April 1, 2023

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel’s cover art was chosen by one of the most unlikely sources – a dog. Well, that’s partially true. With several months to go before the game’s October 2014 release, 2K Games’ head Christoph Hartmann still doesn’t have the final game cover. Blood pressure is rising. The pressure is mounting. Hartman’s plan? Let his dog decide.

Speaking with GameSpot, Hartman recalled how it all happened. He rallied his marketing team, and they placed about 40 models on the floor. He told staff that his dog Sissi (named after the German film series) would sit on the cover she wanted and that would be the one that hit the market.

现在播放: 无主之地的历史

“我们就像,’什么? 我们一直在努力工作,我们的血压如此之高。我们就像,’好吧,开个玩笑,哈哈,现在让我们开始正事吧。 他说,‘不,我们正在这样做,’”2K 最早的员工之一马特·戈尔曼回忆说。 “所以我们都只是看着对方,我们就像,’天哪!我们都疯了。’”

Sissi 在房间里来回踱步,最后坐在她喜欢的封面上,房间里的人说他们相信这将是在去零售之前印刷了数百万次的封面。 营销团队对如此重要的决定采取的这种外来方法感到震惊。

“Sissi 走了出来,她坐在一个上面,这还不错,但我们想,‘我们真的是根据这只哈巴狗的位置来选择下一个大品牌的关键艺术吗?’”Gorman 回忆道。 “我们说到点子上了,他说,‘就是这样!” 我们都只是说,“好吧,”然后我们把所有的碎片都收拾好,开始朝门口走去,然后 [Hartmann] Go, ‘You know I’m with you guys, right? ‘”

Gorman said he now understands this is Hartman’s way of de-escalating tensions in a stressful environment. In reality, Hartman opted for the most popular and anticipated pitches, but letting the dog decide is a deliberate move by Hartman to connect with his workers.

“When it comes to a high-pressure business environment where everyone is going crazy around him, he just decided to mislead everything with this piece of bullshit on us; it just eases the tension and the atmosphere,” Gorman said. . “He said, ‘Sure, we’re going to choose this,’ this is the one we’ve been promoting. But it was the weirdest, most surreal moment, because for 10 minutes, we were like, ‘Oh my God, we’ve changed Be that weird company, the captain is just on another plane of existence? So there’s a 10-minute out-of-body experience, but at the end Sissi walks away and he says, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll go with X, and then we’ll just go went……”

Sarah Anderson, longtime 2K marketing executive, was also in the room for the dog-filled session. While it was far from traditional to have dogs choose the cover of a major game series like Borderlands, Anderson said it was representative of 2K culture at the time.

“That’s part of 2K, we have that culture…we’re having fun. Even though we’re in a public company, we’re not trying to take ourselves too seriously, and we’re making big money and working on huge franchises rights,” she said. “But you have to remember that at the end of the day we make games to entertain people and make people happy. You have to maintain that view.”

GameSpot recently caught up with Hartmann, a hidden figure in the gaming industry who you might not know by name but certainly felt his influence from 2K to Rockstar and beyond. He’s now the president of Amazon Gaming, and he has big plans for the company’s future.

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