Game Marketer Points Finger at Developers

In the following two part essay on N’Gai Croal’s Level Up, Midway Home Entertainment Chief Marketing Officer Steve Allison suggests What Developers Must Do to Make Games That Sell
PT 1:
PT 2:

He says that a successful game is a game that sells, period. He then goes on to say that the following—in order—are the most important things to make a successful game:

  1. Good Concept
  2. Timing
  3. Execution

The only games that I can think of that satisfy this are Doom, Quake 1, and The Sims. Despite this, he goes on to mention Gears of War as an example of a successful game. I think that Gears of war has the reverse order: the execution was amazing, in terms of timing it came out when there was little competition on the 360, and the concept was standard fair. Another game in this same boat was God of War; amazing execution, pretty good marketing, fairly standard concept. Please don’t think that I’m criticizing these two games; it’s so rare for anything to be executed well, so they are above the curve in my book.

I would argue that the most frequent order of a “successful” game is the following:

  1. Name on Box
    This can refer to a franchise name, an ip name, an auteur’s name, or a company’s name such as: Madden NFL, Zelda, Harry Potter, Sid Meier, or Blizzard.
  2. Marketing
  3. Execution
  4. Timing
  5. Concept

When that name on the box has been hard won by releasing great game after great game as in Zelda or Blizzard I am at ease, but that Cars was on top of the UK sales charts week after week saddens me… I wish that the order was simply:

  1. Concept/Execution

Example: Katamari Damacy and most of the “art house” games that never get the attention that they deserve due to a lack of marketing.

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