Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bungie LLC hires European PR



´Halo´ developer Bungie LLC has hired a PR company to represent the studio in Europe, giving rise to some speculation regarding their next projects and their working relationship with publisher Microsoft.

Bungie contracted Panache PR whose head Cathy Campos has been practically inseparable from star designer Peter Molyneux (´Fable´, ´Black & White´) for many years. The company has also represented Criterion Studios (´Burnout´, ´Black´) and Free Radical Design (´Time Splitters´, ´Haze´). A brief note on their website reads:


Kirkland,Wash. based game developer Bungie (...) asked Panache PR to represent them in Europe! As you can imagine I didn’t need much persuading to work with one of the world’s most successful and talented development companies! Their track record speaks for itself and they are really great people to work with.
Being less tongue in cheek about it, Panache PR is delighted to announce that the company has been appointed to handle Bungie's Corporate PR in Europe.


I contacted Cathy Campos, who I have had the pleasure of working with on many occasions, and asked her to clarify just what a US studio like Bungie would need PR representation in another territory for.


Jonty Barnes who now works there worked with me for many years at Bullfrog and then Lionhead and I think he really understands the importance of PR for developers. I think many US companies don’t do enough European PR so that is why I'm working with them.

I have no doubt that they have some exciting projects in the works. But I would expect it to be many months before they even think about doing PR for any new game.


Only recently, Bungie separated from Microsoft to become Bungie LLC, a ´privately held independent company (...) in which Microsoft will hold a minority equity interest.´



Unprecedented move

Hiring European PR is a highly unusual move for a US developer. To my knowledge, this is unprecedented. I do not know a single US studio that has any PR deals in other territories.

Some developers of massively multiplayer online games (MMO) do have some representation in Europe. US developer Blizzard (´World of Warcraft´, ´Starcraft´) and Korean company NCsoft (´Guild Wars´, ´Lineage´) have European offices, for example. But this is primarily due to the technical and administrative requirements of MMO games. Also, the former is part of Vivendi Games, who manage and outsource their marketing and PR as they see fit, while the latter also publishes its own products.

PR and marketing is always the publisher´s responsibility. Even a fairly independent studio like Valve (´Half-Life´) has no external PR representation. Instead, they have an internal marketing director, Doug Lombardi.

Three theories why Bungie might need European PR

Bungie hiring European PR is a clear sign of them wanting to sever ties with Microsoft. In detail, the move could hint at one of three possibilities. Firstly, the studio might want to distribute their own games digitally and may seek to back this up with PR representation. However, even Valve, the most successful studio in this field, manage without.

Secondly, they might be working on a new project that would necessitate PR people in other territories. Here, I can only think of an MMO. That, however, would also require them opening offices over here.

Thirdly, Bungie could consider moving to Europe or, more likely, opening a European satellite for other reasons than developing an MMO. German developer Crytek recently acquired a second satellite studio in Hungary.

At any rate, this is a clear indicator of Bungie moving yet further away from Microsoft and preparing for upcoming titles which will not be published by the console manufacturer.

Source: Panache PR

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I cannot imagine bungie making a wii game anytime soon...not only would that be an incomprehendable and risky move towards untapped terrirtories considering how successful they were with the Xbox exclusive Halo franchise, it would also put a strain on the relationship between them and microsoft.

-IALS

Anonymous said...

hey mr falafel whats up with factor5?

Anonymous said...

can wii have wii news please drop the 360 bs

Anonymous said...

its funny how eventhough Wii appears to be marketleader we are not seeing any major 3rd party core player titles hitting the console...that's strange

Anonymous said...

For starters I'd like to mention that I haven't played Wii yet...however I own all other Nintendo consoles and I plan on buying one soon as Metroid Prime 3 hits shelves here in europe......To tell you the truth I have not had a reason to buy Wii until now...ever since Wii launched I haven't seen a game that made me say wow I rally need to play this...I have been a long time Nintendo supporter but the game cube was a dissapointment and I tried to wait and not give nintendo the benefit of the doubt this time.

Now you might say what about Zelda....well, I bought Zelda for Cube since I felt it was essentially a Cube game...with cube graphics...

I am dissapointed....I can only speak for myself but as far as I'm concerned I don't see anything that warrants a Wii purchase other than Metroid Prime 3..Metroid delivers good graphics good gameplay good controlls..Metroid is deep and compelling....a game for hardcore gamers for core gamers....which other game delivers that on Wii?

All I see is half assed PS2 ports like Godfather, Driver, Scarface, Far Cray, etc. with low rez graphics....or poorly executed titles like Red Steel and SSX.....

So to conclude it took Nintendo over a year to come up with a title that warrants a purchase for an old school core gamer like me and thats very unfortunate


where are the great games? metroid is not enough! mario is not enough! smash is for children! where are the heavy hitters? where are the blockbusters? what has changed since the cube days? I don't see a difference!

Listen I'm not trying to say Nintendo is crap. But once again...like the Gamecube...the system is lacking top-flight games. The complaints are on this board daily...and no, it was not like the 360 was...the 360 had complaints for about 4-5 months...we're a year IN! And at least 360 fans could point out some huge games coming soon (at the time it was Gears Of War etc...) The Wii has Mario and SSBB.

There isn't much to look forward to. And Nintendo doesn't really seem to care because the casuals are buying the console for one game anyway. And the Casual outnumber you guys 10-1 at this point probably.

Grandmaster B said...

Anonymous above me, I share your thoughts, most of them also.

However I have a Wii. Metroid is a lot of the same througout the game, gets repetitive but I am not much into FPS for these kind of reasons. I can see why many people would enjoy it though.

Mario Galaxy for me is the reason I bought the Wii, Super Paper Mario was also a reason but I havent played it much.

WiiWare games was also another reason and cant wait for those to appear more prominent.

Everything else is just a bonus, especially since I dont have much time for games these days anyway, mainly just when I am traveling.

I do agree they need more flagship 3rd part titles and I think they are coming. It has only been a year, give them some time since some had their finger plugged up their bums waiting to see what happens.

But then again look at the other systems, they dont have a whole heap in the pipeline either.

As for the guy asking for Wii news, what Fal does it his business. However I thought a writeup on Nintendos conference would of possibly been more warranted than info on Bungie. However they may be somewhat related to Nintendo's system one day, hence why I believe he wrote up on it.

And probably the fact the piece is more different content than most sites are reporting on.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous;

The Godfather: Blackhand Edition is probably the most solid port on the system. Sure, its flawed, but its also got some fantastic moments.

The hand-to-hand combat is actually mapped to Wii controls to the point where, in my opinion, they are SUPERIOR to standard controls. Instead of being a slopping "waggle" fest, every move is highly responsive and functional.

The Godfather: Blackhand Edition has the best melee combat out of any Wii title, in my opinion, and really serves as a standard for games to come.

Anonymous said...

Falafel you should tie up how this article affects Nintendo.
Othewise I really dont care about Bungie.

James F. said...

Smash is for "children"? Wow--I'm a 29-year-old child, I guess.

Do us all a favor, anonymous poster who is one in the same with 100 other anonymous posters: Keep the regurgitated, useless propaganda where it belongs - not anywhere. There's a huge difference between constructive criticism and showing up in every other thread to recycle the same bullet points concerning the console you "don't own."

As least let me offer some advice on being concise; save yourself time and the rest of us much pain (for having to read it) by posting this: "Kiddy. Third-party support. Ports. Fad. Hardcore. Casual. Waggle. SQUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWK!"

sick of anonymous comenters said...

sum of u guys need to find a wii wingers forum to bitch on

sick of anonymous comenters said...

windge.. winge.. eh who cares

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