World famous video game PR maestro (as well as Maverick PR Partner) Matt Frary was recently approached by up-and-coming video game site TheGameEffect to take part in their ongoing series, “Unsung Heroes.”
- ED: if you missed the previous interview with Matt which ran on GamerFitNation, check it out here.
Unsung Heroes is a cool series wherein writers talk to some of the lesser known folks working behind-the-scenes to put video games on players’ proverbial tables. You know… NOT the Cliff Bleszinskis or the David Jaffes… we’re talking the guys behind the guys behind the guy. Between producers and marketers and PR folks and testers and art designers and level builders… there are a lot of people that help deliver the games we love to play.
“I don’t mind dying, but I’ll be damned if I die early and miss out on time with my son simply because I couldn’t stop eating crappy food or because I was too lazy to get my ass off the couch.”
- MavPR Partner Matt Frary in GamerFitNation’s True Gamer of the Week Profile
One of your favorite young video game sites, GamerFitNation, has selected Maverick PR Partner Matt Frary as their “True Gamer of the Week” this week. This is a totally fitting title and the perfect site to profile Matt, because his nearly obsessive man-love of P90X has kept him neatly trim for more than 7 months now. We’d post a picture of his rock-hard abs here, but it would be far too overpowering for teh Internets to handle.
Nothing Comes Between Us and Our Coverage
So, we’ve been working with Square Enix on their upcoming Action-RPG NIER for quite a while now, releasing cool videos, feature assets packs and providing product demos. Sure, we haven’t said SQUAT about the story details… but we’ve been setting the stage for some big reveals.
But you know what? That wasn’t enough. Oh, no, we had to go all the way, and put a public face on the game. And that face? None other than MavPR Partner, Matt Frary.
Today on CrispyGamer, writer Kyle Orland explores the somewhat complicated processes that video game PR people use in determining who and what outlets receive free review copies of games. It’s never an easy decision to cut someone off the list, that’s for sure, but there are time when you really don’t have a choice.
Maverick PR Partner Matt (me!) is quoted throughout the article, sharing his thoughts based on a decade of deciding where to send these “free goodies.”
Disclaimer: these “free goodies” may not be as fun as you think, as they may require you to spend 10-20 hours completing a game and another 5 or so hours crafting a “review” full of useful facts, features and moments of note, all supported with insightful opinions and references; at the end of which you will be strong-armed into choosing a – let’s face it – somewhat arbitrary number or letter to designate the “fun” you experienced while slogging through the aforementioned 10-20 hours of gameplay…
Anyway… read on at this link and enjoy the article. A quickie quote from the article featuring Matt:
“Some publishers … still refuse to expand their list and stick only to the ‘big’ players in the space,” Frary said. “This is really too bad, and they end up missing a massive, and growing, segment of the market. … [It's] particularly frustrating because when you look at the smaller videogame sites out there as a whole, they have a huge voice that reaches a critical audience that the larger outlets sometimes miss.”
Over on PR_Flak’s Flak Attak, I’m discussing the impact that emerging business models and added content is having on the media cycle for video games and how PR and press are having to adjust. Between DLC coverage widening the coverage window and “new to us” online game emerging in North America, there’s a lot of confusion as to what should be covered and how…
This is where the next challenge for the VG media and VG PR professionals lies – to define the terms and options for covering what, by current definitions, is simply uncoverable.
Take a read of “Shipping a Game Ain’t What It Used to Be” - hope you enjoy it! Love to know your thoughts.
MavPR’s old friend, Tom Ohle, who we knew first at BioWare during our work on the Neverwinter Nights franchise and then later when he was running Evolve PR, has launched a new blogging site for marketing and PR professionals called “Evolution of PR.” Essentially it’s a place where we can gather, post thoughts and discuss theory amongst marketing, PR and media professionals, focusing quite a bit on the video game industry.
Tom asked me to participate, and really, I’m more than happy to. Of course, it will be only from time-to-time so I can still share thoughts both on this site and on PR_Flak’s Flak Attak, but it’s a great idea and we’re really excited to support it.
The first post on EoPR is a reminder to aspiring VG PR professionals that working in this industry is about being a great PR person first, and a lover of video games second. If you don’t have a love of PR and a desire to learn more all the time, you’ll never make it, no matter how many times you’ve finished Halo 3 on the hardest difficulty setting.
Check out the post here. Hope you enjoy it.
Welcome to Part III of The Art of the Screenshot. So far we’ve covered “big picture issues” – how it is PR’s responsibility to produce screenshots that do more than just look good and the importance of conveying emotions and attitude in assets.
Now that you understand the key ingredients, you’re ready to rock n’ roll! So let’s cover more hands-on material, namely, what you need to do to work effectively with your PD teams to secure great shots.
Do this wrong and you’ll get shots that aren’t perfect along with a PD team that thinks you’re a total idiot. Do it right… well, then you’ve got PR gold.
Over on PR_Flak’s Flak Attak, I look back at the process and fun of creating MavPR’s first item of swag — the [Skullcap of BUZZ] winter beanie. From failed designs to some rules that YOU should should use for determining whether to proceed with spending money on creating swag for a game, it’s a fun and informative read.
“Swag can be really great and impactful, but swag can also be a colossal waste of cash — cash that could otherwise be budgeted towards PR activities that have a chance of producing tangible results.
You don’t NEED swag, folks. You DO need product tours. I really hate to see PR or marketing create swag just to fulfill a bullet point from a PPT in the hopes of generating “coverage.” There won’t be coverage from your swag, people. No one is going to do a cover story on your custom-molded USB key, OK? Get over it.”
Head on over and check it out! And don’t waste money on swag that doesn’t work!
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