A Severe Lack of Video Games at Dreamforce

lh_dreamforce_xbox_one_giantEveryone in the Lore Hound Pound knows that we attend all the major industry events. We hit all the major shows, PAX Prime, PAX East and PAX South. Apparently, there are shows outside of the PAX moniker too, including E3, BlizzCon and NYCC. Those are covered on the regular. We even go international from time to time! What you may not know is that part of the crew has spread its wings, attending various conferences for related topics like technology. It’s this added experience that brought us to today’s headline. For multiple reasons we’re flabbergasted that video games companies, any video game company, don’t appear to attend conferences outside those dominated by the “target demographic.”

I’m writing this from San Francisco, the bed of Dreamforce. A conference that focuses on Salesforce and the cloud. We’re talking about a conference that rivals the size PAX East, one of the largest in the US at ~50,000 (depends on how you count ticketed people vs. vendors, employees, etc.) that completely lacked a single video game company. Video game companies that spend tens of thousands of dollars to be drowned out by dozens of other companies doing the same. Video game companies that have marketing budgets that rival movies, music and the companies at Dreamforce. Video game companies that would love to secure a diverse market segment with high disposal income (and their kids).

Yet, the only presence our keen eyes could locate was a monstrous Xbox One controller displayed in the Expo Hall. For seemingly no reason. No SMITE, no Marvel Heroes, no World of Warcraft. Nothing but the “gamification” buzzword bastardized to new extremes.

Furthermore, there’s plenty that the companies who were demonstrating their products at Dreamforce could learn from video game marketers. Few companies had a true marketing presence outside their actual booth that’d make a lasting impact. Your free beer tastes no different than their free beer, sorry. Swag was present, but not nearly as creative as you’d find at any video game con. Squeeze balls, pens, mints, chapstick (full disclosure, awesome after a bunch of free beers 24 hours earlier!), boringly-branded t-shirts and keychains. It was all ezmode. Not a single company offered a unique lanyard. Let alone the sought after Dreadnought lanyard. Where’s the lasting impression?

Are you listening video game marketer execs, PR reps and interns? Get interested in expanding outside the safe easy realm. If you’re a first adopter and the financials work out you could have a huge blue ocean opportunity ahead of you.

Perhaps salesforce just hates video games…

Check out our game of the week in honor of the US Open winners Sports Head Tennis Open.