One good thing about the summer game release doldrums is that when a game is released, there isn't much competing noise to drown out its arrival a nice advantage for the marketing folks who are trying to get the word out about their game. Case in point, The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II for Xbox 360, which is releasing today.
Yes, this game was released back in March on PC, so the public has already had a taste of the marketing push, but the Xbox 360 version is of special note, being a next-generation console real-time strategy game. The combination of the terms "console" and "RTS" may make some gamers cringe as they attempt to imagine controlling many tiny units simultaneously at a fast pace sans a keyboard and mouse. The translation of this gameplay from PC to console not only presented a challenge to the game's designers, but also its PR and marketing crew.Craig Owens, EA LA director of marketing told Next-Gen, "…You have to figure out the best way to expose the compulsions of the genre – those things that make it unique and fun. PC gamers understand this, given the RTS genre is over a decade old now. However, most console gamers don't even know what RTS is or may have pre-conceived notions about its complexity." EA LA focused much of its campaigning efforts just trying to overcome the mystery and stigma that surrounds console RTS adaptations. "Convincing our audience that the game works well on the Xbox 360 didn't happen overnight," explained Owens. "When we announced that we were developing the first RTS for the Xbox 360, there were definitely skeptics. … The reactions we have had are promising and we are looking forward to gamers testing out the final version this week."