在过去的几周中，社交游戏公司纷纷使出“名人效应”。据游戏邦了解：首先，社交游戏巨头公司Zynga在Mafia Wars游戏中引入了说唱歌手Dr.Dre的最新音乐录像；篮球明星科比·布莱恩特携手6 Waves，开发以自己为题材的社交游戏；畅销作家James Patterson发布了悬疑侦探类社交游戏Catch a killer。此前，社交游戏公司也展开了许多类似的“名人”宣传活动。今年早期，Zynga邀请Snoop Dogg在沙漠中爆破车辆以宣传Mafia Wars新款游戏；Booyah公司也在旗下热门社交游戏Nightclub中邀请KISS举行演唱会。
从另一个角度来看，应用在高品质游戏上的名人效应似乎收效甚佳。在这类高品质游戏中，名人效应起着添砖加瓦的作用。以《侠盗车手4》为例，该款游戏中也融入了部分名人角色，然而他们的进驻并非大张旗鼓，反而需要玩家的细心发现。在游戏中，英国喜剧演员Ricky Gervais扮演一位新手演员。很多玩家在访问Liberty City中的虚拟喜剧俱乐部前都无法辨认出他来。而Xbox平台热门游戏《Halo》也邀请了不少名人参与，如Greg Grunberg等。
在此，Mafia Wars似乎也从不受好评的snoop Dogg宣传活动中学到了一课，此次邀请Dr.Dre展开了新一轮的游戏宣传。在此次活动中，Mafia Wars玩家除了可以在游戏中观看Dre最新音乐录像外，还可以在游戏中进行新款迷你游戏，完成任务的玩家将获得特殊游戏道具，并有机会得到Dre的签名耳机。（本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译，转载请注明来源：游戏邦）
In the past week, Zynga debuted rapper Dr. Dre’s video for his new single ‘Kush’ in Mafia Wars; Kobe Bryant signed on with 6waves to make his very own social game; and mega-author James Patterson released James Patterson: Catch a Killer. Earlier this year, Zynga used Snoop Dogg in a publicity stunt to promote a Mafia Wars expansion, and Booyah’s Nightclub City streamed an entire KISS concert live inside the game.
What this means is that Facebook games have clearly adopted the time-honored tradition of using famous faces to create high-profile celebrity tie-ins.
While having celebrities endorse your social game has a certain sex appeal — does it actually work? If we’ve learned anything from the traditional video game space (you know, games played on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, etc) — a star-studded endorsement doesn’t necessarily equal instant success. Sometimes it’s just the opposite.
A few celebrified stinkers off the top of my head include renowned action director John Woo’s disastrous video game Stranglehold, which starred Chow Yun-Fat and promised all of the same awesome slo-mo shooting sequences that you’d see in one of his movies like Hard Boiled or A Better Tomorrow – but in reality, it was just a huge sloppy mess. Rapper 50 cent also has lent his name, likeness and music to two video games, the first earned an average score of 50/100 on Metacritic. The second scored a little higher, but I’d argue that’s because the game was unintentionally funny rather than really amazing. Then there’s Halle Berry in Catwoman, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz in Charlie’s Angels and Shaquille O’Neal’s Shaq Fu, which is so derided that there’s a website devoted to destroying all copies in existence.
Celeb-powered games seem to work best when the game is actually, well, good, and when the star power is more of a side dish for the main course. In the best examples, they’re naturally integrated into the whole experience as sort of an added bonus. Grand Theft Auto 4, arguably one of the best games of all time, includes a slew of celebs — but they’re not credited in the game and it takes a careful eye (and ear) to find them. Brit comic Ricky Gervais performs a standup act in-game, but you won’t know until you visit the Liberty City’s virtual comedy club. Same for the Halo series for Xbox, which has cameos from the likes of Nathan Fillian (‘Firefly,’ ‘Castle’), David Cross (’Arrested Development) and Greg Grunberg (‘Heroes’), and then there’s the Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell series which has gained so much cache, most people forget that the author’s name is attached.
While I’m sure that celebs will help Facebook games get more ink from blogs and other publications, it still seems unlikely that it will turn someone who dislikes these types of games into a fan. (If you’ve survived the FarmVille Spamgate, you’re more than aware of the public’s love/hate relationship with social games.)
To its credit, though, Mafia Wars, seems to have learned from its flubbed Snoop Dogg promotion a few months ago and has done a much better job with its current Dr. Dre promotion. In addition to watching Dre’s new music video, there’s also a cleverly integrated mini-game where you complete a mission to earn exclusive in-game items and enter a contest to win a pair of Beats by Dre headphones. It might not help Mafia Wars’ declining numbers, but maybe Zynga and other Facebook game makers have, again, quickly picked up something that it took video game makers years to figure out.
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