Is Marcus Lehto the Steve Jobs of Bungie?
Steve Jobs is a world wide icon, notable for building Apple Inc into a major computing power, being dumped, starting animation company Pixar and then coming full circle again by being Apple’s CEO and overseeing the development of world class products like the ipod, iphone and the new tablet, the ipad.
The consumers, investors and other apple fan freaks hang on every word the Steve Jobs says. His ‘one more thing announcements’ are legendary and serve the world notice of a new innovation that may just change the playing field, so to speak.
So when Bungie sets up an official Halo Reach Developer’s Blog as a subset of the Bungie website and give the keys to Marcus Lehto, the fans read every post twice, salivating over the tidbits of Reach news and trivia released. Thus when Lehto makes a post about a multiplayer bomb coming in a day or so, the fans expect that to be the case:
“On another note, I hope you all like the MP bomb we’re about to drop on the world in about a day. Enjoy!”
Except it was like two days wait and the fans went nuts. Bungie had to clarify. There were tweets. There were blog posts. Fan boys ranted on forums. But then the bomb was dropped and all was forgiven. Despite his hangover and the one his post created, Lehto made another post to clarify this total storm in a tea cup:
“Hey everyone. I certainly learned my lesson about casually dropping a note about something like the MP Alpha trailer. I had no intention of spinning people up so much – I was just so excited about showing people MP! So, I’ll sit back with ice on my parts today and hope the next time I sit down after 16 hours of working on the project, with my whiskey in one hand and my iphone in the other, that I don’t say anything else that causes such a stir. :)”
Ah, good old drunk posting on a widely read blog. It’s as bad as drunk dialing your ex eh?
Or was it? The cynic in me suggests this was a magic marketing trick. Here’s how it works. Make a small statement somewhere and it builds some excitement amongst those who saw it. Build some overnight expectation but then get a reaction when there’s a delay and soon enough everyone starts talking. By which time when you choose to release the bomb, the effect is of the Hiroshima kind. Complete and devasting and then your audience is thus primed and ready to go sup at the well of Full Halo Glory ™.
Bungie have done this before on a much larger scale – remember Halo ODST
was actually going to be called Halo 3 : Recon at one stage? While in that situation there was clearly some bigger forces at play, Bungie pulled a massive stunt by building anticipation, dropping the bomb that there would be no announcement which got EVERYONE looking at them and THEN announcing Halo: ODST. This Lehto drama is the same thing in practice, just on a smaller scale.
Despite the above reasoning, the great thing about Bungie is their ability to engage with the Halo community by fostering, promoting and their willingness to share the limelight with that community. This of course has lead to a real spirit of love, and peace-loving-mung-beans baby, on a plain so high that when the High Priest of Lehto speaks, all who read his good words drink deeply from the Halo cup with a fervent and loyal obedience.
Or something like that.
Perhaps Steve Jobs should meet with Lehto to share their respective companies quest for world domination’s strategies. A joint venture partnership/dictatorship would be pretty easy to achieve? At least then we might get a Halo game application for the iphone…..oh wait, that’s Microsoft’s job now…
Update: image is now Marcus, cheers Seenoht for the heads up!