Firemint's New Party Play Ad Is... Interesting

OK, interesting is the polite way of me saying "It makes me uncomfortable". That might have something to do with the fact that I once worked as the studio's PR and media relations guy until September of this year. If I was still in that position, I might have thought twice about making this video.

The video is aimed at promoting Real Racing 2's recently added Party Play feature, which allows up to four people to play the game on their TV using a combination of iPads, iPhone and iPod Touches. An iPad 2 or iPhone 4S is required to host, but otherwise, your Apple-loving friends can crack out whatever iOS device they're carrying and get in on the action.

It's actually a nifty accomplishment, as it uses devices a lot of people already have for a game that sells for $5.49 on the App Store. True, it's not going to make you suddenly buy an iPad 2 and four iOS-powered devices, but then, it's not trying to. Firemint wants to sell its game, not move Apple products -- it doesn't take a genius to see this is aimed at those who already have the hardware, not dedicated gamers who are looking to retire their Xbox 360, PS3 or Wii.

But I digress. I get what Firemint (and probably to a larger extent, EA) are trying to do -- Firemint has previously used its impressive Mint3D tech to advertise Real Racing 2, as well as being first-to-market with a lot of cutting-edge features that I imagine have surprised Apple itself. Given the "party" aspect of Party Play, I can understand the studio testing the waters with some more conventional, mainstream advertising.

Sadly, I don't think this is the answer. It makes me cringe, both as a gamer and former employee whose core duties would have involved making this happen. Yet, despite its obvious flaws, I can see some potential. Considering this is the first time Firemint's tried something like this, I'm willing to give them a second chance.

The Real Racing 2 Party Play House! [YouTube]


Comments

    I thought it was an excellent parody, until I realised you actually can use the laptop to play (it appears). A great joke ruined :(.

      Nope, no laptop involved at all. Firemint's own guide explains how it works: http://firemint.com/2011/guide-to-setting-up-airplay-and-party-play/

      You do need an Apple TV device though.

    Logan, you get in your car and drive straight to richmond, do a few red lights if you must and demand you take your position back, because this ad is terrible (1. doesn't even show game play footage???)

    But then, I believe this could be EA marketing, who are the worst marketing department in the games industry, so it may not be entirely Firemints fault.

    Must say its a pretty neat feature, Firemint are really pushing boundaries with IOS devices, which is pretty good I must say.

    My response to Firemint;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfYJsQAhl0#t=00m17s

    The fact that The Real World is in it's 26th f*cking season is why this ad was made and sadly will work. In America.

      Wait, what?! The Real World is STILL going? I thought that crap died out in the 90's along with old school MTV o_0

      Wait, these guys are from a US reality TV show? That's very disappointing.

        I don't know if they from the show. But it's definitely the feel they are looking for. The only real reason I know about The Real World is Dave Chappelle.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW5FJqXMqEg

          Classic clip. Have avoided headlocks ever since I saw it.

      Oh NOW I get it!

      It's not a parody of a game advert, it's a parody of a reality TV show.

      It IS still a parody though, right?

      Right?

    Honestly? It looks like they're going for the cashed-up frat 'bro' crowd in the US and they're not doing too badly on that front - I'd like to think that serious gamers who also happen to have iOS devices know about and have already made their decision about whether or not RR2 is for them or not; this only leaves the aforementioned crowd who own iOS devices, but don't like the idea of being labeled a 'gamer'.

    It has potential to work for the market they're after - this all predicated on the ad not being a failed attempt at parody/irony.

    it's obviously meant to be a parody of crappy reality shows of that ilk. Do you guys really think ANYONE, even frat brahs, are gonna relate to the ridiculous 'people' in this ad? the problem is that if it's directed at more casual players and/or that sort of crowd, then they might alienate them seeming to depict that audience as clowns - it's not a bad concept for a parody but if the only people in the ad playing the game are douchebags...then who wants to be part of it, even if you get the joke and find it funny? And if they're going for more clued-in gamers, apparently they're being too subtle ;)

    And yeah, whether it works fine in practice or not, using a tablet to steer looks stupid lol

    p.s. I guess the biggest problem of it is that if you make your game the centre of a piece of parody then it kinda makes the game look like, well, part of the joke/parody also. And while I think it's obvious that it IS a parody, it does come a bit too close for comfort lol

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