Game On - Pharmaceutical Executive


Game On
Marketing that uses gaming and other immersive technology proves to be more than just kids' play

Pharmaceutical Executive

Can gaming be used to market drugs to consumers?

Companies can use this technology to create a consumer-level version of the game that's not so technical, to educate patients about staying in compliance. Consumers and patients are far more likely to play a game than to watch a health-information movie. Also, with immersive animation, the audience is not locked into a presentation that's being fed to them. They're in control of a virtual environment. This enables marketers to offer more detail in certain areas and create useful tools inside the program.

How long does a game take to go from concept to creation?

Typically, a project like this requires about a six-month timeline. First, we gather information from the client about what their marketing objectives are, what the scientific objectives are, and who the audience is. We then take that information and create an outline, which evolves into a storyboard. And then we create a script that includes both the language that's going to be contained within the game and a description of the action and images to show what the game is going to look like. From there, we create motion tests and some basic animation. We also begin building beta versions of the games with basic game play and art.

Can this technology also be used on the Web?

Yes, it can. Video games can be developed with a similar technology as one would use in an online multiplayer game. For example, marketers could invite users to join a group game from different locations through a social network, or physicians could download the application from the Web, then run it on their computers. The client also could host servers where they could control the experience for the users or even inject virtual representatives of the company to give more information about the drug or ailment.

What is a virtual trade show, and how does it work?

Essentially, a virtual exhibit is an online recreation of a client's trade show booth and exhibit in the online world. Using this technology, marketers can make their booths available to physicians 24/7 on a CD or via the Web. Doctors can watch MOA animations, view sales aids, review papers and posters, print slides, or even interact with immersive MOAs from the comfort of their desks.

Last year, we created a virtual booth for a company that had a very small exhibit space at a show. The electronic exhibit allowed visitors to view additional information and presentations from monitors located in the booth, and it helped extend the company's presence at the convention beyond the exhibit walls.

What is the average cost of making an immersive video game, and how does it compare with other marketing strategies?

The price is equivalent to a high-end animation that has a six-month window of production time. You're looking at about 170 percent of the cost of a comparable 3-D animation. It is even more economical when you combine it with an MOA animation, because then we're building 3-D assets. We're able to reutilize assets, reutilize storyboards, and essentially combine these two different products, which offers a lot of savings on the client's side.


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