THQ’s UK head of marketing Jon Rooke has taken an uncanny and unorthodox approach to videogame marketing. In a recent interview, Rooke talked about the company’s upcoming “fallen America” themed first-person shooter Homefront which is set to hit stores in February 2011.
Rather than bloat about the Kaos Studios-developed game, Rooke took a cautious and realistic approach, explaining how confident THQ feels about it but never forgetting that it’s the first game in a series of many. And even though developers know gamers love new intellectual properties, he understands the competition, its fan-base and what they’re up against. After all, achieving the biggest launch of everything takes some history, and doesn’t usually happen overnight.
“Medal of Honor, Call of Duty… those guys have been building those brands for years. We’re not going to do 15 million unit sales overnight with the first game – even if the market potential is there and we spent money on it, we just wouldn’t do it. You have to take time to build fans, engage consumers, give them a reason to purchase – and then keep them with it as you go to sequel iterations,” said Rooke.
“We have to be careful – we’re very confident about the brand, but we’re not going out and saying that it’s going to be bigger than Modern Warfare,” he continued. “We believe it’s an absolutely fantastic product – it’s going to be genre-competitive and actually stand out in a number of areas. But we’re also very conscious that this is a new IP, and first time in a franchise.”
Added Rooke, “I wouldn’t necessarily use myself the words ‘It’s a world-beater’ – because I think that conjures up the idea that we’ll be the best-selling first-person shooter game next year. We won’t – because there’ll be another Call of Duty, which will do that.”