Meteor not spending any money on advertising Hawken

Meteor marketing VP Paula Cuneo says, "If a game is really good, it should be all word of mouth"

Adhesive Games has been building the free-to-play giant robot game Hawken for over two years now, with publishing by Meteor Entertainment. The game has had strong transmedia connections from the beginning, with a graphic novel recently released, digital shorts in the works with Machinima and a feature film in production. The [a]list daily sat down with Meteor's vice president of transmedia marketing and promotions Paula Cuneo to discuss the unusual nature of Hawken's marketing efforts.

Transmedia marketing means reaching across categories to find customers. "Our CEO Mark Long was really specific from the get-go about how he wanted to make sure we're reaching beyond the gaming industry and hitting a variety of really passionate industry points - feature films, graphic novels, the whole thing," said Cuneo. "The challenge is that stuff takes a long time. We are like a year and a half in, and finally we have transmedia that's coming to fruition so we actually can use it to market our game."

"That's essentially what we consider to be transmedia - make sure all our media points are helping to market the game," Cuneo continued. "My job has been amended significantly to be much more focused on games as a service. Free-to-play is about a super long tail. You want to make sure minimum viable product goes out in the best way possible, but then you make sure people are in it for the long haul."

"If a game is really good, it should be all word of mouth, in a perfect world"

Paula Cuneo

The marketing Cuneo is overseeing has little to do with traditional channels. "If a game is really good, it should be all word of mouth, in a perfect world. We're not spending any money against advertising and we're not doing any paid media," Cuneo explained. "We're really making sure that the product itself and the experience you get interacting with the company means you want to stay around."

Cuneo sees the community itself as a great marketing resource. "We've created a bunch of advocate groups. We have what we call Hawken's Heroes, people who have played the longest who are great advocates. They have their own forums and we can poll them about all sorts of things," Cuneo said. "Those are the guys who aren't just making the game better, but making games as a service better. We want to make sure people stick around even when we make a mistake, because we want to fix that mistake."

Read more about how Meteor is building its community preparing for eSports in the [a]list daily.

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Latest comments (5)

Jade Law Senior concept artist, Reloaded Productions5 years ago
But it isn't a perfect world and a little traditional marketing would only help this amazing game reach a larger audience.
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Agree, it's not a perfect world at all, but with that being said, since when did most games even use traditional marketing. TV ads? thats only for the biggest of the big. Newspaper? nope, radio? nope. Magazine? use to be a place for games but magazines are all but gone.

So whats left, banner ads? hardly traditional and not sure how effective anyway. Social marketing is all thats really left, and that is a form of word of mouth I guess.

Fact remains, discovery and marketing are still a semi mystery in this industry even after 40 years. There simply isnt one direct proven way. Would be a lot easier for everyone if there were.
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development5 years ago
It's almost like they're announcing "We won't spend money on things you can't really spend money on" and hoping that will go guerilla. Fair play, it's starting. :)

Try to tack this on please. "Combat Monsters" also won't be getting an ad spend and we're hoping it's strength of play carries it to the masses. :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 29th July 2013 8:59am

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Adam Campbell Game Manager, Azoomee5 years ago
Some studios used to take the same idea but realised a bit of marketing spend doesn't hurt and in fact, along with word of mouth tends to lead to a more successful product.
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Haw Du ken?
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