecting coverage, not outreach.

About Richie Shoemaker

Prior to taking the editorial helm of MCV/DEVELOP Richie spent 20 years shovelling word-coal into the engines of numerous gaming magazines and websites, many of which are now lost beneath the churning waves of progress. If not already obvious, he is partial to the odd nautical metaphor.

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