Although EA has struck a deal with Sony for marketing the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront, this clearly doesn’t prevent Microsoft from using their own clever and subtle, stealth-marketing for the shooter.
Sony’s deal with EA on the marketing for Battlefront, prohibits Microsoft from using their Xbox One to market the shooter. Interestingly enough, EA uses the marketing deal with Sony, to leverage some of the marketing cost for the game.
“Okay. So on the gross margin structure, I think we've told people that the license with Disney is a fairly typical royalty license, and that most of our royalty licenses are in the high-single-digits or low-double-digits, so -- and assume that the Disney license is there. What we try to do is offset some of that cost by lowering our marketing expense. And, clearly, leveraging the strength of all the activities out there around Star Wars is allowing us to do that. And you'll see a lot of joint marketing between us and Disney, as well as us and Sony, to try to leverage our partners to be able to offset some of that”, said EA’s CFO Blake Jorgensen, during EA’s most recent earnings call.
Battlefront is big holiday title, and EA expects to ship 13 million copies of the game by the end of their current fiscal year. Apart from Sony, it’s a no brainer that the title is important for Microsoft’s Xbox One as well, and the company seems to be using some clever stealth-marketing, to still be able to bring the game to the attention of Xbox One players.
Clever and subtle marketing
Microsoft’s official Xbox Twitter account decided to fire some shots by using one of Star Wars’ most important themes – The Light and Dark Side of the ‘Force’, to promote Battlefront on their console.
— Xbox (@Xbox) November 5, 2015
Microsoft uses the newly released, Elite & Lunar Xbox One controller to refer to both the Light and Dark side of the Star Wars series. Although cryptic, we all know to what this promotional ad refers to. Aside from using the central Star Wars theme, the Tweet also mentions that players will be able to play EA’s Battlefront on Xbox One first, through the use of EA’s subscribed gaming service, ‘EA Access’.
The UK Microsoft Twitter account, is also using EA’s gaming service to promote the shooter for the Xbox One.
Ironically, as can be seen on EA’s Access website, EA is also using its own service to promote the game on Microsoft’s console.
On top of all the stealth-marketing, Xbox’s head of marketing Aaron Greenberg, is actively using his Twitter profile to promote Battlefront for the Xbox One. Greenberg’s Twitter pictures reads “Play First on Xbox”.
History repeats itself
This kind of stealth-marketing isn’t new to Microsoft – last year the company also used it to promote Bungie’s Destiny for the Xbox One. For Destiny, publisher Activision made a marketing deal with Sony as well. To advertise the shooter for their console, Microsoft ‘designed’ the ‘Destiny Fragrance’.
Upon clicking the ad, users were then greeted with the following message:
"Okay, so here's the lowdown. Destiny is actually an epic new first-person shooter, available on Xbox," the website for the Fragrance read. "Thing is, we didn't have permission to run adverts for the game.
"So we didn't. Thanks for smelling that something was up. Now get the game and become a legend." Unfortunately the website was pulled
What are your thoughts on Microsoft using this kind of marketing for Battlefront? Hit the comments below.