FFG: What Marketing & Community Outreach Looks Like

asmodee-NA

Asmodee North America President Christian Peterson talks plans for expanding marketing efforts and reaching ever more gamers:

ICv2, just put up a fantastic interview with FFG founder and now Asmodee North America CEO Christian Peterson.  It is a far reaching interview but today I want to focus on a small portion where Peterson talks about the new company’s plans for marketing and community outreach:

Full ICV2 Interview

“The announcement of the consolidation said that one outcome of the changes would be additional investment in marketing.  Is there anything beyond the new Asmodee website that you can share as far as new investments in marketing and communications?
There are several initiatives. We’ve been in the process of recruiting hundreds of contractors around the country to engage in significantly more event-based and demonstration based marketing.  For example, we just did a big X-Wing event in the main rotunda at the Mall of America (Minnesota) in connection with the release of the new Star Wars film.  This approach will extend to many Asmodee and DOW products…

As you mentioned, we are launching a new Asmodee Publishing website soon.  The team is dedicating a lot of work to this, and will be generating a lot of ongoing website content providing articles, previews, and other resources for consumers.  Based on past experience, we believe this will give a noteworthy boost in interest for the games published under the Asmodee brand.

…Overall, across all three publishing brands, we’re making huge increases in marketing investment. This is primarily targeted at consumer marketing and new player acquisition, but we’re also increasing our trade marketing.  I’m very hopeful retailers will see positive effects from all these efforts.

Will organized play programs be merged, and if so, when?
FFG’s OP program will continue its current direction, and AsmoPlay will also continue (see “Asmodee’s New Organized Play Program“).  They will be handled as two separate programs under their respective publishing brands.

In terms of the talent behind the programs, the OP for each brand will be managed by distinct teams (having access to shared internal resources) with know-how in each supported game.  We want to ensure that the OP experience is authentic and relevant for the loyal audiences of each game supported by our OP.”

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What Success Looks Like

What we are seeing beyond the details up there is a company grappling with success head on. There is no talk of cost cutting, increasing efficiencies, or doing more with less.  No executive CEO talk of retrenchment, holing up and trying to stretch each dollar to it’s maximum.

Instead we are seeing Asmodee North America preparing to spend cash specifically on marketing across a variety of platforms.  From website infrastructure, to expanded organized play programs, tailored to each individual product line, to consumer targeted demos and player acquisition projects.

We always talk about what company X and company Y could be doing to make things better.  So here is a quick thought experiment.  Take a moment to grab the annual reports or any available interviews with CEO’s and executives at the largest gaming companies out there and compare not the technical details of what they are saying – but the tone and language they use to describe the next year’s plans and efforts.

In the end, it’s easy to spot the difference between those who have growing piles of cash in their corporate coffers and those who don’t.

 

~ What do you think the industry will look like in 1 year? 3 years?

 

  • Dave

    I’m not thrilled with the consolidation of online sales Asmodee is pushing in Jan, but if they create a better community portal and expand the player experience I may look the other way. :_)

  • euansmith

    I dunno, after GW, these guys seem… needy?

    • Stormxlr

      can you expand on that?

      • euansmith

        I was joking, based on how proverbially stand-off-ish GW are. It is nice to see a big player supporting things like organised play.

    • benn grimm

      Lol.)

    • StingrayP226

      In the fact they understand they need to try in grow their customer base and need to reach our to their customers instead of isolating them ;p

  • Killian Mc Keever

    FFG are putting out better designed games using the GW IP than GW themselves, the LCG Conquest, Relic, Invasion, Diskwars not to mention the RPG’s

    If Asmodee were to buy out GW and take the reigns on writing rules and then use GW’s design studio and manufacturing capacity to improve their games it would be game changing for the industry.

    • georgelabour

      and then we’d be waiting six months for new books that had already been printed and shipped….

      They’d still cost the same…but require you to buy multiple core rule books to get all the rules.

      And those core rule books would be released over a period of several years…in addition to a constant glut of army options that’d make remembering it all impossible.

      somehow people in Australia would always get them before everyone else…

      And if you think you’d be getting the same quality material (I.E plastic and kit options) as you pay for now…

      And as soon as the IP lost its easy profit potential they’d likely cease support for the game or sell it off to another company who’d relegate it to a drama filled kickstarter debacle.

      In many ways FFG out GWs GW on a persistent basis.

      • Erik Setzer

        Rather than mock your incredibly ridiculous scenario (way too easy), let’s nix these claims.

        1. Just because they preview something doesn’t mean it’s printed and shipped.

        2. Cost would likely come down, simply because they’d be able to sell more while still making a tidy profit.

        3. X-Wing’s core rules are free. Ditto for Armada. Your ship cards and upgrade cards aren’t “core rules.” They’re options. Claiming someone must buy them all is equivalent to saying that someone who plays Space Marines must buy every Marine codex, every IG codex, AM codex, any Imperial download, Stronghold Assault, Escalation, Apocalypse, any campaign book with an Imperial formation, just because they might some day choose to use one of the options in those books. So the “core rules” are more spread out and a LOT more expensive for 40K right now… if we take that silly route. Oh, and they’re already spread out over years, and keep getting replaced with new expensive books. And there’s already a ridiculous number of options. Except, oh wait, they’re OPTIONS. And it’s strange that you call them “options” while also claiming they’re “core.”

        I played plenty of games with my friend without having all of the ships for my faction(s) of choice and had no problem. Only reason I now have them all (and plenty of dupes) is because I wanted them all because I’m a huge Star Wars fan, and I can afford to get them all much more easily than just buying the rules for 40K, much less an army.

        4. If Asmodee bought GW, they’d have GW’s manufacturing. You’re seriously claiming that changing the name on a product, not even changing how it’s made, would somehow suddenly lower the quality? Are you that far down the Games Workshop rabbit hole? See, right here we see that you’re not going for sensible.

        To say nothing of how “options” are laughable with a lot of current kits. Characters have next to no options, if any, these days. Something like a Bloodthirster or Verminlord might have three sets of weapons, but can only be built in one pose. This gets more ludicrous with units of locked-pose models that can only be assembled one way, which actually looks worse with monstrous infantry than with small rank-and-file models.

        5. Hmm, a game lost its “easy profit potential” and saw support ceased… Hmm… Why does that sound so familiar?

        Oh, right!

        I’d like to introduce you to Warhammer Fantasy Battles. Games Workshop’s management screwed up so bad with inflating prices and going insane that people started moving away from the game. It was still making money, but not enough for the guys at the top. Guess what they did to that 30-year-old game that helped them get their start, an IP so popular still that it can make plenty of money for other companies it’s licensed to? Well, little Billy, since you have a hard time guessing, I’ll tell ya: They canned it. No support, nothing. Eight editions, thirty years, still a popular setting, but they threw it all away and replaced it with something completely different.

        Let me also introduce you to its little siblings:

        Mordheim
        Battlefleet Gothic
        Blood Bowl
        Necromunda
        Space Marine
        Warmaster
        Man’O’War
        Space Crusade
        Warhammer Quest
        HeroQuest
        GorkaMorka

        They were all scrapped because they didn’t bring in enough easy profit. Even though, again, the IP is actually still profitable enough that five of the above have their own video games our or coming, and are either well received or eagerly awaited.

        So, did you have a point at the end? What, that there’d be hope for something better than what GW’s already done to every game except 40K (yet)?

    • ted1138

      Imagine GW stores being full of games once more. If GW stocked FFG games I’d actually want to go in and spend money there again. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way.