Saints Row: The Third: A Marketing Genius
Playing younger brother to the Grand Theft Auto series all these years, Saints Row has yet to truly take over the sandbox world--keyword "yet." As the third installment of the series sets to release in less than a month, publisher THQ has pulled out some of the most unique tactics in all of gaming marketing to show people that Saints Row: The Third means business. From playing third wheel in the Battlefield/Modern Warfare 3 rivalry to "copy-catting" modes in a hilarious way, Saints Row: The Third has definitely turned heads, which is exactly what it needs to do to survive the harsh gaming line-up this Fall.
What do you do when two of the most anticipated titles are overshadowing your upcoming game in all out "war?" You do exactly as Saints Row: The Third did and parody it using your wacky gameplay. If you haven't seen or heard yet, THQ released an over-the-top trailer last week which poked fun at both Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3. The popular "static 3" that Modern Warfare 3 uses for its advertising was hilariously combined with Battlefield 3's notorious "actual game footage" line, which then turned into man-drawn chariot war; lets just say that it wasn't your normal trailer. Nonetheless, people who are familiar with those two FPS games were instantly drawn to the trailer to see just what Saints Row: The Third has to offer.
THQ and the Saints Row franchise has openly been up against only one giant throughout its existence: Grand Theft Auto. Whether or not the company planned it (most likely not), Saints Row: The Third is standing alone in the sandbox genre this fall--simply no GTA. This lack of GTA, along with more and more Grand Theft Auto V rumors, has triggered the hunger of the gaming industry for another stellar sandbox title. Here lies Saints Row: The Third and its brilliant marketing. Every screenshot and trailer has been open world craziness. Every preview has been about the sheer amount of havok that you can cause in the game. There has yet to be, nor will there be, a large amount of money invested in marketing Saints Row: The Third's story, because let's be honest, people really only want to run around naked and shoot tanks with RPGs. Fueling the fire is what we like to call it, and THQ is doing just that, again capitalizing on the lack of a GTA.
Despite the wide variety of "activities" available in the upcoming title, gamers still want more to do. You think the folks at THQ could instantly come up with a mode that utilizes the game's strengths, but no, the developer took a different path - and interesting one at that. Entering the Saints Row: The Third line-up is "Whored Mode." Yes, we know what you're probably thinking, "Sounds a lot like Horde mode from Gears of War." That's the facinating part--it basically is. THQ is taking the success of one of this year's most beloved modes and adding Saints Row's touch: crazy gameplay. With almost every other title, this marketing would prove disasterous, but with Saints Row, it is witty and charming. I mean, who doesn't love fighting off waves of whores instead of hideous Locust?
Is Saints Row: The Third shaping up to be one of this year's finest titles? We have no idea, but the way that THQ has marketed the game, you would instantly think that it is standing tall with the Battlefields and Modern Warfares. By taking advantage of the industry's hottest "styles," THQ has opened doors for gamers to see just what Saints Row: The Third has to offer. Whether or not the title moves 13 million units, we can only applaud all that THQ has done to market this crazy, unique game. Cheers, THQ!
You can follow Tate Steinlage on Twitter @SteinlageT