Legendary Drops talks about the detrimental consequences of AAA promotion.
Diablo 4 was everywhere at some point: on billboards, at all kinds of venues, and even in that song by Halsey and SUGA. The marketing campaign was unstoppable, Blizzard spent tons of money on it, but was it worth it?
YouTuber Legendary Drops doesn't think so. In a recent video, they went deep into the issue stating that marketing can actually ruin games.
Taking Diablo as an example, the creator said that wasting millions on promoting games without understanding why and how it's done is pointless and could even be detrimental. How useful are those campaigns anyway? Larian's Baldur's Gate 3, for example, didn't have much of a promo in comparison (no bear jokes, please), relying mostly on players' and YouTubers' reviews. Now, it's the prime candidate for the Game of the Year award.
On the other hand, Diablo 4 with its endless ads lost its appeal quickly, according to Legendary Drops. One reason behind it is that the company "didn't know who they were trying to make the game for." As a result, Blizzard now forces microtransactions to get some of that money back.
Image credit: Blizzard
Legendary Drops believes that excessive promotion makes players less sensitive to its effects. "Organic growth and player engagement is really what drives a game's success, making great games sell themselves," they conclude.
"I think one of the problems is that not only are they trying to capture the wrong audience but also on top of that they're just not realizing that they could spend far less money if they just made a better game as a result, or if they made a lot of their marketing content just a better enjoyable experience for the customer."