Anyone possessing a pulse in the past few months has probably noticed that Infinity Ward has been deeply involved in marketing their upcoming Q4 behemoth, Modern Warfare 2. Now the Encino-based powerhouse is urging its competitors to follow in their stead and adopt a new hands-on approach to promotion and marketing.
IW’s Creative Strategist Robert Bowling believes that diminishing the role of the PR middleman helped them maintain a greater connection with their product, and in turn, with their fans. “Not only do we know the game but we know the gamer,” he says, “We know what to expect from them and what they expect from us. So it helps us guide design decisions and decisions overall, including with PR.” Bowling was one of the individuals responsible for Modern Warfare 2‘s social media-fueled PR campaign, which he believes provided a more intimate setting for revealing the game’s details to fans. He also stresses the importance of developers retaining this kind of jurisdiction over their game’s image. “I don’t think any developer should not have control of how their game is presented or marketed or communicated. And they should take control of that a lot, lot more.”
Infinity Ward’s campaign is definitely a strong example of how PR power can be put back in the hands of developers to benefit both a game’s creator and its fans. Perhaps with enough time, we’ll soon see a more personal approach to marketing from big-name game studios across the board.