What do Call of Duty, Splatoon, Fallout, Mario Kart 8, Halo, Xenoblade Chronicles X, and Assassin’s Creed all have in common? They have all been promoted with console bundles and limited collector’s editions. They include a slew of extra goodies designed to torture people’s wallets. And guess what? We all love it! Whether they are a spawn of the inevitable, primal madness that is holiday shopping, or flat-out most-anticipated-games; I swear I have seen more special deals these past two months, than I have in the past three years combined
Why are these special edition bundles so popular? Is it because of the neat extra stuff? Or is it the bragging rights that come with being a select, privileged few who manage to get their hands on them? Could it be the thrill of the hunt and the savoriness of getting our ravenous little paws on something? All of the above, obviously. However, to have so many massive titles available so close together in such packages might be overkill. This marketing tactic has always existed. However, I feel it deserves particular attention now because of the holidays. Also, because the industry itself is on the verge of some exciting new developments, from company partnerships to virtual reality.
The most common goodies included with special bundles are art books, figurines, and bonus in-game content. The art books, in particular, are a way for the creators to give fans a peek into their minds, and a feel for the atmosphere of the development team’s inner workings. These bundles almost transcend the money-oriented marketing campaign that they are. They become a way for developers to celebrate themselves, and the products that they have put their hard work, time and effort into creating.
Video games are an experience. Is is one that remains with players, even after the games are long finished. The bottom line is, consumers have the opportunity to physically hold those memories in their hands, outside of the virtual world, by spending a certain amount of extra money. That is what makes special editions successful. The success will continue as long as gamers treasure the medium and the experiences that come with it.
What do you think about the popularity of gaming bundles? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Matt Eschbach is a PC, Mac and Android indie game developer and fiction writer. His works have won multiple monetary awards from various contests. Graduating college in 2012 with a major in Game Design, Matt spends his time making stuff up and then building it. His favorite hobby… is sleeping.