Games publishers are getting behind Facebook as a major marketing tool, enabling them to interact with millions of consumers directly.
The social network is becoming increasingly important to publishers' marketing plans, from Nintendo directing traffic through a Monster Hunter Facebook hub to Ubisoft inviting fans to befriend the Prince of Persia.
EA has gathered particularly impressive audiences through the site, with one million people following The Sims content, 500,000 following FIFA, 850,000 following EA Sports and a BioWare community of more than five million Facebook users.
We see huge value in engaging directly with the fans of all our games,” said EA's UK PR director Simon Smith-Wright.
Many of our studios and games already boast enormous active communities but Facebook is also very valuable to us in growing these. And with social media experts Playfish now part of the EA team, you can imagine how we can really grow in this space.”
Tecmo Koei's community manager Chin Soon Sun added that Facebook can even provide a cost-effective boost
to compliment established marketing campaigns.
It's free, so we don't need to spend a huge amount of advertising cost,” he said, All we need is to be enthusiastic, interact with them, keep them updated and we get to know each other better.”
However, publishers are aware that care still needs to be taken when using Facebook or other social media.
Facebook is a sure fire way of hyping the community and spreading information and assets such as trailers on new titles,” said Namco Bandai's head of PR Lee Kirton.
But anything you release will spread to a much broader level, so communication is important. It all needs to fit into the overall campaign and not damage any of your