Case in point, the buzz video for the next Xbox Live Arcade promotion: House Party:


Marketing is probably a lot harder then it looks. I don’t want to talk down to people that make their living finding new and creative ways to get people to subscribe to a brand or product, but this effort seems to miss the target by about three miles. I can see the “House Party” title being used if the games included were party games, with Double Fine’s upcoming Kinect title Happy Action Theater a prime example.  However, when the actual line up consists of two survival horror games, a Quake mod, and a puzzle platformer, the party might not be so much a party but instead a dude sitting in front of a television in the dark…alone.

Why not brand it as the “Winter of Arcade” to sit opposite the already successful “Summer of Arcade” promotion? There is no need for a room full of ladies, an obnoxious MC, and trashy drum beat to somehow come together and make a statement for me to download some games on my Xbox. Does there exist a gamer who identifies with this ad campaign, thinking to himself “Man, I love parties, I should go to one…OR I could play some Alan Wake and feel like I am at a party?” Never have I confused a gaming session (even those played with other people) with a dance party.

A piece of advice for Microsoft: gamers like games, some also like parties. But, to put it in simple terms: Parties ≠ Video Games.