Top notch? Uh no.
I've been keeping an eye on the Steam Sacred 3 forums a couple months before it even launched, a launch btw, that happened before its official launch date in order to screw over as many pre-ordered gamers as possible so they have no recourse for a refund and get those sales before the ending of the review embargo would clue gamers into the fact the game truly sucked.
Even the first day I checked out the Steam forums it was lit up with posts about how Sacred 3 was NOT Sacred. I actually felt bad for Keen at that moment because the deserved vitriol was relentless. These weren't dumb gamer sheep Deep Silver were counting on to mindlessly pre-order their terrible game. The voice of the righteous outrage definitely drowned out anything else on that forum. And perhaps that's what inspired DS to launch the game early, wouldn't put it past them.
It wasn't with a small amount of satisfaction that I watch Sacred 3 quickly sink on the top sellers list, even with full on Steam advertising support on the front page. And that junior developer post helped so much in shedding light on the problem. Normally I would immediately dismiss that kind of post on Steam but it came off as legit to me, as I said in that thread, and I guess it was cleared by Gamespot who made it a news piece on their site.
That alone should tell you that their marketing strategy was not 'Top Notch'. If front page Steam advertising can't help you, well, 'nuff said. It wasn't even a week when Sacred 3 was completely off of Top Sellers list and at the same time Divinity: Original Sin which was released a full month before was still sitting happily on the first page, often jockeying for positionfor #1 at the same time.
So yeah, one would hope that heads were rolling at Deep Silver for allowing their marketing execs to moonlight as game developers (because, ya know, it's so easy anyone can make a stupid game) and besmirching its name because now the common impression about DS is that's its the new EA.
That's not Top Notch marketing in my opinion. That's near criminal business practices that got its just desserts.
Edit: I haz gramr and I spel gud.