Bethesda’s intuitive marketing has ensured that the Fallout 4 can be seen in non-gaming stores on an international scale, and we wish more companies would follow suit.
Bethesda Softworks has absolutely nailed it this year in terms of marketing and presentation, whether it was some mic-dropping moments at E3, a branded beer partnership with Carlsberg UK, or even a newly-announced Nuka Cola tie-in with Jones Soda and Target. Years ago, gamers were hard-pressed to find any game-related swag in mainstream outlets, and although that’s certainly changed over the last decade or so, the creative and world-matching aesthetic in which Bethesda collaborates with other brands for tie-in content is on another next level.
This isn’t the first time companies have produced alcohol-fueled crossovers, with Game of Thrones having had its own official HBO tie-in brew for over a year now. It’s a new territory for videogame producers (aside of a small 40 bottle run from the Anomaly: Warzone Earth developers), and it’s a bold move to bring some direct advertising to demographics which might not have otherwised searched for Fallout. Although both soda and beer runs are geographically limited, the hype they’ve generated on a worldwide scale is worth its weight in gold.
The downsides of having a specially-brewed beer like the Fallout 4 ale is that it comes in at a retail price of $46, which is incredibly steep for a 12 pack. Meanwhile, the Jones Soda tie-in is reportedly $3 per bottle, which isn’t much better – especially for a drink that is just rebranded berry lemonade soda, a flavor which Jones Soda already produces (the Fallout 4 beer is a specialized, exclusive brew).
Notably, Zenimax also acquired a trademark to produce some Nuka Cola clothing over two years ago, so the company certainly has its bases covered on the merchandise front. Those who pre-order from Best Buy will even get some sweet Vault Boy socks. Other pre-order bonuses will net gamers things like huge Perk Posters, or even free access to Fallout 3 itself – albeit with that last offer remaining exclusive to the Xbox One version. If there’s one thing Besthesda and Zenimax know how to do it’s package enviable content in for loyal consumers, and it doesn’t look like that hype train will be slowing down anytime soon.
Bethesda’s merchandising branch-outs are great options for fans of the game, and more companies could take a lesson from Bethesda’s marketing team – if gamers and general consumers could mosey into a grocery store and see Fallout 4 on display then Bethesda is absolutely doing it right. I sincerely hope other companies take notice for their own intellectual properties, because there are really no downsides when executed properly. In the end, gamers get new products based off of games they love (even if they have to shell out a little extra to do so), and companies make a little extra money putting them out there.
That’s merchandising done right.