Part of the excitement for a video game is the slow burn by the marketing machine all the way up to release date. Marketing campaigns are incredibly important in order to sell a game and luckily, there are more and more campaigns every year that push the creative envelope and amuse every gamer whilst generating the buzz a gaming studio wants.
Good marketing campaigns can come in all shapes and sizes. Some campaigns were unconventional and groundbreaking, like Halo 2's 'I Love Bees' alternative reality game campaign. Some advertisements were short and sweet, like Robin William's declaration of love for Zelda. There's also Call of Duty's shtick of having well-known celebrities act in their explosion and bullet-filled advertisements.
And then there are just smart marketing moves that piggy-back on a competitor's misfortunes whilst shining a light on themselves, like how the PS4 utterly humiliated the X-box One during their E3 announcements in 2013.
But whenever a good idea comes around, there's usually a terrible idea waiting just around the corner. For every Halo alternative reality game that exists, there is a marketing campaign or advertisement that make you think 'what the hell were they thinking?' And it's those ones that tend to be the most intriguing...
10. Skyrim - Name Your Baby 'Dovahkiin'
When Skyrim was announced, it had everything going for it even without a massive marketing campaign: good developer goodwill, previous games in the franchise were fantastic, and good communication between the game developers and the gamers.
But when the marketing roll-out finally came, it did nearly everything just right, bar one odd little stunt, proving that even Skyrim isn't immune to the occasional marketing faux pas.
Bethesda offered a nifty prize to parents who were willing to name their baby 'Dovahkiin' if it was born on Skyrim's release date of 11/11/11. Asking parents to name their kid in a fictional dragon language was quite the ask but the prize offered was incredibly tempting to all every gaming parent out there: free access to every Bethesda game - past, present, and future.
Amazingly, people did take up Bethesda's offer and now their kids will forever wear the name 'Dovahkiin', or 'Dovah' for short, whilst their parents gleefully wait for their free copies of the upcoming Fallout 4 and Doom.
Whilst a bit ridiculous (not to mention quite amusing), this little stunt barely made a mark on Skyrim's momentum as the game debuted to massive sales, overwhelming critical acclaim, and a small collection of kids who will probably be forever ridiculed by having random dragon shouts yelled at them during school.