Xbox’s Lack Of Marketing For Hellblade 2 Is Hurting The Game

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Not Even In Top 150 Best-Selling Steam Games!

Story Highlight
  • Hellblade 2 has become another example of Xbox’s poor marketing efforts.
  • Previous releases like Starfield received far bigger marketing campaigns, making it surprising that Xbox is not doing the same this time.
  • This release deserves more exposure since it is part of the third-person narrative-based games genre.

Hellblade 2 is Xbox’s biggest release this year alongside Indiana Jones. Over time, the game has continually improved and has been dubbed the best-looking Unreal Engine 5 title so far.

However, there’s a visible lack of excitement for this release. Hellblade 2 seems to be flowing under most radars, leading to a major problem for Xbox. Ultimately, this could end up hurting the launch.

Why it matters: Marketing plays a pivotal role in a game’s success. Without effective marketing, reaching a broader audience becomes challenging, hindering the potential for significant success.

Starfield Set An Exciting Precedent For Xbox Marketing

Last year, similar concerns arose about Xbox and its prized first-party release, Starfield. While many alleged that Microsoft’s marketing lacked enthusiasm, the gaming giant carried out extensive campaigns to create exposure for Bethesda’s new IP.

From a completely original Imagine Dragons song to ads at various public places, it was clear that Xbox intended to make some noise for Starfield, making it known to the masses. As a result, it was already Steam’s best-selling game before its release.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that Hellblade 2 is nowhere as big and does not necessarily warrant as much marketing. However, I would also argue that this release needs much more marketing.

The Big Hellblade 2 Problem

In my opinion, Hellblade 2 needs to be sold to audiences much more than other releases. The first title was already a niche release that promised a very distinct experience from that of most other games. This means that most people might not necessarily be familiar with this IP.

Ninja Theory focuses on elements like psychosis, Senua’s internal conflicts, and the atmosphere instead of the typical combat sequences that AAA games are sold on. Xbox has also decided to go ahead with a digital-only launch, making marketing even more crucial.

This is where Xbox’s part comes in. The gaming giant equipped Ninja Theory with the means to expand Hellblade 2 and bring it on par with modern AAA productions. However, the game has been unable to break out of its niche bubble.

For an IP with immense potential, Microsoft’s job was selling the concept. Keeping the concept in mind, Xbox needed to clarify the type of experience that awaited players, and I feel it did a poor job.

All I have seen from Xbox in terms of marketing for Hellblade 2 recently has been a series of basic tweets. 

Hellblade 2
Hellblade 2 Won’t Be Released On Physical Discs

The Aftermath

I firmly believe Hellblade 2 has not received the exposure it deserves. This is evident from the fact that the game had not even cracked the top 200 list of Steam’s best-sellers less than two weeks before its launch.

With just five days left before release, Hellblade 2 is still far from reaching the top 100, finding itself just within the top 160 best-sellers. It is also important to note that Game Pass will impact sales.

Therefore, with the subscription cannibalizing sales and the Steam release shaping up to be a real letdown, the situation appears quite grim. In my opinion, this is a real shame since Ninja Theory’s passion shines through with each new developer video and trailer.

The game has clearly faced repercussions due to inadequate marketing efforts. However, I hope Xbox makes the most of its remaining days.

I’m still excited about Hellblade 2 and truly wish Ninja Theory nothing but the best. The last thing I want is for the game to fail and Ninja Theory to meet a fate similar to Tango Gameworks’.

Because of Xbox’s recent moves, the stakes are higher than ever, and marketing will play a crucial role in ensuring Ninja Theory continues to create more games in the future.

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