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Why is the games industry so in thrall to Z-list celebrities from other media?

By on August 23, 2010
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Last week, MCV ran a story entitled Hollywood stars land at Gamescom. It listed the “stars” who were attending shows to promote games at the consumer event in Cologne.

I haven’t heard of any of them. Not one. Why not check out the list below and see how you do. Ten bonus points if you can name the person in the picture on the right.

Now I fully admit that I am not exactly current on popular culture. I also acknowledge that Gamescom is a German consumer show and these celebs might be the equivalent of the cast of Hollyoaks or German Big Brother winners.

But there is a bigger point. To put it succinctly.why the bloody hell are we so excited that a group of people no one has ever heard of, still less care about turn up to a games conference.

As games developer Charles Cecil of Revolution Software put it :

“Surely we should have the confidence to trumpet our own – God knows, our audience will be much more excited about video game personalities than these good folk and we should be too.“

It’s a fair point. What do you think?

A list of celebrities no-one’s heard of.

  • Joe Greve
  • DJ Ghanaian Stallion
  • Chris Hülsbeck, Michael Stöckemann & Filipp Issa
  • Ed Boon & Olivier Wolff
  • Steve Niles
  • Sammy Deluxe
  • Oliver & James Phelps
  • Andreas Köpke, Lutz Pfannelstiel, Jörg Stiel, Lars Leese & Manni Breukmann
  • David Török, Leyla & Necla (Martial Arts)
  • Andre Olbrich & Marcus Siepen (Blind Guardian)
  • Gina Lisa
  • Van Canto
  • Olli Banjo
  • Das Bo
  • Azad
  • Materia
  • Rytlock Brimstone & Caithe
  • Katsuhiro Harada & Yoshinori Ono
  • Anja Niedieck, Jörg Rohde, Michael N. Kühl & Julia Augustin (Alles was zählt – German soap opera)
  • Jens Nowotny
  • Adrian SutilLutz Marquardt & Marcel Spand (Verbotene Liebe)
  • Bernadette Kaspar
  • Stanfour & Revolverheld
  • Fertig, Los!
  • Goldhawks
  • Dúné
  • Shout Out Louds
  • Daniel Benjamin
  • Samuel Harfst
  • Aura Dione
  • Max Herre
  • Roman Fischer
  • Timid Tiger
  • Olli Schulz
  • Klee
  • 2raumwohnung

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com
  • Tom Roberts

    superb game! I wait the best in your next game.

  • quetzo

    Well, and there’s of course Andi Köpke, the goalie coach from the german soccer team. Had a really good laugh imagining him there until I understood that he was probably promoting the new fifa game.

  • max

    just to add insight from the german perspective:

    two of those (samy deluxe & 2raumwohnung) are germany-wide well known and easily fill whole stadiums. they perform in german language thats why you don’t know them.
    next you have like 8 ppl most ppl under 30 will know in germany. the rest is unknown to me – on the other side, i don’t watch german tv shows.

  • Lucame

    well chris hulsbeck was the guy who made turrican music and MANY MANY OTHER 8 and 16bits games music, so thats the only one who could at least claim “celeb” status, tho a celeb to a small nostalgic over30s crowd, but yea, all the others i dunno wtf they are

    Hulsbeck music however really owns

  • Marie F

    Did you give up copying the list and just start randomly bashing at the keyboard towards the end? Big in Europe or not, I hardly think heralding the arrival of the twins from Harry Potter at Games Con counts as industry news, just sounds like the barrel being scraped.