Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Blitz: The League

I'm going to mention the website for this game a second time, which is something I never do. I'm making an exception because it's some of the best game marketing I've ever seen.

Here it is:

It's not just the history of the league or or the team profiles, both of which are excellent. It's also the links to other sites that are also fictional, for products like "Chemiaid" (The League's official sports drink) or "Tear it Rare" steak restaurants (with a full menu, list of locations, chef bio, and photo gallery).

It's all one gigantic inside joke, totally irreverent, and it's expertly done. I still don't know if the game will be any fun to play, but if the cleverness of the website is any indication, it's going to be a blast.

Here's a prediction, and I'm going way out on a limb here: I think this game is going to sell more than half a million copies. It's at a decent price point ($39.95), and it's coming out in mid-October, when everyone should be completely sick of Madden. It may well be the biggest surprise console hit of the year.

Yes, I've busted Madden's chops, so it wouldn't be unfair to call me biased (although I don't think I am--Madden just isn't a very good game), but if Blitz wasn't any good, it wouldn't sell jack. I just see the quality of the website, the structure of the game, and the level of involvement with the community (unprecedented for a major label sports game, really), and it makes me think that these guys know what they're doing.

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