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View Full Version : Lack of PC advertising - where will the next generation of customers come from?



Ravenger
24-11-2011, 08:27 PM
I spotted a massive Battlefield 3 endcap display in my local supermarket the other day. It had 360 and PS3 copies but no PC. It brought home to me the lack of visibility of the PC platform to the average person-in-the-street. Any customer viewing that display would have no idea a PC version exists at all.

Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo promote their platforms via all media channels, but there's no-one promoting PC as a platform for gaming specifically any more.

So it's not just that there'll be fewer games for the PC, but that there'll be fewer people aware that you can play much better games on the PC, as there's little or no promotion of PC games outside of the internet.

Where are the future customers going to come from if no-one is promoting the platform via mainstream media?

The closest the PC has to a platform holder is Valve. Isn't it about time that Valve started advertising Steam to make more people aware of PC gaming as a competitor to console gaming?

Juan Carlo
24-11-2011, 08:37 PM
I actually think advertising steam would be a really good idea as, honestly, most people I know aren't even aware it exists. They could probably bring in a whole new demo of casual gamers and the like if Valve started advertising more.

That said, PC games have never really had advertising like consoles. The most they get is the picture of the PC game box next to the other boxes in the TV ads of games that are ported to the PC. It's really rare that an exclusive PC game will get a TV ad of its own, though (the only ones in recent memory have been Sims, Wow, and Starcraft 2). Even in the 1990s, which was arguably PC Gaming's heyday, I don't remember seeing ads for PC games anywhere other than PC Gamer and other video game magazines. So I don't think much has changed in the past 30 years when it comes to PC advertising at all. If anything it's much more easier nowdays to advertise for the PC just because of the internet.

Grizzly
24-11-2011, 08:46 PM
the only ones in recent memory have been Sims

Surely the Sims alone should be enough to convince everyone of the awesomenss of the PC as a platform. With it being the best sold game in history.

archonsod
24-11-2011, 09:11 PM
That's probably because Microsoft, Sony et al have to sell a platform. Given most homes now own a PC, advertising towards it is a bit like advertising roads to car drivers.

Vexing Vision
24-11-2011, 09:40 PM
It's also a UK/US problem. Both France and Germany have massive PC shelves (with a lot more games than just Sims) in the appropriate stores.

Edawan
24-11-2011, 10:44 PM
Yeah we have decent PC shelves in France, but still a lot less advertising and visibility than consoles.

(strange thing, the BF3 ads in the subway only mentioned the PS3 version...)

Pertusaria
26-11-2011, 08:03 PM
I remember when some shops had PC games, but in my experience they were computer shops, when it was still viable to run a shop selling people PCs, mouses / mice / moose, keyboards, software packages etc.

Admittedly people still sometimes need new peripherals or new memory, but these days I think most folks buy their PC with the basic software (operating system plus hopefully an office suite) and anything else they need / want in the way of software comes from downloads. I haven't seen a dedicated computer store in yonks - the closest equivalent is the Apple store or the Sony store, which isn't the same thing at all. In Germany they seem to have something that could be called a "media store" or a "hobby store", where it's possible to find games as well as music, toys, and sometimes stationery - that doesn't exist in Ireland as far as I know.

If I'm right about the above, it would make sense to start advertising game download services outside of the realm of dedicated PC games sites, since people are used to getting their software from the web and may not know about all the great games that are available on a platform they already own. Certainly I didn't know Steam existed and would work for me until I was overcome with a longing to play Bastion.

Tams80
27-11-2011, 01:03 AM
It's also a UK/US problem. Both France and Germany have massive PC shelves (with a lot more games than just Sims) in the appropriate stores.

The UK is particularly bad. GAME and Gamestation (same company now) pretty much have control of the highstreet in terms of games. The PC game shelves are shoved right next to the counter (where people only go to buy games, not browse) and usually only consist of one shelf, while the other systems' games have at least two, usually three or four, not counting the pre-owned.

There is that sickly coloured orange branch of shops, but they are pretty much the same. I don't know if HMV have PC games.

As for getting the next generation of PC gamers? Parents will pass it down (that sounded odd) and people bored on their PCs will stumble across Steam et al.

metalangel
27-11-2011, 01:11 AM
It's worth adding that PC World (the biggest UK PC retailer, that your aged parents/relatives buy their PCs in and then phone you when they turn out to be shit) has PC games, but it's almost entirely Flight Sim addons. I was unwillingly turned to Steam when PC World didn't have ArmA2, and GAME did but they'd mislaid the box for it and couldn't sell it without.

Net_Bastard
02-12-2011, 02:25 PM
Other PC gamers will try and evangelize to console gamers. If it works, then BOOM! Another PC gamer.

Kandon Arc
02-12-2011, 02:40 PM
Traditional PC games may not be advertised as much, but free-to-play games (and WoW) are advertised pretty heavily on most sites now.

Xercies
02-12-2011, 02:43 PM
I do think Steam should probably advertise itself on television or something, a lot more people might use it

magnolia_fan
02-12-2011, 05:02 PM
Advertising the PC as a platform is a tricky thing. Would OEMs advertising their gaming lines be the way to go? If so, you wouldn't advertise the PC as a platform, but rather each manufacturer would advertise their own line of computers.
Or you can have companies advertising their own peripherals related to gaming (like NVIDIA commercials, ATI, ASUS, MSI and what have you... even logitech with their gaming mice and stuff).
Advertising the consoles as a platform means "you see this box? this is an xbox"
But computers are "you see this box? it has these specs" followed by 3 paragraphs of specs.

I'm guessing multiplatform developers/publishers will advertise the console versions heavily because they think those platforms are more secure when it comes to piracy (http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-11-23-why-i-am-alive-is-unlikely-to-launch-on-pc).

The thing about Battlefield 3 is ironic considering they always use PC footage to advertise their game because it looks better than the console counterpart.

Valve, Gamersgate and similar digital distribution platforms advertising themselves outside the net sounds like a good idea to me. As someone else said they could even attract casual gamers or non-gamers willing to try casual stuff other than whatever-ville on Facebook, but maybe they think "hardcore gamers" (which one could argue actually means hardcore AAA-ers) are the only ones worth targetting and thus promoting AAA games is the only way to go.
But those millions playing angry birds and not caring about Skyrim or whatever prove there's also a market there that should be taken seriously...

Icarus
02-12-2011, 05:54 PM
It's worth adding that PC World (the biggest UK PC retailer, that your aged parents/relatives buy their PCs in and then phone you when they turn out to be shit) has PC games, but it's almost entirely Flight Sim addons. I was unwillingly turned to Steam when PC World didn't have ArmA2, and GAME did but they'd mislaid the box for it and couldn't sell it without.

I'd actually dispute this- My 'local' (about 20 mins drive) PC World had a fairly beefy selection of games last time I was in there, including Space Marine and various other new releases along with a couple of rows of budget titles.

Cooper
02-12-2011, 07:43 PM
PCGamer's website now has tarilers embedded at the beginning of many of their videos. Recently the BF3 trailers on there have been for the PS3 version.

...

...

Juan Carlo
02-12-2011, 08:14 PM
That's probably because Microsoft, Sony et al have to sell a platform.

Well I think steam is also essentially a platform (within a larger platform, true, but a platform nonetheless). So it would make sense to me if Valve started advertising it like it was a platform.

It is one way EA could potentially get a leg up with ORigin. Get a bunch of non-EA games to sign on then start advertising Origin as a platform. Especially since they own popcap now (the biggest casual game distributor), I think they could potentially make some huge in roads into the casual gaming market and other demographics that might not be aware of things like steam or origin otherwise. They also own Sims which is targeted at another huge demo of non-pc gaming pc gamers.

Batolemaeus
02-12-2011, 09:55 PM
PCGamer's website now has tarilers embedded at the beginning of many of their videos. Recently the BF3 trailers on there have been for the PS3 version.

...

...

Targeted Ads are fun, aren't they?
As someone who has been playing Eve for quite a time, my web consisted almost entirely of Eve ads..

acidtestportfolio
02-12-2011, 10:03 PM
people bored of solitaire on their laptops during really boring tedious lectures and workdays?

i think gaming news sites are doing all the advertising these days frankly