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Gamecock's Wilson On Game Marketing's Revolution

As part of an in-depth Gamasutra interview, Gamecock co-founder Mike Wilson has been discussing how the Internet has become "the great leveler" for publicity ab
As part of an in-depth Gamasutra interview, Gamecock co-founder Mike Wilson has been discussing how the Internet has become "the great leveler" for publicity about games, suggesting "you can't fool people anymore" about game quality just by spending money to market it. The comments, which came as part of a wider-ranging transcription of the latest Gamasutra Podcast dealing with Wilson's history at id, setting up the influential GodGames, and now co-running his Austin-based upstart publisher (Dementium, Hail To The Chimp), saw Wilson discussing the state of game marketing as follows: "Being a gamer, and being in the culture, I think that so much of what you see comes from people who don't play games anymore, and they come from packaged goods marketing backgrounds, and everything's very formulaic, tried and true methods. And those methods all, they're dying -- which is great. It's a great leveler. So it's nice, 'cause a lot of times you feel like: no matter how much you hustle, it's just whoever can write the biggest check that's going to win. And I think the internet really coming of age, and the new gamer culture that's had the internet all their lives now, it's really leveled the playing field; that the cream really can rise to the top. If you're in it, and you're honest about your messaging. You can't fool people anymore. You know? Which is wonderful, and it's challenging, and it's way more work than people are used to. Formulas are nice, because once you get 'em down, that's why they're called formulas; you learn it, and then you never have to learn anything again. Which I would absolutely stab my eyes out, if that was the case. I couldn't hang out in this business for this long if that was the deal. I guess maybe when I got out of the business a few years ago, it was starting to feel a little bit like that; starting to feel as if we were losing the war against The Golfers. The Wall Street guys. And every now and then -- I'm not going to lie -- it still feels a lot like that, but what do you do? It's like, as an American, if you don't agree with your current administration's politics, do you move to Europe, or do you stay here and fight, and get involved, and make your place -- your industry -- what you want it to be? So, we decided to come back and fight. Because it's an industry full of young, smart -- and old smart, whatever! You know, middle-aged smart people. So there's absolutely no reason to just put our heads down and succumb to the fact that it has to bee a big Wall Street-driven industry, by guys that could care less. Let's not give up." The full interview with Gamecock's Wilson is now available on Gamasutra, including a great deal more detail about his fascinating history in the game business, his new publisher's plans for original IP titles, and his views on the future of the game biz.

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