“Seriously, Though, For Real”

Penny Arcade! – Seriously, Though, For Real

I love it. Penny Arcade makes an interesting point. It _is_ rather ridiculous that video game companies produce only a limited supply of units every time they bring their new consoles to market. I’m honestly not sure why it is they do this. After all, they have to know that there are thousands of gamers out there just waiting to plunk down the greenbacks for the latest and greatest in gaming entertainment. What units make it to the shelves the first day are gone within minutes, whether through pre-orders or through those hardcore (and insane) fanatics who wait in line for three days ahead of time – no matter what the weather.

So why do the video game companies like play things so coy? Wouldn’t they make _more_ money by producing two or three times the number of units and selling even more on the first day? Or is there some sort of marketing strategy to draw in more sales later by making consoles hard to get those first few weeks? Maybe they’re counting on the drama and tension to elevate desire, turning consumers into a pack of slavering beasts with no mind other than to acquire one of these most coveted gaming systems. ((Except that this very fact of hard-to-get turns a lot of people _off_ to these new consoles, a fact that may or may not be overlooked by a marketing team that may be using this sort of strategy, unless of course, they count those as acceptable losses, given how many gamers _do_ buy their consoles in the long-run.)) Maybe they’re using the first consumers as a sort of pseudo-beta test group; after all, we all know that all these consoles are rife with glitches and problems straight out of the factory. Maybe they need a test group to buy them, play them, then gripe about all the problems with them so that they can fix them in the second or third factory runs for happier customers later. ((Yeah, yeah, pipe dreams. I know.))

Either the corporate marketing gurus are a collective of geniuses hard at work or a gaggle of fools who have no clue about their target populations.

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