Brütal Legend releases today! I was surprised to see IGN give a score of 9. I expected good reviews, but that's great. Unfortunately, I didn't receive an early copy from EA and my money is tied up in other pre-orders, so I'm not sure when I'll be able to write my own review.
BlueKae said to me today, "I'm hoping Schafer finally gets a game where the critical and financial successes match up." My reply was that it will boil down to good marketing. EA has been doing a lot to spread the word, as has Jack Black.
I've thought of another, less traditional way to market the game. Advertise at concerts. Afterall, Brütal Legend has a number of rockstars with character roles in the game as well as a tracklist with dozens of bands. Don't you think those musicians would be open to idea of selling the game alongside the band T-shirts and all the other paraphernalia that usually gets sold at concerts? At the very least, posters could be placed at these concerts pointing out that the performing bands are included in the game.
Many games could do this, from music games like Rock Band to games with track lists like Crackdown or Saints Row 2. But even other games could advertise at concerts. People go to concerts to have fun -- they're on the lookout for fun. I'd bet that the vast majority of people at any rock concert are gamers (if only occasional gamers), and most rock musicians probably are as well.
It seems like a lot of untapped marketing potential to me.