Gaming is seeing a massive leap forward in participation marketing.
Video games that cost film budgets to produce are entering a new level of immersion and complexity. For years all games were sold through demo versions. Beta keys are what its about this season.
You let hundreds of thousands of gamers have an almost finished version of the game to do mass testing for free – each having a unique ‘key’ that unlocks the game. Free for you and free for them. OK a good PR strategy and careful promotion is needed but you make sure the game works when its released… and you get your rather amazing product into your customers hands.
With any luck, when you release the final game not everybody will download a copy off Bittorrent, boxes will shift and you get funding to develop the next installment of video gaming wonder… and smiles all round.
World In Conflict: http://game-on.intel.com/eng/geekout/wic
Also see the what’s happening with Call of Duty….
Call of Duty 4: http://www.gametrailers.com/player/20975.html