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TV advertising significantly impacts game sales

For a lot of people out there, Dead Island won’t mean anything. For the games industry though, its launch was one of the more protracted in the market. While not exactly in the same league as Duke Nukem, there was a definite 5 year gap between Dead Island’s E3 announcement and the actual launch on September 9 in 2011. The sequel has taken less time and done rather well so far. KitGuru swims ashore to see what’s what.

The story line is totally original, in that you must survive on a zombie-infected island.

OK, it’s not that original, but is fun and you can choose to play one of 4 characters fending off against the never ending onslaught of Infected, Walker, thug and Suicider etc zombies that want to serve up your virtual self between 2 slices of bread.

Alongside some interesting controversies (including the hilarious instruction by the ‘it is OK for kids to have guns’ USA to change the logo, because a ‘hanging corpse’ could be upsetting), there was also a novel to run alongside the game.

Another controversy came up when the developers inadvertently made pre-release code available on the web and eager gamers found derogatory references to a female character in the game, like ‘Feminist Whore’. Nice. Again, we wonder at a culture that thinks slicing up your enemy is cool, but name-calling is appalling.

So, enough background, let’s return to the headline.

Dead-Island-Riptide-KitGuru

Publisher Deep Silver dropped a significant amount of cash into TV advertising for the sequel, Dead Island: Riptide – driven by TechLand’s Chrome Engine 5. Polish game engines? Nice.

The result of that significant spend was a significant entry at Number One for the UK game charts. Overall, Dead Island: Riptide contributed to the last week of April enjoying an increase in sales revenue of almost 20% compared to the middle of the month.

Given the loss of the traditional high street methods of marketing, through Game and HMV etc, it must be a welcome relief for the industry to know that at least some media works.

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KitGuru says: There is no doubt that a well placed advertising spend can make a huge difference to the launch of any product – whether that’s hardware or software. The true test of a product comes in the following weeks. Can the island special hold on to the top spot once the pieces of TV eight run out?

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