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Xenakis on Technology:Squandered Opportunities

While an explosion in computer games provides many marketing tie-in opportunities, most are not exploited.

According to Steve Kleynhans, analyst for the Meta Group, computer games are becoming considerably more mature, in many ways. “Next Christmas will be stellar for the gaming community,” he says. “The big thing [about the new games] is being totally immersed in the game, feeling a part of it. A good graphic presentation, rich and textured, is essential. But now we’re seeing that being extended to a much richer audio experience in games.”

Whether it’s video or audio or something else, the number of opportunities for product promotion are endless.

One thing I’d like to see done in terms of tie- ins to games is something similar to product placement seen in movies. But I’d only favor it if it were done in the right way. For example, any user spending $50 for a game would resent having to stare at a Coca-Cola ad throughout the game.

But how about this: there’s a can of Coke in one of the rooms, and the player picks it up and drinks it to gain points, and then throws the empty can away and never sees it again. Coke has a very effective ad that doesn’t linger and cause resentment, and hopefully the game will be a few bucks cheaper to compensate for the advertising. It’s a win for everyone. (Send John Xenakis your questions and comments for Xenakis on Technology (XOT) to xot@jxenakis.com.)

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