Valve is pretty famous for doing things their own way, going so far as to help create a new revolution in digital distribution in order to get their titles to PC the way they want. The studio now declares that ad agencies, third parties responsible for most video game promotions, aren’t needed any more either. In an interview with MCV, Doug Lombardi, Valve’s Head of Marketing, lays out the studio’s plan to advertise Portal 2, and all future games, on their own.
“No one knows the product better than the folks who made it,” Valve’s marketing VP Doug Lombardi detailed, in between discussing Valve’s eight-week production on its own TV spot for Portal 2. The ad will be complemented – at least in the UK – by physical advertisements on buses and train stations.
Lombardi continued, “We’ve had many creative kick-off meetings with agencies over the years, and you’d be shocked by the treatments that have come back. Copycat treatments. Cliché treatments. Treatments that reveal the agency wasn’t listening in the initial meeting…With the Portal 2 ad, we playtested it and were able to make changes during production. With an agency, those types of tests are too often left to a post-mortem – at which point, the value of those realisations is pretty close to worthless.”
In further Valve news, the studio has confirmed its hiring of Doug Church, a 20-year veteran designer most recently staffed at EA Los Angeles. Church’s last project had been on Steven Spielberg’s “Project LMNO”, which was canceled last October. He had also worked in some designer capacity on Ultima Underworld, System Shock, Deus Ex, Tomb Raider: Legend, and Thief. Doug Church’s exact position has not yet been confirmed.
Looking forward to an ad produced for the industry, by the industry? Or should Valve leave the promotions to the media pros? Tell us your thoughts below!