Sunday, April 15, 2012

Genre-Specific Cross Promotion

A day or two ago, I came across a website called Celstyle. It's an intriguing idea-- they present themselves as a one-stop-shop for various role-playing games designed by different people and sold by different companies, but all dealing with anime-type themes. (What we used to call "Japanimation" back in the day.)

Now, I know that anime has a rabid fan base all unto itself, and thus something like this could make sense. Get into the zeitgeist of anime fandom, mentions on the prominent anime blogs, podcasts, etc., and you have a good chance of not just selling one product, but potentially several, since they're all very specific (almost micro-RPGs, since some of the topics are so very specific), and the site promises that all are very rules-lite, making the barrier to entry for non-gamers very low. The general concept intrigues me.

I wonder if there are any other genres that something like this could apply to? Horror? Apparently someone tried to market some horror RPGs at a large horror convention recently and got stomped on, figuratively speaking. But is that a function of the genre, the games, or just a fluke of that particular convention? Jessica over at Changing the Rules gives a much more in-depth analysis of why he might have failed, but I wonder how other genres might work for such genre-specific game promotion.

Fantasy seems unlikely, since there's not too much of a purely fantasy fan-base that doesn't already include some gaming components, but science fiction could work a little better, I think. Maybe something that marketed specifically to the various science fiction fan clubs out there (and there are thousands of tiny and not-so-tiny clubs all over the world). How about romance? World War II? Something else?

I think it's an interesting concept that bears exploration, if nothing else.

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