The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
DISCLAIMER: It’s late. I’m tired. I keep dozing off. Please
disregard any misspellings, incomplete sentences or any other grammatical
errors that may exist. Your patience is appreciated.
As a follow up to yesterdays blog titled "Feeding the
Cash Cow" that focused on the merchandising side of certain game titles
(apparel, books, collectibles), today’s blog will focus on the marketing
techniques the companies are taking to promote their games in an effort to
maximize sales. It's a subject I've blogged on to some degree before...but this
angle is a bit different.
Call now and you'll
receive a second Snuggie absolutely free.
We've all heard the infomercials and advertisements. They lure
you in with a somewhat interesting product and then try and set the hook with
the claim of a free item limited to those who act now prior to the cutoff.
While video game sales haven't gotten this ghetto, there certainly has been a
degree of creativity and flair put forth in the marketing department. I
applaud the efforts of the various game companies’ marketing departments and
the tactics they are employing now to make purchasing that new game a somewhat
A few of the techniques being used and my thoughts on
each...(Please feel free to reply with your comments or thoughts on how much
consideration you give to marketing and how it affects your game purchases).
Hey, who doesn't love a party, especially one where you are surrounded by
fellow geeks and gamers. Usually Gamestop puts on the best show, but every now
and then other retail stores like Best Buy will follow suit and have a midnight
release party. More often than not, I will attend the midnight release, get
home, watch the introduction of the game I just stood in line for hours to get,
and then go straight to bed. Usually I won't even play the game. It isn't about
getting the game, it's more about enjoying the moment. The kids and I have some
great memories of attending the midnight release. Sure, I could wait until the
next day or two to pick it up since I don't really plan on playing it that
night, but at least I can say on the night Modern Warfare 2 broke all the
records, I was there, in line, taking part in making history.
or Editions with Goodies. We've all seen it. The Night Vision Goggles that
came with Modern Warfare 2. The Spartan Helmet with Halo. I've seen T-shirts,
USB thumb drives, lunch boxes, console faceplates and custom joysticks offered
with the premier edition of certain games. Some just sport a fancy custom box,
like Halo 3's metal looking box and some come with a bonus DVD chock a block
full of things like the development team interviews, artwork and behind the
scenes video clips. I'm kind of a base model guy. I don't really ever pay the
extra $10, 20, 30 or 40 bucks to get the goodies. But I have to tell you,
sometimes when I'm waiting in line at the midnight release and I see the folks
who purchased the super duper edition pick up their goodies, I'm a little
jealous. I'm sure if the right game and goodie came along, I'd buy it.
In Game Goodies. Gamers are
suckers for their trinkets and the marketing teams sure know how to exploit
this fact. Pre-order a game and get a weapon, rank, title or as witnessed in
Team Fortress 2, a hat. (People who pre-ordered Left for Dead 2 got a special
hat for Team Fortress 2). I often wonder how much the executives at Valve
chuckle at the extreme efforts we'll go through to get a hat.
Select gamers get privileged access to upcoming beta tests and/or demos based
on ownership of a previously purchased title. Right now I am pretty stoked
about the upcoming release of Halo: Reach and Ghost Recon Future Soldier. Now,
if I want to play in the beta and/or demo for these games, I have to have Halo:
ODST and Splinter Cell: Conviction. The good thing is I already have ODST and
have I Conviction on reserve, but what if I didn't? If I didn't, then I have to
decide how much I want to play Reach or Future Soldier before the rest of the
gaming community that isn't granted access to the demo and if it's so much so
that I'm willing to pay for the game I'm required to own, then I’d have to buy
it. Whether you think that's right or wrong; fair or unfair...is irrelevant.
It's a brilliant marketing scheme. I think it’s received by the gaming
community something like, if you already own the game and get a benefit out of
it then it's a great idea; but if you don't own the game and have no desire to
buy the game, then it's a sleazy used car salesman trick that will result in
you picking up your toys and going to play in someone else's sandbox.
This is probably the one aspect of marketing that really kind of annoys me,
largely because I am a PC Gamer, and usually the PC platform is the one that suffers
from this concept. Essentially, specific titles are released on certain
platforms before they are released across the board to all. I'm sure there is a
lot of money and super secret handshaking that goes on to get this deal
negotiated but usually there is a whole section of the community that is being
impacted. If you're a console gamer, this doesn't necessarily affect you as the
games are typically released at the same time. However, there are console
exclusive titles which are an obvious control of the market. It's not to say it’s
always bad. Valve has done an amazing job spoiling the PC gaming community with
frequent sales of digitally distributed titles, often bundled with other games
Okay…enough yakking about buying games…
Let’s do this…