Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You're a nerd, go to Gamestop.

I was going to dish out a giant rant about Batman: Arkham Asylum and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 each having their own Gamestop preorder exclusives and how I thought it was a horrible trend of having exclusives tied to stores, yadda, yadda.

I'm not going to bother, though for several reasons - for one, both games are quite good on their own, and the exclusives aren't going to make them or break them. The second reason, glaringly obvious, it that it's way too late to complain about this sort of marketing. If Namco didn't get a beatdown from fans two years ago for selling people game levels that may have been already on the retail disk of Beatiful Katamari but not unlockable until paid for, then I can hardly see how complaining would do any good in this case - and the Gamestop exclusive idea isn't nearly as evil as my example. I guess the third reason is that there are a lot of Gamestops out there. Gamestop does bill themselves as "the world's largest video game and entertainment software retailer" so I presume most people that can read this on the internet can either find a Gamestop at their local mall or preorder games from their website. Gamestop is certainly more nerd-friendly in general than my local Walmart. I had it in my mind that Walmart actually sold more video games than Gamestop does, but it hardly matters to Walmart if a game company tries to drag a few people across town to Gamestop, since a lot of those people are still going to Walmart for sundries and food anyway.

From a marketing standpoint, I would assume that game companies would rather have a Gamestop exclusive than a Walmart exclusive for action titles, since the perception is that Gamestop is closer to the true "hardcore gamer" demographic. What's Walmart ever had as a game exclusive? Chibi-Robo Park Patrol for Nintendo DS? (What's that about?)

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