Games are in our DNA, and in recent years we have witnessed the gamification of everything from watching TV to grocery store shopping. Humans have a desire to play, and this impulse has given rise to the modern gamer: a figure a with keen appreciation for the delight that comes from unraveling a story and solving a puzzle.
Here is our take on some of the biggest names in the game industry today.
The Quote: At Disneyland, you never go ‘backstage’ - even when you’re in the bathroom.
Who Said It: Hideo Kojima
Who Are They: A Japanese video game designer and former director of Kojima Productions. Most famous for creating the Metal Gear Solid series of stealth games.
Our Perspective: Kojima has a penchant for unusual storytelling and imaginative gameplay. His games are known for their high level of detail, clever dialogue, and delightful easter eggs. For Kojima, there is no ‘backstage’ – in his games, everything has consequence and meaning, and the illusion is maintained even when the player delves into the deepest corner of a map or cutscene. This level of cohesiveness comes from a combination of hard work as well as being incredibly genuine - as a brand, embodying your core values in every aspect of what you say and do is incredibly important. It’s not about creating an illusion, it’s about being true.
The Quote: I'm just myself, so I don’t know that I think of myself as a nerd icon.
Who Said It: Aisha Tyler
Who Are They: A comedian, talk show host, actress, author, writer, and director. She is the voice of Lana Kane in Archer, current host of "Whose Line is it Anyway?", and has hosted the last 5 annual Ubisoft press conferences at E3
Our Perspective: Aisha Tyler is a beloved nerd and feminist icon, known for her raw humor, fearless storytelling, and formidable potty mouth. Her stand-up combines poignant observations with cringe-worthy tales of soul-crushing embarrassment, elevating her to fame by capturing the heart of the ‘outsider’ – the individual who cannot easily see themselves reflected in pop culture and society. Although she is widely known as a ‘nerd icon’, what truly defines her is a dogged refusal to pander to her audience. She is unconcerned with popular opinion, despite being criticized time and time again by those who are perturbed by her confidence and ‘invasion’ of a culture traditionally belonging to straight white men. It’s important to remember as a brand that negative initial reactions don’t necessarily mean you’re doing something wrong; sometimes it means that your audience just hasn’t found you yet.
The Quote: Everybody believes in innovation until they see it. Then they think, “Oh, no; that’ll never work. It’s too different.”
Who Said It: Nolan Bushnell
Who Are They: An American engineer and entrepreneur best known for founding Atari, Inc. and the Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza-Time Theaters chain.
Our Perspective: Nolan Bushnell played a massive role in revolutionizing the home gaming market. The Atari 2600 brought video games into the homes of thousands of families across the nation, and Atari became the fastest-growing company in the history of American business. Although video games are now well-established and found in most homes, in the 1970’s the idea of a home arcade was an unthinkable concept. True to his quote, Bushnell pushed forward what he knew would ultimately be one of the most popular and lucrative industries today. Don’t worry about whether or not your innovative idea is ‘too different’ – worry about whether or not it’s good.
The Quote: On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.
Who Said It: Satoru Iwata
Who Are They: A Japanese game programmer and businessman who served as the fourth president and CEO of Nintendo.
Our Perspective: Satoru Iwata is known for bringing games to a wider audience, famously advocating for novelty and entertainment as opposed to expensive top-of-the-line hardware. This is reflected in what Nintendo has created over the years – a massive universe of characters and games that are undeniably well-crafted and beautiful, but also fun and entertaining, devoid of flashy graphics and superficial tricks. Many Nintendo games are known for their long-lives and replayability, with some N64 games still getting remastered and selling countless copies for modern consoles even 20 years later. Iwata’s quote speaks to his priorities and ability to stay true to his identity; despite having obligations as a CEO, he never lost touch with what truly makes video games fun. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day bustle of business and profits, but be sure to fight to never lose touch with what your brand stands for.
Continue reading: Branding Definitions #41-44: To Lead You Must First Conquer
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