This topic is not particularly new, and it’s been rehashed in podcasts and articles before. I, however, am interested to think about why developers have done this.
The this I am referring to, of course, is the removal of all their holiday lineups and pushing everything back to Q1 of 2010. Many of the developers have stated that the reason for this is to avoid the inevitable result of holiday shopping. Namely, the developers don’t want their products being launched and then lost in the shuffle of a huge holiday season.
What has also been mentioned a few times, however, is that this is a fine idea if only one or two blockbuster titles have been delayed. But looking at the holiday lineup, I find that this holiday is a little bare with games I want to play. Q1 of 2010, however, is going to be jampacked.
It seems to the amateur marketing observer like myself that all the game companies have simply made the holiday rush take place in Q1 instead of Thanksgiving-Christmas. Why would they do this?
It seems a logical reason to keep the games on a holiday schedule would be to grab people towards your product when they are already in a consumer heavy mood. They’re going to be in the store buying games/systems/accessories for their loved ones, so by utilizing this opportunity, many developers will have a chance to get noticed.
Although it’s an expensive one, many games can also be purchased as impulse buys. I know that when I was younger, my Father would go look at the games I had displayed, write down the names, and bring them to the store looking for advice. This is how I ended up with a few of my favorite games. My Father, however, did not go out in January looking for gifts. This is a huge waste of potential buying power.
As an adult, I realize that many games get backlogged, especially if you get 4-5 long games for gifts of the holiday of your choice. In bottom line developer data, however, it doesn’t mean that the game sitting in your backlog for awhile was any less purchased than the one you play right away. The dollar value is still the same.
If the reason to push the games back is for quality purposes, I can understand it. However, I don’t know if it’s a smart business decision to trust that gamers will be able to afford this during a time when people are usually trying to cut back and save money from their holiday splurging.
What do you think? Do you like this method? Or are you a fan of the big rush of titles? Post thoughts please. And yes, I know we still have a lot of good games coming, but think of what it could have been before you post.
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