MUD2MMO: Branding in Video Games

This week on the show we talk about “Branding”. It doesn’t involve cattle, but in a way it does. You’ll see.

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MUD2MMO is a bi-weekly show talking about gaming culture. It's not a typical review or "go buy this game" show, we focus on the gamers, the industry, everything else. Come on by, enjoy the show.


  1. You make some good points, but I can’t agree with your Fallout 4 example. It’s a direct sequel to a game a lot of people loved, made by the same developers and with similar gameplay. Although I’m sure they did use emotional manipulation in their ads, the main reason people are hyped for it is because they enjoyed FO3 (although many prefer Obsidian’s New Vegas) and they want more of what they like. That’s not branding; that’s having a proven track record. I haven’t preordered it myself, but I can understand why many did.

    Brotherhood of Steel is a much better example, because it was a completely different type of game that they just happened to slap the Fallout license onto. See also: virtually every movie tie-in game ever made.

  2. This video pretty much details the disdain I have for advertising in the last 20 years. It’s especially true about TV commercials that the only message you can take from them is to buy something because it has such’n’such name on it.

    How is the product used? What are the features of the product? Is the product even something you have a use a for? The only reasons that I would buy something are essentially ignored.

    I’m one of the last people that would pay attention to brands. For example, if you were to ask me to describe the pants I’m wearing I wouldn’t even know what brand they are. I would say the size, the fit, the color. The aspects that are important in determining if I would wear them. Who manufactured them is simply not a consideration.

    If I do ever a associate something with a brand it is going to be a negative association. Especially if the only way I know of them is from their terrible adverting. Do I know what product they make? No, but I recall it was something I found extremely irritating.

    When you held up the shirts my emotional response was one of confusion. It took about 10 seconds to recognize it as a com-badge from StarTrek. Even then I thought the last movie was awful and the series hasn’t held my interest since TNG ended. Back when the show was about exploration and concepts. Before the writing focused more on characters and their interactions.

    I like things that have an intellectual or rational aspect to them. Something that I can analyze and draw a conclusion about. If the only message is that I should feel something then I’m going to conclude that it’s pointless and superficial.

    I make those points about myself to explain how I think of games somewhat differently. If someone were to ask what game I’m playing, I can’t treat that the same as I would a pair of pants. If I only said about it what aspects the plot and game play mechanics had caught my interest the other person would still not know what game I was playing. So maybe it’s my own blindness to branding but I don’t know if the title of a game is the same as a brand name.

    Applying this to a larger conversation, games aren’t simply a product with a recognizable logo on them. Though many are marketed as nothing more than that. They can also be art. When looked at that way it raises the question if novels or paintings have also fallen victim to branding.

  3. First of all: I hope you’re well or get well soon!

    Apart from that… branding does have a huge impact. I’m not free from it either.
    I’m such a huge Zelda Nerd, that I will preorder every Zelda game that comes under my nose. However, there’s another huge factor, at least in my case, when it comes to preordering a game:
    Collector’s Editions.
    CEs for Video Games are so limited, that you have to preorder them FAST if you want to get them. And even with my Zelda example… this is actually what I preorder. Not the game, but the items that come along it.
    My boyfriend and I are both gamers.
    We preordered both Wither 3 and Fallout 4. However, we did so because of the Collector’s Editions. We wanted to have that Geralt Statue and we went crazy about the PipBoy!
    Both PC copies are those of my boyfriend, as he’s the first one who played/plays them. My copies of both games will follow – someday, when they’re cheap in a Steam Sale 🙂
    Zelda Triforce Heroes? Has no CE, so I haven’t yet preordered it – but I probably get it soon to opening day, probably preordering it a few days prior.
    I preordered Tales of Zestiria on Steam – because their Preorder Bonuses are not only amazing, but because they include a free copy of the PC version of Tales of Symphonia! Which is one of my most favorite games of all time! (Or will include, if the preorders go up a notch… still hasn’t reached the final goal :/ )

    What I wanna say is – many people probably don’t preorder so fast because of the game itself, but because of the bonus features that go along with preordering it. Branding obviously helps, but I see no reason in preodering Kingdom Hearts III or Zelda Wii U or Hyrule Warriors Legends at this point – as there’s nothing that comes along it. Even though I’m a fan of the brand.

  4. what fucking asshole leaves a barricade like that and not give warning signs??

  5. America seems so…. exotic.

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