Game Industry PR 101

When you have just laid off 20+ people right before Xmas and it’s time to try to put the best face possible on that, do NOT pull out the bullshit corporate doublespeak. Here is the money quote from WotC President Greg Leeds in an article on ICV2 on the recent layoffs (oh sorry, “digital consolidation”):

“Consolidating internal resources coupled with improved outsourcing allows us to gain efficiencies in executing against our major digital initiatives Magic Online and D&D; Insider. Wizards of the Coast is well positioned to maximize future opportunities, including further brand development on digital platforms. The result of this consolidation is a more streamlined approach to driving core brands.”

Ah yes, gaining efficiencies and maximizing opportunities! The only phrase this masterpiece is missing is “leveraging our core competencies.” Maybe he’s saving that one for the next round of layoffs. Seriously, this sort of soulless gibberish may play with Hasbro shareholders but it the 100% wrong way to communicate with the gamers who make up WotC’s audience. Next time, I suggest Mr. Leeds try showing a human face and some compassion for the people he just put out of work. Quotes that read like passages from 1984 only reinforce the idea of WotC as an “evil empire.” And you don’t need an expensive market research campaign to figure that out.

9 thoughts on “Game Industry PR 101

  1. How about “everyone’s worried about every penny they’re spending, we’ve got to cutback or risk going under.”

    Same message, but without the “we’re doing this for your own good” double-talk.

    Yes, times are hard. But compassion doesn’t cost anyone anything.

    Well spoken.

  2. The corp BS lines used to be so thick at my old job, I would seriously bring a “boardroom bingo” card with me to Department Head meetings and play.

    With just that phrase you mentioned Chris, I could probably have won. All I would have needed was “at the end of the day”

  3. That quote was amazing. I mean even CEO’s in the big time corporations try to add a bit of a human touch in their text these days. That shite went out with the ’90s. I particularly like the line “executing against our major digital initiatives”. They certainly have done a great job executing against the DDI and Gleemax! 🙂

  4. I don't think that Hasbro really understand the RPG fan. On a fundamental level. They fail to do basic marketing in a manner that will attract rather than repel the D&D; player.

    Boy I hope 4E fails miserably.

  5. Actually, it looks to me like they do understand gamers: the statement was assembled by rolling on a Judges Guild random phrase generator table, wasn’t it?

    Spike Y Jones

  6. Corporate speak is usually what you get when they don’t want to speak honestly about why the layoffs are happening for one reason or another. It just means there’s an untold story here.

    I don’t suppose you know what that story is, Mr. Pramas?

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