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5 Ingenious Video Game Marketing Campaigns


5 Ingenious Video Game Marketing Campaigns

These days, most games are marketed with a trailer, maybe a magazine ad. Then there are developers that go the extra mile.

Get Tested


Infamous Second Son jumps ahead seven years after the end of Infamous 2. Despite Cole saving the world by killing the Beast, he also ended up killing a lot of Conduits in the process. The Department of Unified Protection was created to hunt down the remaining Conduits, calling them Bio-Terrorists and instilling fear of them in the general public to the point where the people who discover they’re Conduits are disheartened by it.

As a cool way of promoting the game, there was the Enjoy Your Power website. How it works is you answer some questions, put in some personal info, and you get a test in the mail. Completing the test will help you find out if you’re a deadly Bio-Terrorist or a regular old human. It’s a fun little ARG and time killer. If nothing else, you can talk about what powers you get with your friends and have some arguments over who could kick who’s ass.

Call of Snapchat

The Call of Duty games are usually revealed one of two ways: a leak, or a trailer at an NBA game. There hasn’t been a leak yet, and nothing has been said yet on the trailer front, but hints about the game are being revealed through Snapchat, of all places. Yes, seriously.

CharlieIntel saw that a small update to Call of Duty: Black Ops II added new emblems that appear on some posters in the multiplayer maps. The QR codes allow you to add the Call of Duty Snapchat account. The account will send you a short, ten second video of a forest environment. Droning, almost hypnotizing music plays softly as a man says only a few words: “Listen only to the sound of my voice.” Odds are that this game will be Black Ops 3. With three developers in the cycle, it’s Treyarch’s time to shine. Some form of mind control will be involved in the game, but the question is, are you being hypnotized by the heroes, or the villains?

Killing Progress


 Square Enix is currently in the process of a three-day reveal for their new video game on Twitch. The stream, “Can’t Kill Progress“, currently shows security footage of a man inside an empty, white room, possibly a prison cell, before getting tortured for information. Nothing much about the game in question is known at this point, other than the fact that it’s being developed by a Western studio. Looking up “Project CKP” on Google leads to the website for the Community Knowledge Project, a practice that “explicitly addresses the systems and structures of inequality in which all humans and non humans live”.

The full reveal won’t come until tomorrow, but this definitely has to be a Deus Ex game, right? Square Enix has made it clear before that they’ve been working on a new game since the release of Human Revolution in 2010. Just the description of the Community Knowledge Project alone is a huge indicator: “addresses the systems and structures of inequality in which all humans and non humans live”. Human Revolution made a big deal out of the divide between supporting and opposing cybernetic augmentations. If it isn’t a sequel to Human Revolution, it’d be surprising, since everything about this is pointing towards it.

Big Apple, Big Axe

Iron Horde Invades Times Square

Blizzard is usually known for an excellent CG trailer when it comes to marketing their games. At this point, they may as well outright buy Blur Studios with how often those two work together. With the Warlords of Draenor expansion for World of Warcraft, Blizzard decided to go further and make a statement in the Big Apple. A big, curved, pointy statement. Nothing like making people curious about your game by driving a huge axe through a taxi!

It’s such a simple ad, but it’s certainly effective. If nothing else, it got people talking about why there’s an axe inside of a taxi in Times Square. New York is one of the biggest spots in the world, and the city that never sleeps. It’s a shame that they didn’t do this in all major cities. Just imagine making this a trend across the US and having everyone talking instead of just New York. Ah, the possibilities.

Bullet Bending

This actually was a pretty cool commercial at the time it came out. You could see this as one of two ways; showing off the impressive graphics that the game had at the time, or the game telling players that a single shot can change the tide of war. While the game didn’t entirely live up to its own tagline of “War. Perfected.”, it certainly did show that war was hell.

The coolest thing about the Killzone 2 ad was the  fact that it was actually interactive. Sony released an app that allowed players to manipulate the camera that follows the bullet and featured audio commentary from the ad’s director and visual artists. Visual filters were also added to allow players to see how the PS3 was used to create the ad. Too bad more games don’t do this, it’s an interesting (and not often that explored, really) area of game development.

Agree with the list? Hate it? Think of any other great marketing campaigns? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

Justin Carter

Sometimes a writer, always a dork. When he isn't staring in front of a screen for hours, he's probably reading comics or eating Hot Pockets. So many of them.
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