The lights are on
I don’t stream movies. I collect them on Blu-ray. When I’m shopping for new films either online or in a retail shop, I often find myself tempted to buy collections and bundles – sometimes for the savings they offer, and other times to land a complete trilogy or set. I recently picked up the Indiana Jones box set on Blu-ray, and on the day Fast Five hit store shelves, ended up buying the Fast & Furious: The Complete Collection at a great price rather than just walking out of the store with the new film as I originally intended to do. A few aisles over, video games offer far fewer purchasing options. A retail rack usually consists of new releases and a few collections of prized relics. Timely bundles rarely are seen.Borderlands 2 is prominently on display in the new release rack, yet the first Borderlands is nowhere to be found. Darksiders II takes up a slot in the standard game section, but Darksiders “hasn’t been in stock for over a year,” a store associate tells me.When I picked up Marvel’s Avengers on Tuesday, the entire new release rack was dedicated to it. Captain America: The First Avenger, the two Iron Man films, and Thor all sat beside Marvel’s flagship film, and all were on sale. In the coming months, Marvel also plans to release a special boxed set that collects all of these films together for those of us that love them, or perhaps haven’t seen any of them. If new releases like Fast Five and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows can be bundled on the day they hit retail, why can’t new video games? I’m willing to bet a Call of Duty set would fly off of shelves.Put yourself into the shoes of a new consumer who is intrigued by Borderlands 2’s TV spots, yet is uneasy about starting something new with the number “2.” When this person views a video game release rack, I doubt they’ll purchase Borderlands 2. If they saw the original Borderlands next to it at a great price, they’ll probably purchase it. Maybe they would purchase a bundle of Borderlands 1 and 2 much like I did for the Fast and the Furious films.
Electronic Arts today announced that a Mass Effect trilogy is on the way. That’s fantastic, but it should have released on the same day as Mass Effect 3. Obviously video games are harder to adapt or restore for new consoles, but this release proves the company wanted to do it anyway. Why not align the release with EA’s initial marketing push?
Ubisoft recently announced that an Assassin’s Creed: Ezio trilogy is coming exclusively to PlayStation 3. Again, this is great news, but it only offers the Assassin’s Creed II experience. Who is that for? The person who finished Assassin’s Creed, forgot about the series for three years, and then caught wind of Assassin’s Creed III? Why not make an Assassin’s Creed box set that collects all of the series’ games that releases on the same day as Assassin’s Creed III?I’m willing to bet newcomers to gaming are eyeing Assassin’s Creed III with interest, but are concerned that the third installment in a series won’t make sense to them without first playing its two precursors. I’m guessing few theatergoers started The Lord of the Rings trilogy with the third film. The way popular sequels are sold at retail speaks almost exclusively to fans, which diminishes the market reach.Sony is making great strides in bringing its back catalog forward to the HD generation in collections for franchises like God of War and Sly Cooper. Each month it seems like more publishers are following suit. But let’s not forget about this generation. Let’s not forget about the great games that have released over the last six years. Let’s not forget about the newcomer that is excited about a series but can’t find the first game in it.Capcom has the right idea with the PS3 version of Resident Evil Anthology — a six game set that includes Resident Evil 6 and only costs $89.99. Sony's Journey, Flower, and Flow bundle is a great way to keep three amazing games alive well after their original digital releases. Game of the Year releases like Fallout 3, which bundles all of a game’s DLC into one package, gives a great game second life on the new release racks.Digital is obviously a great avenue for collections and deals – maybe the best we’ll ever see. When I attended Quakecon last year, Bethesda offered showgoers digital bundles of its core games for ridiculously low prices. People went nuts for them.Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that every new release moving forward should be a deal or a bundle. The motion picture industry is doing great things for consumers in retail sectors, and it seems like a similar approach would work for video games.I love my Alfred Hitchcock collection to death. How about a Shigeru Miyamoto collection, Nintendo?
As soon as I post this story, I’m traveling online to track down the first three Persona games. I’ll probably end up buying the first one from some guy named Bob in Utah.
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