[GameProducer.net] Hi Bruce. You are a veteran games industry marketer and have helped start-up companies Imagine and Codemasters to become the best-selling publishers. Could you share a few more words about your past experience and what you currently do?
Bruce Everiss: Just now I mainly work on my blog Bruceongames and on my artist’s community Artforums.co.uk.
I have spent the last 30 years in and around various bits of the microcomputer industry and was lucky enough to be in the principle marketing role at both Imagine and Codemasters in their first year of trading. Both became the biggest UK game publisher by sales volume in that first year so we had some exciting times.
[GameProducer.net] How did you get into game marketing, and what tips you’d like to offer for those who want to improve their marketing skills?
Bruce Everiss: In 1978 I noticed that the professional computer magazines were talking about new fangled microcomputers. So I opened one of the first computer stores, Microdigital in Liverpool, everything followed from that. There are two ways to improve your marketing skills, doing it and reading about it. Both at the same time would be just about perfect. It helps to engage your brain as well. Marketing is more an art than it is a science, what you are really trying to do is to manipulate mass conciousness.
[GameProducer.net] Great. Marketing games has gone through some major changes in the past years and in the past decade. Digital downloads for example is a totally new distribution channel we didn’t have some time ago. Viral marketing possibilities such as YouTube have come available to public. What’s your view on these new technologies, and how companies should benefit from them in their marketing efforts?
Bruce Everiss: Viral is nothing new. Advertisers have always sought to get their adverts talked about. Look at the Wonderbra “Hello Boys” campaign for instance.
The main advance of the internet is that you can talk interactively in real time to your customers and potential customers. This is powerful and dangerous at the same time, so it frightens some marketeers and enpowers others.
It is important not to forget old media. It still has speed, power and reach that new media cannot compete with.
[GameProducer.net] Some time ago you wrote in your blog about free gaming. Free gaming is growing, but what do you think, will the biggest gaming companies in the world jump in that bandwagon, or will they keep selling their games through retail channels?
Bruce Everiss: Electronic Arts are already doing it, as I pointed out in the article. High street retail of cardboard and plastic is ultimately doomed, to be replaced by a mix of business models, one of which is free gaming.
[GameProducer.net] What other opportunities do you see in today’s gaming industry besides the free gaming?
Bruce Everiss: The iPod Touch and iPhone will take off in a big way as gaming platforms.
Social networking and gaming will come closer together. We have seen this with Steam and we will see it more with Sony Home and Microsoft Live. Coming from the other direction FaceBook and MySpace will have increased gaming content.
[GameProducer.net] In the end I’d like to ask: If you’d have to give one advice to game companies on how they could improve their marketing. What advice would that be?
Bruce Everiss: Employ me, or at least read Bruceongames!!
Seriously. Know as much as possible about your customers. Then engage in the most efficient dialogue with them. Good marketing is just word of mouth on steroids.
[GameProducer.net] Thanks for your time.
Bruce Everiss: Thank you very much for inviting me.
[GameProducer.net] For readers who want to find more about Bruce & game marketing:
Bruce’s blog is located at BruceOnGames.com and he’s available to consulting on various type of services ranging from game marketing to strategical advice and more.