Usually publishers schedule their game releases before the holidays, you know, because people have this strange tendency to buy more stuff than they normally would during that time. THQ, on the other hand, released Darksiders after the holidays. The game launched earlier this week, and according to THQ, it’s actually benefiting from post-Holiday release timing. How exactly does that work? THQ Executive Vice President Danny Bilson explained the reasoning to Industry Gamers.
“To successfully launch new IP, you first need to start with a great game, you need to market it well and you need to launch the game in the best window possible,” explained Bilson. “Our marketing campaign was substantial for Darksiders and included a comprehensive PR campaign, online and TV ad campaigns, and special pre-order promotions. Our community site for Darksiders generated tremendous traffic and we launched two Facebook apps to generate awareness for the game. We are continuing to market the game online and our TV campaign is kicking into full gear now.
“The release date actually worked to our advantage. It tied to our marketing messaging around the apocalypse happening at the start of the new year. We are the first major AAA release of 2010 and have come out the gates very strong.”
So far, Bilson has been very pleased with the reception Darksiders has received. It’s getting generally favorable reviews and currently has a Metacritic score of 85.
“Our focus is to deliver high quality games, market them well and launch them in the best window possible,” he added. “We knew we had a great game on our hands but we are pleased to see the average Metacritic rating of 85+, which demonstrates broad support by the gaming community. We had strong pre-order promotions with retailers, particularly GameStop. The game is generating a lot of buzz on key gaming sites and is ranking as a top selling game on GameStop’s website as well as Amazon.com.”