Pre Ordering a Video Game - A Master Class in product launches and marketing?
Christmas is approaching and we're already seeing the launch of a lot of this quarter's big budget, high impact titles. 2007 & 2008 more so than any other year has seen the release of franchise sequals and big launches accompanying the release of certain titles. I'm taking a quick look at some of the things that have been happening in the UK games market place to help the launch of new games and make them stand out from the crowd. These incentives to buy and incentives to pre-order generally fall into 3 categories - 1) exclusive versions of the game or cases/content when it's purchased 2) extra freebies given away with the purchase of the game 3) In game/game perks and bonuses not otherwise available.
- In game perks and extra unlocked weapons for playing the demo in Bad Company
- Bonus reward points at Game stores in the UK for pre-ordering games.
- Bigger and better TV adverts
- free steering wheel and baseball cap given away with mario kart wii.
- Limited edition cases and tins with numerous games, some of which may cost more.
- Banjoe Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts will come with a code to download the original game from xbox live when preordered.
- The long awaited Gears of War 2 could launch with a Gears tank when pre ordering, a free xbox live theme or even a lifesize Lancer replica.
- Guitar Hero World tour will come bundled with a bonus bass guitar when the super bungle is ordered (the bundle that includes all the instruments)
-Free downloadable content offered with Little Big Planet when pre-ordered. Also offered are game sacks, gift cards and the game guide.
I'm very hesitant to say any words that rhyme with "reddit" or "munch", especially as the games industry is meant to be staying bouyant through the economy's tough times. But these extras and freebies that add "added value" for gamers is great for us, and shows that as the market expands and the choice for games and popular franchises is bigger than ever, game publishers and game developers need to work to make not only the games themselves as good as possible, but also the added extras as good as possible.