Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Gaming is not a game

I recently worked with a client on a website aimed at pre-teens. One of the ideas we investigated as part of the site was a couple of simple games.

We ditched this idea after I discussed it with my son Max. His argument was who would want to play one of our simple games when they could be playing a real one.

Excellent advice I thought.

Your average PS2 or X-Box game has a massive production budget. No brand could possibly stump up that kind of money for what is essentialy an experential ad.

A good case in point is the Toyota Yaris game developed by Saatchi & Saatchi in the US.

Kids have much higher expectations of games than us old folks in advertising. If a game isn't brilliant, it dies.

The Yaris game has been slammed by several gaming sites. One of the worst reviews came from Joystiq:

"Yaris does nothing right, and everything wrong. Every element, from the graphics to the controls to the online play, is just busted.

Even at the price of free, this lemon isn't fun or worth the sticker price and no factory dealer incentives could get me playing Yaris again."