Video games market 101 - Special Editions by Philip Driver
Video Games Market 101 by Philip Driver Special EditionsWhy in a digital age we all still love extra stuff!
Retail Gloom or Boom?• Whilst standard video games retail may be in full decline. – Game plc enters administration – GameStop net earnings down $63M• Digital is in ascendance. – EA passes $1 billion in digital business in 2011 – GameStop digital receipts up 57% – According to Sony Digital Audio Disc Corporation (DADC), digital downloads now comprise more than half of all PC games sold in the United States and the United Kingdom
DHL or UPS?• Whilst no one is in any doubt that digital goods are overtaking physical at an exponential rate it may be too early to say goodbye to physical goods altogether.• Are we simply confusing the loss of a disc with a simple change in delivery method?• Whilst publishers rush to invest in the digital market the number of special, limited or exclusive editions has never been stronger. Many of these are physical products.
Assassins Creed Revelations• At launch there were over 7 different editions of ACR available. Another (The Ottoman Edition) has just been released.• Editions – Special Edition – Signature Edition – Ultimate Bundle (USA) – Ultimate Edition (Canada) – Collectors Edition – Templar Collector Edition – Animus Edition
Assassins Creed III• Whilst currently there are just 4 versions of the next Assassins Creed game available to pre-order 3 of these are physical “Special Editions”.• Editions – Freedom Edition – Join Or Die Edition – Special Edition – Standard Retail
But….Why?• So far special editions account for 90% of UbiShop Assassins Creed III pre-orders.• If in 5 years time we will all be downloading games why are physical special editions so popular?• Because we all want something….special.• As a fan of Assassins Creed I not only want to play the game, I want to immerse myself in the experience. I want to prove that I love the game and have mementos of my journey.• This is something you cannot get from digital alone.
Digital Special Editions• Digital is of course no stranger to specials editions.• Many digital titles come with additional DLC bundled as a special edition.• But several also come as a digital download with additional physical items.
Conclusions• Whilst digital sales are increasing, the market still demands variety.• Hard core gamers and enthusiasts will always want something different to just a disc or download.• Special editions offer an essential point of difference whether digital or physical.• Physical can compliment digital and vice versa.
Game OverAbout the Author: Philip Driver is a digital distribution, online retail and marketing expert specialising in the field ofvideo games.A video games industry veteran of nearly ten years he lives in the UK and finds that having children really gets in theway of playing Skyrim.You can follow him on Twitter http://twitter.com/PobiWan