Sunday, September 12, 2010

Animania 2010: Cosplay is a valuable resource for developers and publishers

Animania had its second Sydney leg this weekend, and walking around the exhibition, I was reminded of the raw marketing value of cosplay and value of having a strong merchandising policy - it's the kind of value marketing that few companies have fully latched on to.

In an age where social networking is king of marketing, fan-generated publicity such as cosplay is like gold.

Regardless of what you think about cosplay, it has grown into a popular activity, as conventions such as Animania have proven. And, even more attractively, the kinds of people who participate in cosplay are very dedicated consumers of anime, manga and videogames. As I was walking around, I saw a plethora of Nintendo and Square Enix costumes amongst the anime and manga characters, and very few from other gaming vendors (although there was a really great group dressed up as Resident Evil survivors).

Immediately this filled the weekend for a few thousand attendees with a captive audience for a saturated marketing push, and it's probably for that reason that the merchant stores were likewise saturated with characters, weapons and imagery from those games vendors.

Characters are important in the games industry - especially if you're looking at building franchises. Square Enix probably does it the best of all - and it's because of those characters that we have so many off-shoot series bearing the Final Fantasy name.

In fact, while there was a number of games set up for people to play at the convention, the most popular, by far, was the Super Smash Brothers game - a game that is entirely dependant on the pulling power of the characters.

Off course, all of this is common sense, but it was surprising to see how underrepresented some characters were. No one would have expected someone to dressed as a Call of Duty character, of course, but it is perhaps a sign of Sega's fall from grace that no one joined in the frivolities dressed as Sonic.

No comments:

Post a Comment