Kristian Segerstrale, founder of Playfish and now EA’s EVP of digital, says that games must properly market themselves to gamers. The switch to digital means that there has to be a more personal relationship with customers, he asserts.

“The games industry isn’t alone in this transformation we’re seeing,” said Segerstrale. “Music and movies have also made the digital switch. Sure, the business models have changed, but the consumer experience is vastly superior. We’re clearly going from boxed products to digital services. We’re going from up-front business models to games where the up-front cost is smaller and smaller, where there are free to play games out there. With this shift, our relationship with our consumer sometimes becomes more important than our relationship with the [retail] channels.”

“No longer is the event of picking up a game tied to monetization. We’re going to see a decoupling of those things. You need to think of it like a consumer internet business, where acquisition is just the beginning,” he added. “Rather than having one side of the company making games and other getting them to consumers, now the whole company needs to take part in those processes. The [promotion] outside the game is important, but what really matters is the real-estate in the games themselves.”

Players have to discover things while they are playing a game, and it’s important to have a network of cross-promotions and other interconnected social services, with games linking to each other in some way and increasing exposure. “It’s about brands across ecosystems — not isolated islands, but experiences across ecosystems,” Segerstrale said.

Source: Gamasutra