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Broderbund Software brought a mystifying experience of interlocking puzzles to the screens of PCs and Macs around the world when it introduced the popular CD-ROM game Myst early last year. Since then, Myst has sold more than 1 million discs, according to PC Data, a company that tracks sales of computers and computer-related items.

To reach that sales figure, Bruce Friedricks, Broderbund senior marketing manager, says Myst first reached out to gaming fanatics.

"Our marketing strategy was to serve our core audience [of gamers]; we knew the product had mass-market potential but we wanted to inform the inner circle of opinion-makers, who then evangelize more broadly" for the product, says Mr. Friedricks, 36.

He targeted this inner circle with in-house advertising in computer gaming publications, as well as Wired and other, broader-based computer magazines like Multimedia World. But what really sold the game was a sampling disc Broderbund bundled with consumer computer magazines like CD-ROM Today and included on Interactive Entertainment, a magazine published on CD-ROM.

"We created an absolute killer demo CD-ROM that was multifaceted, allowing those who wanted to interact to walk around Myst Island exploring and seeing the island," says Mr. Friedricks who adds that the game's attraction is that "you don't get lost," although you may"temporarily lose your way."

For the less adventurous, the company included a slide show to give a feeling for the depth of the product. And for the finale, there was a 14-minute QuickTime movie on the CD-ROM chronicling the making of Myst.

Now that Mr. Friedricks has solved the Myst marketing puzzle, what's ahead? Myst II.

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