ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Slashy Souls: Bad Marketing 101

Updated on March 2, 2016

"This *isn't* Dark Souls"

Is there a way that Dark Souls could ever translate well to mobile platforms? Yes, probably. Anything is possible, and if anyone could figure it out, it's From Software. Unfortunately Slashy Souls bears no From Software fingerprints and outside of a Namco-Bandai logo upfront, almost no involvement from any of Dark Souls actual creators.

Slashy Souls is free, mercifully so. A free-to-play endless runner somewhat set in the Dark Souls universe is not a sentence I thought I would ever write, but here we are. This game is Namco-Bandai and Gamestop's attempt at generating buzz about the game and getting pre-order numbers up, as evidenced by the large "pre-order Dark Souls 3 at Gamestop" banner over every part of the game. The message is not the affront here, by no means. Trying to get pre-orders up is just how you do business these days, whether or not pre-orders are harmful themselves is another conversation.

Why then, the outrage? Or rather, the offense taken by both fans of the series and those who aren't and only have this game as a reference point for the series. Simply put, the game sucks. Slashy Souls is a hastily-assembled, clunky, glitchy mess that'll turn prospective fans off and long time fans will roll their eyes at.


They roped poor Nito into this, didn't they?
They roped poor Nito into this, didn't they? | Source

It's just bad.

Slashy Souls looks bad, sounds bad, and plays like an incomplete, amateur first-attempt mobile game. The sprites and backgrounds are all "16-bit inspired" and just feel, off. Even the basic enemies feel like rip-offs of actual Dark Souls enemies. Yes, there are bosses, and they're mostly bosses from the first Dark Souls game, and they feel like second versions of the real bosses as well.

The game controls badly as well. You tap the screen to swing your sword, swipe left or right to roll in that direction, and swipe up to jump. Simple, but poorly executed. That's not the fault of a game like Dark Souls translating poorly to 2D, it's just a lazily put together game.

Without dragging this game through the mud more than it admittedly deserves, suffice to say that it's bad. There's not Dark Souls here, for anyone. Yes, it's free, yes it's only marketing material for the new game, but it's bad marketing.

A bad, free game is bad but forgivable, it's harmless. An obtuse pre-ordering campaign is fine, it's up to the consumer at that point and once again, is mostly harmless. Slashy Souls is both of things, if you're a fan of the Souls games you've already made up your mind about a pre-order. If you're a newcomer to the series, there's plenty of info out there that's much more convincing than a bad mobile game that tells you literally nothing about Dark Souls 3, other than you can pre-order it at Gamestop. In that sense, mission accomplished.

You got that right.
You got that right. | Source

No, it's not the end of the world.

All in all Slashy Souls is just a small blemish, if that, on the series' reputation. It's not going to turn fans away from the series or get any pre-orders cancelled (not on its own anyway, Gamestop's involvement might be to blame for that). Again, this is just an example of bad marketing and lazy implementation. Dark Souls as a series is also a known quantity at this point. It's a triple A title that still manages to be fairly obscure despite being financially successful. Word of mouth is how this series became what it is today, and it's what will make Dark Souls 3 a success, in the end.

If Gamestop and Namco-Bandai wanted to keep up interest for the game, they could have just released an item encyclopedia in app form. This sounds boring and even lazier at first glance but any 'Souls' series fan will tell you that item descriptions are where the story lies in these games. This would generate more positive buzz about the game's lore and new, confused players would find an easy way into the community that Dark Souls thrives on.


Follow me on Twitter here: @danny_saya

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)