The Rabies Blog

Xbox 360 community-friendly blog

Halo 3 goes corporate

So this is what it comes down to? One of the most famous videogame franchises of all time goes the way of corporate sponsorship? Dark days are ahead my friends.

When I first read that Bungie and Microsoft had gotten all chummy with the likes of 7-Eleven, Burger King, Mountain Dew, Pontiac and Comcast for promotional support of Halo 3, I felt both disappointed and embarrassed. Were they really that concerned that the game wasn’t going to sell on its own? I understand fully the costs associated with producing games in this day and age, but Halo 3 will undoubtedly sell well into the millions of copies, assuring both companies a healthy and hefty profit guaranteed.

Don’t get me wrong. I love giveaways just as much as the next guy, but you don’t need outside, non-gaming related corporations to run them. In fact, Microsoft and Bungie both could have done an excellent job of spreading the love for Halo 3 just by hosting their own “meet, greet and play” community events across the country. Sure, it would run them a few bucks to put together a campaign like that, but you just have to chalk that up to the “cost of doing business”, “you have to spend money to make money” or whatever favorite business-related cliché you choose.

What concerns me most is the risk of perception. Advertising in games – which I’ve written about in the past – has always run the risk of creating a group of disenfranchised gamers who just weren’t willing to accept the fact that Madison Avenue had found its way into their previously untarnished pastime. While the slow addition of subtly placed ads has managed to stay off the radar of most gamers, deals like this could change gamer’s willingness to ignore the trend.

In all honesty, if this was a lesser-known second-tier title, I probably wouldn’t have even paid attention. But, for goodness sake, this is Halo 3 we’re talking about. If this game can’t stand on its own, then the industry as a whole has some serious problems on their hands that no amount of advertising support can solve.

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August 14, 2007 - Posted by | Game Companies

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