New comics Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!
Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2011-10-17 11:33:19
GameStop and other brick-and-mortar retailers have been enjoying the pawn shop system of used game sales for quite some time now. The profit margin is insane on pre-owned games. Publishers and developers naturally bristle at the estimated loss in sales to this market, and with the advent of high speed internet, have been slowly testing the viability of direct downloaded sales. (Go Steam!)
For the now, however, publishers still need physical retailers, and are locked together in an uneasy alliance. So you get odd little experiments, like incentivizing primary sales by tossing in one time use codes for extra content. Or adding layers of accessibility like EA Online Pass that require payment to activate a used copy.
And then there's the exploding "fremium" strategy. More and more products are offered "free", with purchasable optional premium content. It appears that this growing trend has a chance of becoming the dominant model. I suppose there's a legitimate attraction to "free to play" games as opposed to paying $60 for a gaming experience, but the situation sours me when I see the "premium content" totaling hundreds of dollars if you want the "full experience".
So I was just musing about what it must be like to be GameStop. You've got this cash cow that's raking it in at the moment, but you know the gravy train is going to expire at some point in the future. You need to create a new model to survive the long term, but you also want to milk this mixed metaphorical bovine as hard as possible in the short. Voila! "Pre-Trade Ins!" Offer some piddling in-game bonuses, and surely SOME foolish consumers will effectively rent video games at a super premium.
Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2011-10-15 21:26:51
Diplomacy VI - Fall 2008
Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2011-10-20 04:46:36
Diplomacy VI - Spring 2009