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"
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.