Ever since VGRC sort of declined in activity, I haven’t been too active in the games press as of late. However, this doesn’t stop my e-mail box from being bombarded with tons of correspondence from various PR reps and industry insiders. After building up hundreds of relationships, they don’t just go away because you’re out of the industry (Hell, a handful of publishers still mail me review copies of games, but that’s another story).
Anyways, I was having a lovely conversation with an associate of mine who recently started working in NOA’s marketing department a few months back. Due to a handful of non-disclosure agreements and the fact he could likely end up in the unemployment line, I can’t release his name, but I can go ahead and post one of the messages he sent me:
“I know I’ve bitched to you quite a bit about some of the ideas the higher-ups around here have been going through with, but this Spirit Tracks debacle is by far the worst. You were right to assume it sounds fishy: The entire thing is a ruse. The heads decided that we needed something extremely ridiculous to draw attention away from Sony and Microsoft’s announcements, so for some reason we’re taking one of our most popular trademarks and tying it in with a product that doesn’t exist for marketing exposure.
All that exists is a tech demo based on Phantom Hourglass that some interns tossed together. The worst thing is, somebody suggested “hey lets announce this is a joke on April 1st!.” Not only did somebody suggest it, but a few others actually LIKED the idea. It’s absolutely insane. Don’t let anybody tell you that the Wii’s and DS’s success is a result of good marketing, because the entire department is filled with clowns. I’m convinced at this point that Nintendo’s success the past few years has been sheer luck, because there isn’t a single competent person working here.
I can’t confirm or not if the actual Reps are gonna go ahead and admit it was just a marketing stunt, and if they are, if they’re really gonna do it for AFD. The original plan was just to never speak of it again and announce the real new Zelda towards the end of the year, but who knows at this point. It’s just a mess.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to the circus. Ugh.”
I honestly don’t have much to say, but I’m sure the community will fill in for that.
I would just like to remind any lawyers who might be reading this that legal precedents say that we don’t have to disclose our sources.