With the game market consistently growing with new and familiar brands – and with multi-million dollar ad campaigns behind them – marketing needs to adapt to the times as well. At least, that’s what Ubisoft Montreal brand director Luc Duchaine believes.
Duchaine certainly has his hands full these days, as the publisher has released plenty of titles for the holiday season, including two Assassin’s Creed games, Far Cry 4, Just Dance 2015 and the upcoming multiplayer racer The Crew.
With that, Duchaine believes that a “necessary union” between marketing and development needs to be made, based on what he said last week at the Montreal International Game Summit. Game developers not only need to realize their creative potential with products, but also promote it the right way, according to GamesIndustry International.
Some developers and marketers are getting along better, but Duchaine believes there’s still a way to go. “It’s a recurring subject,” he explained. “I still get it sometimes from people who are new to Ubisoft and they’re like, ‘There’s a marketing guy on the team That’s kind of weird.’ But I know for us, now it’s common knowledge at Ubisoft. Tomorrow morning if you came and told my producer I wasn’t on the project any more, he’d probably slap you and be like, ‘What I need him!'”
Developers can be wary of having a marketing specialist on board, but there is certainly room for growth. “You can ship a game without a marketer,” he continued.. “You can’t ship a game without an art director, or a lead programmer. But without a marketer The game will go out. In the best conditions, I don’t know. Will it be maximized in terms of return on investment, in terms of reach I think that’s the downside . . . That’s why certain studios don’t have marketing early on. They can ship a game without a marketing person in-house. They see it as a cost they can avoid, and they see marketing as a separate service and not something that can truly help to make a better game.
The right tools for the job are also vital, according to Duchaine. “If you do not give the tools to the marketing team, if you fail to provide them the materials to build a good marketing campaign, the result is very simple. Someone somewhere, in an agency, on a marketing team, will decide what’s iconic for your brand. Because we need that in marketing. We need iconic elements. We cannot put on screen the same thing that’s been shown over and over again. And chances are, you won’t like it. They’ll try to sell a game you aren’t making.”
With that, there needs to be less division between the two. “What’s to be learned is that everyone can play a role with the marketing of a game. And if everybody has that mindset, it can truly help a game. If you have someone to emphasize that, it’s an added value, but if everybody thinks, ‘Well how can I help marketing’ when they develop a game, that’s what we can learn from indies.”
More of the interview can be found here.