Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Transmedia Synergy, the Marvel Way

Trion and their partners with Defiance coined a novel marketing term - "Transmedia Synergy" - to describe the crossover between the TV show and associated MMOFPS.  Marvel has chosen the speak softly and carry a big stick approach to this problem, namely to implement it without a fancy marketing name.

Case in point, Marvel Heroes is rolling out a new level set in Asgard to promote the new Thor movie, and have also made Loki into a surprise playable hero to commemorate the occasion.  The cross promotion with licensed films is not new, but the ability to take the digital files used to make the effects in the film and hand them straight off to multiple licensees is something that I haven't seen done to this extent before.  See for comparison the sample screenshots in this MMORPG.com article about the new Marvel Heroes content and this announcement for the standalone Thor licensed game on Android.  

All of the Iron Man suits in game
In some ways, it's a win/win for everyone.  Players get higher quality stuff - for example, Marvel Heroes has an insanely large number of Iron Man costumes in-game because Marvel provided all of the files for all of the suits in the movies.  The game gets extra traffic from Marvel's promotion of the film.  The film gets cross promotion to players of the game who might not have heard or bothered. 

The downside is that if you really don't care about Thor or his movies, you need to put up with having this be a focus for a bit.  We're seeing heroes added to the game quickly but new content is presumably going to be further in between.  I suppose it's a peril of working in a licensed IP.  Even so, I could see this being a model that other licensed products hope to attain. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I raised the question of what properties would work with a Marvel Heroes type business model on the game's forums the other day. Some interesting responses: https://forums.marvelheroes.com/discussion/38858/could-any-other-ip-work-in-the-marvel-heroes-model/p1

The obvious choices that people came up with were Star Wars, DC, and Warcraft (think Diablo with big name characters from WoW). The one that I really would love, however, is a Hasbro Universe - could you imagine a game where you could play as your favorite G.I. Joe, He-Man, or Transformer?