Well, I just got stomped on several times...I'm terribad with Jax.
We are about to launch a new pre-order campaign for an upcoming title and trying to decide on what incentive to go with. Here are the choices:
1. Pre-order X game and get your choice of one of <insert a number here> games from the publisher of X game.
2. Pre-order X game and get $20 off ANY game or games from the publisher of game X. With promotions from publisher X happening around the same time as the campaign launches.
3. Pre-order X Game and get a $10 Amazon Promotional Credit
4. Pre-order X Game for Y% off
These are all real options we're kicking around, I'd like to hear your input, and why you chose what you chose.
1) Depends on the publisher. If it's 2k, I'd say no. I think we all own Bioshock, Bioshock 2, etc. If it's Ubisoft, I'd say no. If it's EA, maybe. If it's Activision, then that'd probably wind up being crappy titles. So overall, meh.
2) Depends on the publisher and the gaming schedule. Are there two related titles coming out within the same time frame for a publisher that might make us interested? I could see you starting up your own version of the Kmart coupon racket (haha, racket) where you keep people buying into your preorders because everyone keeps getting $20 off the next preorder. One $20 off leads to another, leads to another, giving us the $30-40 deal on the $50-60 new games we all crave while at the same time boosting the bottom line of the corporate publishers who want huge preorders.
3) This option is always a good fallback.
4) Depends on the % off. I think it'd need to wind up being more than the $10 promo credit to be of more value to me. Considering 10% off would be $5-6 for a $50-60 game, you'd be up in the 20% range for the $60 game and the 25% range for the $50 game to make it overall better to me than #3.
In general, I think companies need to realize they need to incentivize preorders more than they do if they want to increase their sales numbers. It needs to be considerably cheaper ($40 for a $60 game) to get people to regularly preorder. It's better for them (increases number of people who buy blind), it's better for the gamer (to get the bonuses, to get the best deal they'd get anyway for six months), and it's better for Amazon (higher sales equal more traffic).
Everyone knows the game will drop to $30-40 within at LEAST six months and typically within one or two. Why not offer that price to gamers in the preorder and generate more pre-day 1 sales? You instantly built up your multiplayer for said titles and people like me won't wait through all the hype and the noise to get to the other side and buy it for the same $40, but instead of adding to a wave of new players, I'm coming in at the tail end. I add little to the success or failure of the game because I come in so late and news sources that track such things will have already deemed something success or failure without my purchase meaning a thing. Imagine people making the case for preorders for you. Here at CAG, I can just imagine someone saying, "Well, if you have interest in the game, you oughta just go ahead and preorder because it's the lowest it'll be for a few months at least." Instead, you expect us to preorder, pay a $20-30 surplus, and then a month after release, you'll knock it down to $40 for a short time to boost first month sales, and expect us not to notice. Except we do.
If the preorder buyers could point and say, "Well, I'll have the low price and not regret that low price," then the argument for waiting evaporates. If a publisher then wants to make the argument, "In that case, I don't see why we should offer low prices at all," I say to them that they WILL offer that lower price eventually and there are many like me who are very, very patient and will wait you out. So why keep people who want to buy your Far Cry 3 or Assassin's Creed 3 waiting since you've likely exhausted nearly everyone who'd buy in for that $50-60? Why haven't you realized the market is full of people like me who say any game above the price of $30 is overpriced? There is a lucrative market of impulse buyers out there who will buy in, but won't impulse buy a $40-60 title unless it's a preorder for a hot title.
If you'd have offered that for $40 in preorder, I bet you a lot of us would have added to the overall sales of your AC3 and FC3 from the beginning. Wouldn't that have been better than me waiting now for the $20-30 deal on a Steam version? I can wait a year if I have to and as time goes on, the price I'm willing to pay decreases exponentially. What I might pay $30 for now (ie., Far Cry 3 Steam, AC3 Steam), six months from now I'm only willing to pay $20 for. Two months after that and I'm at $15. A few months after that, $10 or less. But at the preorder level? Knock $20 off the MSRP and I would have bought into either one.
You're missing out on a lot of sales. I get it, you don't want to erode the MSRP of games. I think publishers need to wake up. That ship has sailed. The HMS iOS and Android set sale for the Promised Land and they are going to drag you all there even if they have to drag you off the Old World with tethers to do it.
Edited by HisDivineShadow, 08 January 2013 - 05:48 PM.