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Steve Fawkner over at Infinite Interactive — the folks behind the fabulous Puzzle Quest franchise — made an appearance on Destructoid this week to discuss the upcoming Puzzle Quest: Galactrix.

Here’s a snippet:

Colette:
I got more than 60 hours out of the original Puzzle Quest. Do you think I’ll get the same amount out of Galactrix?

Steve: Yeah, definitely. To get through the main story in Galactrix I think you’re looking at 20, maybe 30 hours if you just did the main story through. There’s a bunch of side missions, like in Challenge of the Warlords. Also there are areas where you can mine, trade, and build new ships. It’s a lot more of a sandbox deal, this one. There’s easily more stuff to do and collect. I can see people playing 90 or 100 hours, including everything.

Colette: Well, there goes the rest of February.

Nick: Yeah, thanks a lot Steve. Now Colette’s not going to get any work done.

Steve: Affect global productivity, that was our aim with this game. Plunge the world into a deeper financial crisis.

Feel free to check out the interview in all of its glory here.

-Grok

IF YOUR SCREEN SHOTS AREN’T WORKING FOR YOU AND
DOING MORE THAN JUST LOOKING GOOD,
THEY’RE NOT DOING ANYTHING AT ALL.” – Me

artscreen

More than anything else, screen shots are the ubiquitous calling cards of a video game.  Typically, hundreds are released for each upcoming title through general screen shot “updates” or targeted shot releases that focus on specific features and help a writer illustrate a story.

We all use them.  We all rely on them… and heavily.  But the truth is, quite often, PR isn’t stepping up and fulfilling their responsibilities.

Here’s the thing — many PR people mistakenly look at screens as simply an “asset” or a means to an end — an item that  shows what the game looks like.  But screen shots can — and should — be so much more than that!  And it’s on PR’s shoulders to make it happen.

DON’T BE SO LAZY – STICK TO IT AND GET THE GREAT SCREEN, NOT THE “OK” ONE

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We’ve been working with the teams at Universal and Warner Brothers supporting the PR launch on Wanted: Weapons of Fate.  It’s been a fun and challenging assignment for us, coming from the licensor side for the first time, and it’s especially satisfying to see the game start to get the kind of coverage it deserves.

Wanted: Weapons of Fate is a great game that just happens to be based on a movie.  Looks like Destructoid agreed with that statement too, in their look at the game we arranged on the side 🙂 :

What’s most impressive about the game, though, is that it’s … impressive. Forget the fact that it’s associated with a movie for just one second; Weapons of Fate seems like it’s provide the kinds of third-person shooter thrills fans of the genre crave.”

Check out the full story HERE.

There’s a lot more coming on W:WOF these days…

– PR_Flak

Puzzle Quest: Galactrix landed in the news on Wired’s Game|Life this week.  The story included a number of new screensshots highlighting the differences in the new game from Infinite Interactive and D3Publisher.

Here’s a snippet:

Puzzle Quest: Galactrix, the followup to D3Publisher’s massively successful Puzzle Quest, promises to transplant its predecessor’s addictive puzzler action to a decidedly more action-oriented gaming mainstay: Outer space.

Whereas Puzzle Quest lifted Bejeweled’s puzzle mechanic, Galactrix seemingly lifts ideas from Hexic. It’s a bit less intuitive, but as you can tell from this Flash demo, the game is still quite addictive.

Like the original Puzzle Quest, the game wraps the addictive puzzle elements in roleplaying game storyline traditions. You won’t get 12 minute masculine-yet-sensitive cutscenes reminiscent of everything Square Enix has done for the last decade, but the talking heads you see in some of these screens certainly offer the average gamer more of a reason to repeat the same puzzles ad nauseam.

Puzzle Quest: Galactrix is scheduled for release on Nintendo DS on February 24, and on the PC, Xbox Live Arcade, and PlayStation Network later this year. Expect Galactrix to be ported to even more platforms once the game proves a success.

Follow the link for the Wired story and check out the new screens!

-Grok

Over on PR_Flak’s Flak Attak, Matt takes the PR industry to task about the traditional structure of agencies and the reliance on junior staff members for execution.

As you can see on our front page, MavPR’s philosophy has always been …only the most veteran professionals provide superior PR work.” This commitment to senior level expertise means we avoid the failures inherent with delegating primary execution of activities to inexperienced staff members.

Unfortunately for a lot of game companies that hire external PR, most PR agencies don’t follow the same belief system – it’s too expensive for them to do so.  Not so for MavPR.

Below are some excerpts; for the entire blog, head over here now.

  • Traditional PR agency structure is designed to be most cost-effective when the most inexperienced people do the most work.  The more hours an AAE puts in on your game versus a VP, the more profitable it is to the agency.  Take a moment and do the math on what that means for your game.”
  • “So if you’re a typical game publisher or developer with a game that needs promoting, you will most likely enter a new biz pitch with a traditional video game PR agency.  They will arrive flush with seemingly impressive people, including the [president] and [vice presidents]; a remote office (probably in NY, LA or SF) on speaker phone; and an [account director] who sports a furrowed brow and is nodding his head – in understanding – while furiously taking notes as you speak…
  • …But the hard truth is, this army of “senior” PR people will be the ones to lock down your business, but they will NOT be the ones working on your game.  The kid back at the office making copies of the pitch PPT is getting ready to make phone calls on your behalf.”

Maybe it’s time for YOU to try something new?

– PR_Flak

Gamer 2.0 is an up-and-coming and highly intriguing site focused on marrying coverage of the video game business, the various aspects video game consumerism and even the social ramifications of gaming itself with a look to the future.  Of course, they’ve also mixed in a healthy dose of traditional “here’s what we think of this game” news, previews and reviews for good measure.

We like that editorial mix!

Amadeo Plaza (what a great name!) the publisher of Gamer 2.0 recently put together an interesting, if somewhat short, look at the coming clash between casual and hardcore gaming from both a business and consumer angle.  He asked Maverick to participate with a few thoughts…and since we’re never short of opinions, we agreed!

Here’s the story: Hardcore vs Casual

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Yes, I could have made that headline more appealing, but I’m not trying to hook new readers here, right?

We’re really excited that the “mainstream” is starting to pick up on the business trend that started emerging last year — namely that companies are looking for innovative ways to cut costs while improving results and freelancers and “micro-boutiques” are emerging as the answer.

Luckily for us – we’re right in the middle of it!  Maverick PR’s philosophy is and has always been “Less Overhead, More In The Head” — meaning that we can deliver better results for less money due to our innovative business model and years of experience. Read more

We’re really excited and proud to say that we enter the new year working closely with Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group on their video game initiative and specifically on their upcoming game Wanted: Weapons of Fate.

We originally paired with Uni right before E3 last year to give Wanted: Weapons of Fate a proper announcement and first showing.  In only a week of work managed to secure a full slate of meetings, solid  first-look coverage and big, coordinated exclusives with both IGN and Game Informer.

Since E3, we’ve continued to work alongside Universal in a new role – overseeing the publisher’s PR work from a licensor perspective.  This is a true role reversal for us as we are used to being in-house and working to meet the expectations of our licensors.

MavPR has a history with Universal going back to Matt’s days at Sierra launching Scarface: The World is Yours — a successful pairing which turned out to produce the biggest launch in the company’s history, with the game selling nearly 4 million units worldwide.

It’s especially rewarding for us to be able to continue our working relationships across projects. We always strive to build long-lasting partnerships with our clients, and Universal has been exceptional to work with.

– PR_Flak

Our shenanigans for D3’s upcoming shooter Eat Lead: The Adventures of Matt Hazard were exposed earlier this Fall by the fine folks over at Gamespot.

Once outed we fessed up and waxed poetic about the trials and tribulations of video game marketing in the “Gaming Age.”  Read the interview with Matt, myself and our fine D3 compatriot Sam Guilloud over at Gamespot: Q&A: Making up Matt Hazard.

-Grok

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