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Subject: Promos: do they "force" you to buy games? rss

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Stefano Castelli
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Poll
Have you ever bought a game because there were promos available for it?
No, never
Yes, sometimes
If I see promos, I usually consider to get the game
What are "promos"?
      178 answers
Poll created by Castef
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David
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I've bought Eclipse at Essen because it seemed like the Supernova extension was only going to be available there. But I'd probably have bought the game anyway.

On the other hand I also saw other games I was basically interested in and that had promos but I didn't buy them...
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Wade Nelson
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I like promos... to a point. I've Kickstarted games that have come with promos for early adopters, and I think that's great. You're usually taking a little risk with a Kickstarter game and I think promos are a good way to show good will towards the people willing to back the game. But I also think those same promos should be available to normal people either at retail cost immediately, or after a specified time period post-release. If I play some cool new game with someone and then find out we were playing with an expansion that I can't even willingly purchase, I'm less likely to purchase the game at all.

What I don't like are exclusive promos. One-time availability items, in my mind, do not create any kind of good will towards the customer. I can appreciate the collector value of such items, but I firmly believe games are meant to be played. If you want to have a collectible game piece, don't make it a component that can actually affect game play. Pre-painted figures, exclusive sculpts, leather-wrapped case, something like that.

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Det var bara en hake...
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Recent related threads:

Promos: I'm sick of them.
My apologies to my fellow boardgamegeeks for my part in perpetuating the plague of game promos/expansions.
Do you avoid non-bonus versions of games?
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J. Jefferson
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No, but if I own and like a game, I feel pretty much compelled to buy available promos.
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Philip Pack
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I agree with Jeff. It's the opposite for me. I love Power Grid, and when the BGG store got the promo cards I purchased them immediately. It'd be the same with other games in my collection.
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Jason Cookingham
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No. That strikes me as a bit silly.

On the other hand, if I don't have reasonable access to all material created for a game... I will refuse to buy the base game.
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Boards & Bits
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IMHO, promos are used to direct *where* someone buys a game, not *if* they buy a game.

Publishers make a much higher margin on games sold directly to the public, and this will usually cause that to happen.

In the end, I'm not sure it's worth the extra trouble, but that's for each publisher to decide.

Tom
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Joe Reil
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Promos don't really affect my enjoyment one way or another.

They have no bearing on whether or not I want a game.

As far as chasing them, generally, if the promo actually looks like an interesting addition to the game, I'll try to get it, but it doesn't really bother me if I can't find it. If it doesn't look interesting, then I just don't bother.

Basically: I am NOT a completist. If it looks good, I'll try to get it, if not then I just ignore it.
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Jim McMahon
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red black wrote:
There was a lot of crying over the exclusivity status of Eminent Domain: Bonus Planets.. a good number of people who KS'ed ED should be voting Yes here.
Why? I doubt most of the people who KSed EmDo did it solely because there was a promo involved.
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Bob Menzel
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red black wrote:
There was a lot of crying over the exclusivity status of Eminent Domain: Bonus Planets.. a good number of people who KS'ed ED should be voting Yes here.


I didn't buy ED because of the promo - it was a nice bonus. If the base game isn't good, I'm not going to buy it, so the whole promo thing doesn't matter. I tend to be a completist, though, so once I have a game I am likely to try to acquire the promos.
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Martin Gallo
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One point to consider is that, at least in the USA, incentives are becoming the leading generator of sales. In the old days a product was just advertised as available (with some information about it) and as time has dragged on it started to take a sale to get people to buy the item and then it took some sort of other deal to even get them to the store and now you pretty much have to pay people to buy.

I am not sure if it is just consumers getting jaded, the effects of hard economic times (although this has been 'getting worse' for nearly 20 years) or some other force at work.
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J. Jefferson
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jimmcmahon wrote:
red black wrote:
There was a lot of crying over the exclusivity status of Eminent Domain: Bonus Planets.. a good number of people who KS'ed ED should be voting Yes here.
Why? I doubt most of the people who KSed EmDo did it solely because there was a promo involved.


I will admit that though I might have bought it anyways, the exclusive promos pushed me over the edge to buy EmDo. For me, it wasn't about the existence of the promo, but that they were exclusive. This mattered to me because I was not 100% sure that the game was for me, and I thought that having an exclusive promo would increase the game's trade value.
 
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I won't buy a game if I can't get game changing promos. Often I can't afford games "in the moment" so I have to rely on promos being available after initial offerings.
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Jae
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Jefforama wrote:
jimmcmahon wrote:
red black wrote:
There was a lot of crying over the exclusivity status of Eminent Domain: Bonus Planets.. a good number of people who KS'ed ED should be voting Yes here.
Why? I doubt most of the people who KSed EmDo did it solely because there was a promo involved.


I will admit that though I might have bought it anyways, the exclusive promos pushed me over the edge to buy EmDo. For me, it wasn't about the existence of the promo, but that they were exclusive. This mattered to me because I was not 100% sure that the game was for me, and I thought that having an exclusive promo would increase the game's trade value.


If you wanted the game, why would its trade value matter?
That seems grossly counterintuitive.
 
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J. Jefferson
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Bagherra wrote:
Jefforama wrote:
jimmcmahon wrote:
red black wrote:
There was a lot of crying over the exclusivity status of Eminent Domain: Bonus Planets.. a good number of people who KS'ed ED should be voting Yes here.
Why? I doubt most of the people who KSed EmDo did it solely because there was a promo involved.


I will admit that though I might have bought it anyways, the exclusive promos pushed me over the edge to buy EmDo. For me, it wasn't about the existence of the promo, but that they were exclusive. This mattered to me because I was not 100% sure that the game was for me, and I thought that having an exclusive promo would increase the game's trade value.


If you wanted the game, why would its trade value matter?
That seems grossly counterintuitive.


This is why:
Jefforama wrote:
This mattered to me because I was not 100% sure that the game was for me


Not just counterintuitive, but grossly counterintuitive?

I guess I can explain it differently. I usually play games before buying them. That wasn't possible with the EmDo on KS (at least with the final version with the completed art) But because I felt that I could trade it away easily if I ended up not loving the game, I bought it even though I wasn't totally certain that I would like it. This is, indeed, what ended up happening.
 
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Derek
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I have never bought a game because it had promos. And I've never considered not buying a game because there were promos out there that weren't available to me. As long as the base game is good, that's all that matters to me.
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Jay Lacson
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I would say no, until recently. I bought Survival Camp, just so I can get the t-shirt and 550 bracelet.

In most cases, promos mean little to nothing to me in terms of the initial purchase.
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David Boeren
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I don't like promos that offer some in-game functionality that you can't get later on. Fancier bits, different colors, extra accessories, stuff like that is fine. If I don't have the Special Edition velvet bag to draw my tiles out of, I can draw them out of the normal cloth bag that comes with the regular edition.

But if the Special Edition comes with special types of tiles that aren't in the regular version then those had better be available separately by some reasonable method.

I will consider spending extra for fancy promo stuff *if* it's not exclusive though.
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Bob Roberts

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cookinjr wrote:
No. That strikes me as a bit silly.

On the other hand, if I don't have reasonable access to all material created for a game... I will refuse to buy the base game.


D6Frog wrote:
Nah. If anything 67,000 promos and expansions is more likely to get me to spend my money somewhere else.


This.
 
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double post sorry



 
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D6Frog wrote:
Nah. If anything 67,000 promos and expansions is more likely to get me to spend my money somewhere else.


As someone who is planning lo launch a KS game soon, I am very curious about this.

Why would a game that has expansions make you spend your money elsewhere?

When I like a game (example Smallworld or Mem '44) expansions are pretty much a slam dunk sale for me. I will buy anything and everything that is released - this keeps the game from ever getting stale.

Since when did expansions become a bad thing?

I'm not trying to argue with anyone - I am trying to find the pulse of today's game customer and avoid doing things that they do not like (good luck, right?)



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Darian Tucker
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Escape Pod Games wrote:
D6Frog wrote:
Nah. If anything 67,000 promos and expansions is more likely to get me to spend my money somewhere else.


As someone who is planning lo launch a KS game soon, I am very curious about this.

Why would a game that has expansions make you spend your money elsewhere?

When I like a game (example Smallworld or Mem '44) expansions are pretty much a slam dunk sale for me. I will buy anything and everything that is released - this keeps the game from ever getting stale.

Since when did expansions become a bad thing?

I'm not trying to argue with anyone - I am trying to find the pulse of today's game customer and avoid doing things that they do not like (good luck, right?)





Expansions that are only available for a limited time and only if you pay money to get the project going are often frowned upon. Look at the uproar over DLC available for video games that already comes on the disc, but you have to pay to unlock it or preorder it through a specific retailer. For completionists, it can be extremely irritating to have to preorder 5 or 6 copies of a game just to get different promo codes from retailers, then return the extras you don't need. Sure, marketing campaigns tell you to just preorder from the one retailer whose promo sounds coolest, but some consumers don't even want to do THAT.

Basically, if you're offering chrome or some kind of special doohickey, nobody really cares much. Those who want to spend the extra $10 for the sequined silk bag instead of the terry cloth one can do so and it will have no effect on how anyone plays the game. As soon as you include a promo that affects gameplay however, even if it's extremely minor, you're fracturing your fanbase. Some people won't care about it and will just buy the game when they can afford it, others will have been willing to kickstart the game anyway so it's just a nice bonus, and still others will be pissed because they'll either need to spend a lot of money to pick it up secondhand later down the line or kickstart a game they didn't want to just to ensure they have access to the promo. I can understand the viewpoint of that group; if you're going to throw in a change to the gameplay, why was it NOT in the base game to begin with? Even if it's intended as a cool thing for people who pay to support the game, to those customers it feels like a slap in the face and extortionist sales practices. They won't see it as a nice gesture because of the fact that it is limited to certain kinds of people.
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Steve Wood
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Noted and filed away for later!

You make good points.

 
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Darian Tucker
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Sometimes it's important to understand why other people feel the way they do. I personally think those people are complaining about nothing and don't mind promos myself since I will probably never get any of my own, but that doesn't invalidate their feelings. Your demographics are also important; if you're selling to a bunch of TCG players, promos will probably get you more money, but if you're selling to Euro gamers, promos will probably cost you more sales than preorders in the long run.

Of course, this is nowhere near scientific as I don't think anybody has done research on just how many people will actively not buy games due to there being unavailable promos, but the minority is surely vocal enough to make it seem like it would be a bad idea to just ignore their desires.
 
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