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Why Codemasters marketing strategy is sad and pathetic


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So, we saw F1 2020 hit the top on hours watched on Twitch the other week. Fair play, I will say it's a big improvement on last year and Codemasters have made some good decisions.

However, to say they reached it on merit fair and square would be lying.

 

Many YouTubers and Streamers with a huge following have been given a free copy of the game and are apparently also being paid to play the game. Bateson, HatFilms and BlackPanthaa are included.

 

Reaching a point where you're paying YouTubers and Streamers to play your game shows that their is a major fundamental problem. I have quite frankly, never seen a company do this for marketing.

 

If the game perhaps worked properly, without the multiplayer glitches and desync, black screen, game crashing, and other problems which have been persistent for many years which have still not been fixed, it would incentivise people to play the game without being asked or paid to.

 

Look I understand it has worked in getting the game to the top of the leaderboard on Twitch and helped sales, but isn't it just a better feeling to have of people actually playing the game on merit - because they picked it up and thought "Hey, this game works well. Codemasters have done a great job. No bugs, glitches or anything that would fail to attract me wanting to play."?

 

I personally think it's just kind of sad Codemasters are prioritising sales and money over quality. By doing this, you get stuck in a loop. The quality stays as a lower priority and it will put people off buying the game in the future.

 

Improving quality leads to an increase in sales. Why are Codemasters doing this the other way around?

Edited by AoiAsahina
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1 minute ago, AoiAsahina said:

Reaching a point where you're paying YouTubers and Streamers to play your game shows that their is a major fundamental problem. I have quite frankly, never seen a company do this for marketing.

Are you serious, mate? Each word is a different link by the way.  

They got actual F1 drivers to play and stream the game and to get feedback from and you call their marketing a fluke?

F1 2020 has already doubled the peak playercount of F1 2019:

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In a sense I understand your frustration. Having a would-be-pole turned into a crash because of a screen-sized unnecessary message popping up etc. It's not fun.

However, the marketing department isn't at fault. They're probably blissfully unaware of any bugs that would infect the game at launch. I would say the beta to release phase was not great as shown by various glitches. Although perhaps it could be argued that using the beta test for marketing purposes might have something to do with it.

Personally I like what Codies has done with their marketing. None of their hype would not have reached me otherwise. I never watch official trailers. This kind of YT and community marketing is a perfect fit, even though I don't follow / subscribe any driver in particular. I just like to look at raw game footage and see for myself. Besides, I'm happy if some youtubers got some cash for it. Much prefer it that way over shipping the dough to some multinational conglomerate.

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@janbonator not to say that CM wants to entry their F1 franchise in the esports scene. It has done it already.

Streamers are your go-to marketing audience in such a case.

And paying streamers to play your game, whatever game whatever genre, is the oldest trick in the book since content creator became a job and digital influencer a "thing".  

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10 minutes ago, AoiAsahina said:

 

Reaching a point where you're paying YouTubers and Streamers to play your game shows that their is a major fundamental problem. I have quite frankly, never seen a company do this for marketing.

 

Borderlands, EA for madden and NHL, NBA2k20,  Apex legends, COD modern Warfare and Warzone and Fortnite. Thats just a few that have all followed a similar marketing strategy at times. Its pretty common across gaming world to pay popular streamers to play the game on stream to try and generate sales.

Personally Codemasters have done a good job, they have people watching the game, talking about the game, and most importantly have made a game that is good. 

 

 

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To be fair I don't think the last 4-5 months have been optimal for the development of any product. I cant blame Codies for doing a great job of promoting/hyping their product and having laser focus on sales I expect that. I also expect there’s a lot of people at codies that aren’t happy to see all of their hard work that went into this game being overshadowed by the areas of the game that aren’t polished yet. I’m as disappointed as anyone, but I’m also a little more understanding and sympathetic towards the staff thats worked hard on the game.

I love racing and I love the F1 series its a great game and I’m sure it will only get better. 

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Criticising a company for successful promotional work is ridiculous. It's a vital part of what any company has to do. 

Is the game perfect at launch? No. Do I regret my decision to buy it based on YouTube content I watched before ordering it? Absolutely not. I'm enjoying playing it.

With a franchise going as long as this Codemasters could easily have just put out a very minor revision of last year's game, just with the two new tracks. Instead they have clearly put a huge amount of work into developing the My Team game mode. The notion that Codemasters have just focused on advertising rather than game development is absurd.

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I really don't get the criticism at the marketing department. They are doing a very good job for as far as I noticed. I yesterday watched a video they posted of a YouTuber that now also has his career YouTube series. For longtime fans of the game the video makes you cringe as the guy clearly doesn't know all too much about Formula 1. But I think it's very good marketing. Codemasters doesn't need to reach the die hard Formula 1 fans. We are already here. They need the young generation that plays Fifa and Fortnite and turn them into Formule 1 fans. That guy clearly speaks to that audience. He's not like Aarava or Ben who talk advanced Formula 1 lingo. He is just some guy that plays a video game. Hated the video but I liked how this caters to another audience.

Liberty should give codemasters money for making the game because they are doing a very good job at marketing Formula 1 as a whole with these Youtube influencers.

Edited by BelgiumDude
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Codemasters aren't the only company that does this. It's pretty much standard practice these days with Youtube and Twitch. For instance, look up any game on Twitch with a DLC coming out and you'll find someone playing it a week, two weeks - sometimes even a month - before it's released, because they've got a free key from the developers to help promote it. And I personally don't have a problem with it because it gives me an opportunity to make my mind up about a product. And quite a few times, I've said "Nah, I'm not getting that".

What *does* bother me is, at least in the case of the F1 games, some of those Youtubers being treated by viewers like they know more than the drivers themselves. I've seen people say, when they haven't liked a particular mechanic, "Youtuber X said this shouldn't be like this and I agree with them because they are Youtuber X", but said mechanic has actually been given the ok by a real F1 driver during a playtest. And you're thinking "Wait, just take a moment to think this through - you're such a fan of this person that, without them having any previous experience of driving an F1 car, you're willing to take their word over a real driver?" The deitification of Youtubers does my head in.

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  • 3 months later...
On 7/18/2020 at 1:21 AM, GBPolesitter said:

I’d be interested to see your marketing strategy, guarantee it wouldn’t be half as successful as theirs seeing as they’ve been in this industry for decades but hey everyone’s an expert behind a keyboard.

It would be unusual to answer a question, but how much did they benefit (earn) from that choice? If you track the steam debate and the subdivision, people complain about racenet and reimbursement because of the loss and even because of PR issues leading to lower direct selling. Online only attracts a lot more haters and less actual customers who buy your product even if it is low percent compared with casuals who don't know to buy games after you check a CGI trailer (which is the majority in big games but isn't a small community compared with other genre such as FPS / BR / other popular genre). (EA, Entertainment / Ubisoft / Bethesda).

Edited by Gabrielhumus
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I totally agree with the colleague who has opened the topic. Money is what matters for Codemasters, obviously this works like that, that's what companies do, but it's also true that I'm surprised by the stupid things people say. The players of 2020 have doubled those of 2019? How did you do that? Do you bring in people who play the game because their friend left it for a day? Do you also include the people who rent it? Let's get serious and talk about sales, ok? That Codemasters has created a good game? hahahahaha don't make me laugh, I'm sure there are a lot of people who don't understand F1, texture flaws, car design flaws, penalties flaws, flags flaws, multiplayer room glitches, I can go on ad nauseam. You have to be very pathetic not to recognize reality. Those who say that Codemasters has chosen the right path will have to rethink the question when PS5 comes out and people who like me only play F1, let's go to PC to play a real F1 simulation game like IRacing. Let's be a bit objective and don't lie to people by stating things that they know perfectly well to be false.

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