The games under the umbrella of ZeniMax Media are legendary, ranging from The Elder Scrolls to Doom, but one of their more impressive achievements is cable TV integrations. Recently Breaking Bad had some very deliberate and repeated integrations of Rage that were reflective of the inner psychology of Jesse, the main character.
Now, Bethesda’s Dishonored is getting a an integration on Syfy’s Face Off, a competition series that pits sci-fi makeup artists against each other with various themes. The competitors will be required to use the game’s digital designs as a basis for their own practical effects, which will be a first for a gaming series.
“The producers really got it — they even picked a steampunk location in that was the essence of the game,” said Cara Scharf, president of Fearless Media, who worked with Bethesda and Syfy on the deal. “All the stars have to align for these things. Producers are artists who don’t like you messing with the script.”
Bethesda is Scharf’s only gaming client and she isn’t planning to add others. “I just felt as though this company was on fire and I could do a much better job for them if I solely concentrated on launching their titles,” she said.
While Dishonored is a brand new IP, Bethesda’s VP of marketing and public relations Pete Hines says that works to the games advantage in a general marketing sense. “When you say, ‘Oh, we’re doing something around Skyrim,’ people say, ‘I know what that is!’ It’s a little harder to get your foot in the door with Dishonored, but we know the game better than anyone else,” said Hines.
Other marketing for the game includes things like a free Fruit Ninja-style mobile game, a masquerade party at a gaming expo that mimics one of the game’s levels and a contest to remix one of the game’s songs. Expect to see ads on ESPN, Syfy, Comedy Central, FX and other networks with a male slant to them.
Chris Czarkowski, VP of Syfy’s advertising sales, says said that the network’s growing unscripted range of shows opens doors to deep product integrations and video games are a good market for the network generally. “The category for Syfy is one of our largest,” said Czarkowski. “When, in the fourth quarter and the first quarter, they’re pushing their games, we tend to get a large portion of that marketplace. We’ve seen it grow.”
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