By and large, the singular gaming experience is relegated to a major title release followed by, if gamers are lucky, the release of some post-launch DLC. After that retail experience is over and done with, in most circumstances the gamer then moves onto another major title release. It’s the nature of the video game beast, but one that for video game publishers, isn’t always the most profitable one.
For both gamers and publishers however, a potential new dawn of video games is breaking — one that will hopefully turn that singular experience into a whole set of experiences. Wes Keltner, CEO of video game consulting firm GUN, believes that many top tier titles will begin employing the same type of prequel release strategy utilized for the recently released Dead Rising 2: Case Zero.
Leading up to the release of Dead Rising 2, Case Zero served as the ideal appetizer Capcom needed to whet gamers’ appetites. By putting the product in front of the populous before a major title release it not only creates greater brand awareness, but reacquaints gamers with the aspects of the previous titles they enjoyed so much.
Franchises that Keltner sees utilizing this strategy include Gears of War, Call of Duty, and Halo. Though each of these titles certainly has at least one product in the pipeline, there currently is no word that any of them is planning any sort of pre-release game to build some anticipation. Still, Keltner feels confident in his claim that:
“Additional publishers are going to adopt the Case: Zero formula because it builds awareness for the game, creates excitement and a gigantic return. It’s a win-win for all parties.”
Sure, the idea of a pre-release title seems like a good idea on paper and can, if successful like Case Zero, help boost sales of a brand rather than a single title. The unfortunate problem is that if a pre-release title is not well received then it will almost certainly hurt the sales of the major release. It’s a risky proposition, but if it does pay off, it benefits all parties involved.
Do you see major publishers and developers imploring a similar strategy to Case Zero? Would you pick up a pre-release downloadable game for a major top tier title like Halo or Call of Duty?
Source: Industry Gamers