The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 12
I’m away on a business trip for the week and staying in a
hotel. I don’t have any games loaded on my laptop and not sure that it could
run anything that I would be interested in playing anyway. Obviously I didn’t bring
my PC gaming rig, but I also did not bring the family’s Xbox 360 (Even though I
have one of those nifty metal transport cases). I did bring my PSP, but to be
honest…I’m not real pleased with the games I chose to bring along. I suppose
that’s a whole different blog though.
So what’s a guy to do?
Well, since I did bring the Halo Legends DVD along…why not
That’s what I did. I watched the Halo Legends DVD. Halo fans
will enjoy it. Non Halo fans will criticize it. (Personally, I am a Halo fan
and while I thought most of episodes were entertaining, I really enjoyed, “The
Babysitter” but thought “The Package“ was pretty good too.
It’s funny how if you’re a fan of a particular game or
series you will buy without hesitation a lot of the merchandise associated with
it. From t-shirts to comic books and even in game goodies (like those who
pre-ordered Left for Dead 2 and got the bonus hat for their TF2 characters).
While this is becoming more and more popular, I’m actually
surprised it hasn’t caught on much sooner. It seems like from a marketing
perspective it just makes sense and could make a particular title even more
profitable. Games like Halo are what some might call a cash cow because of the amount of money it draws in. I know I feed the cow every chance I get, with products like books and now, DVDs (that's not even counting all the games).
Now we see everything from a special edition version of the game
bundled with a Spartan helmet or Night Vision Goggles, to plush toys and comic
books. Video game merchandise is really starting to pick up steam and several
of the big studios even have their own virtual stores for interested gamers to
Some of my favorites are (I’ll limit it to 5 for the sake of
Valve. Who doesn’t love at least one Valve game? Not only do
they have T-shirts and coffee mugs, but also novelty items like Black Mesa
parking permits and prints that you can actually frame and hang on the wall.
Wouldn’t your significant other just be thrilled to have a TF2 “Meet the Sandvich”
print hanging in your living room? Their merchandise is tailored from classic
games including Half Life, Counterstrike, Team Fortress, Portal and Left for
Dead. (Honey, if you’re reading this I would really like a Team Fortress 2 Red
or Blue iPhone cover).
Blizzard. Don’t dismiss Blizzard because of their recent
release of plush toys. While most might think this is a bit silly and childish,
plush toys are actually quite popular and Blizzard more than makes up for it with
all the other cool merchandise they have to offer.
Of course they have an
apparel section with hats and shirts and such but also a book section and a
collectibles section with some pretty spectacular deluxe figures. Of course,
Blizzard games need no introduction, but just in case you’ve been in carbon
freezing for the last few years, they make a few titles that you might have heard
of including World of WarCraft, StarCraft and Diablo.
Lucasarts. If you don’t know who they are then smack yourself
with a trout or choke yourself with your own hand. Lucasarts has so many
classic titles under their belt I wouldn’t even know where to begin listing
them. Oh yeah, and as the owner of all thing Star Wars, take a guess how much
merchandise they have to offer? They have one of the largest online stores I’ve
seen and actually have it broken down by Star Wars, Indiana Jones and
Lucasarts. While the store doesn’t seem to carry a lot (or any) merchandise for
some of their early classics, it’s certainly not ALL Star Wars. Right now, they
do have a lot of Monkey Island product. But yes…there is indeed a lot of Star
Wars stuff. What’s wrong with that though?
Bungie. Like most of the other sites, Bungie has a full line
of apparel, books and collectibles. While Bungie pretty much relies on their
pride and joy, Halo, to fill their coppers, there certainly isn’t any shortage
of people interested in the series. I’m assuming there must be some kind of
deal with Microsoft, as most of the apparel is limited to official Bungie corporate
logos and such, but there are Halo collectibles and other items available.
Still a neat store.
Last but not least…(but kind of a dark horse really…)
Bioware. While they may not be as seasoned or as prestigious
as some of the other veteran companies, they have definitely left their mark on
the gaming community. With the latest games they are turning out, Bioware is
certainly getting noticed and drawing large audiences. At the moment, the store
is rather slim and doesn’t have a lot to offer. But they are unique items that
only the most astute and dedicated gamers will recognize. Too bad they probably won’t be able to offer
any “The Old Republic” merchandise as I’m sure Lucasarts will handle all of
that, but we’ll know who really deserves the credit. I’d say the odds are good
they’re going to continue climbing the ladder of fame and fortune…but as Han
Solo used to say, “Never tell me the odds.”
That’s it for now, but stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog…where
I will continue discussing the cash cow and how game companies are coming up with
creative ways to market their new releases.
For those interested in checking out one or more of the
stores…look, I made it easy for you. You’re welcome. :)
May the Force be with you. Always.