Daniel Taylor thinks long and hard about games sales. What do you think?
So today I want to bring up the question: “does putting games on sale for the developer and/or publisher’s own gain also benefit the player?”
The reason I bring this up is because E.A recently participated in the Humble Bundle and they did this to create “brand awareness”. If you don’t know what the humble bundle is, I will explain. It is a bundle of games (in this case) chosen by the developer or publisher that allows players to get a certain number of games, or other content, for any price they would like to pay. This could be anything, for £1 or £100 or any other amount. As well as this, there can also be content that you need to pay over the average amount for, which is usually £2-£5. From what I have seen and then the money is split between the content creator, humble bundle staff and charity in whatever way you like.
Ten of these titles are part of a franchise that has been published and developed by E.A, some for a long time. Three of these titles are 100% confirmed to be getting a release for the next generation of consoles as well as PC, and there is the possibility that a few of the other games will be getting a next installment soon, but that is only hearsay at the moment. What I want to do firstly though is look at these three titles that we know are getting new releases fairly soon, and two games which were released 4-5 years ago. These would be classed as “at the end of their life or content span”, but I will pick up on that later. For the games which are getting new installments, E.A will want to push advertising and create even more brand awareness. As everyone knows E.A. has not been in a lot of people’s good books recently, so it is only right to do something to give back to the people who support you. Is this sale doing that or do they have their own agenda?
Now if you were to look at the charts for games, such as a top 40 sales for the UK, http://www.chart-track.co.uk/index.jsp?c=p/software/uk/latest/index_test.jsp&ct=110015 you can clearly see that the vast majority of the games here are all part of a franchise that have had previous games in the charts. As much as we do like new IP’s in gaming, you can’t hide nor deny the fact that we do love our sequels and I think that there are many reasons for this. Things like relating to or caring about characters, continuation of a solid and gripping story and just the fact that we like that one game we know we shouldn’t, but who the hell cares.
Upon seeing these facts could E.A, one of the largest games company’s around, who whether you like them or not have their hands on these already big and popular AAA games, use this humble bundle as a hidden method to get even more players into these franchises? This could boost brand awareness to increase the sales of the next installment in that franchise. It could be, and why not look at those places for franchises? Thirty four of the top forty games are part of a franchise. By looking at this, they can increase the player base of these games that honestly wouldn’t be making that much money anymore. It is a smart move in a business sense, because the more solid fanbase and brand awareness you have, the more copies you will sell at launch and. This means the company could end up making more money by putting these games in a bundle sale, as they probably wouldn’t make much money sold on their own.
Looking at the other titles, they are also old titles that everyone has already bought, played or didn’t like the look of, and a lot of them are a good few years old. As I said they are either at the end of their lifespan or close to it. At the very least it adds more titles to the bundle.
So I guess the only thing to ask is do you think it is wrong for E.A to do this if they really were creating brand awareness? This doesn’t just go for them. It includes all companies that could possibly be doing it or have already done it. I am going to have to go with no. If this was a marketing ploy or to get back in the good books, I am sorry but I don’t see how this is a bad thing. Five of the games on the list I bought at launch and enjoyed. To end up getting 10 games for something like £3.20; that’s cheaper than a meal at a lot of fast food place and sometimes cheaper than a pint of beer for something that is going to last you something like 80+ hours of entertainment (assuming you like all the games). They sold 2.1 million bundles raising $10.5millon and all of that money is going to charity. If they are doing it for their own good in the long run I feel this is a better method of advertising because it helps out people less fortunate and in need, as well as helping gamers save a lot of pennies. In my option it doesn’t hurt anyone, it only benefits people.