‘We’ll never spend any money on advertising Hawken’

The publisher of upcoming free-to-play game Hawken has vowed never to spend any money on advertising.

Instead, the firm is splashing out on movies, novels, a web series, graphic novels and other ‘transmedia’ products to generate hype for its new first person shooter.

That was the subject of Mark Long’s closing speech at London Games Conference last night. The CEO of Hawken’s publisher Meteor revealed that the game should generate excitement via word of mouth.

"Transmedia is a perfect model for F2P,” he told attendees.

The game is popular all over the world, thanks just to word of mouth and zero-cost or very cheap marketing.”

Long pointed out that Hawken is going up against ‘two of the biggest first person shooters in the world’ in Halo and Call of Duty.

"We’re not going to be spending any money on advertising, and we’ve managed to do a lot to get the game noticed without much money to spend on marketing,” he said. With a little effort there’s still good marketing ideas out there, and you can reach gamers all over the world."

According to Long, Russia is the fourth most popular country for Hawken fans, Polan is seventh and Australia is also in the Top Ten, despite no activity taking place in those territories.

The firm’s marketing strategy is called ‘content marketing,’ says Long. And that the firm has worked on creating a Hawken film, TV web series, graphic novels, prose novel and anime to drive awareness. And he told listeners that these are the best form of marketing for free-to-play titles like Hawken. And gave a pointed plan for other F2P publishers to follow in terms of transmedia activity.

He said:

– There has to be a coordinated effort that sees your IP and story span across the various mediums, but each product must work in isolation

– Each medium must make its own unique contribution to the fictional world

– Each medium should tell a complete story. Nothing should cover the entire story.

Long used the example of the Matrix, which saw an animated short, a video game and a movie work in tandem. But audiences did not have to view or play all three to make sense of the story. All three worked together as individual stories.

You can read more from Meteor Entertainment in last week’s issue of MCV.

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