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Thread: Bad trends in gaming ep. 391: empty boxes in retail

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    Senior Member JWiley_12's Avatar
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    Bad trends in gaming ep. 391: empty boxes in retail

    Well, there are quite a bit of bad (anti-consumer) trends, like microtransactions and horse armour and the likes...

    But this particular fairly new trend is really bugging me. :-) Empty boxes in retail!

    We´ve already seen Ubisoft do it with the Child of Light "Collector´s Edition". Then there was Ducktales Remastered by Capcom. Probably other also did this before. And now Nintendo jumped on the bandwagon. From January on Europeans will be able to get Nintendo Pocket Football Club and a combined Mario vs. Donkey Kong game in retail. Only the box will contain nothing more than a download code.

    https://twitter.com/NintendoEurope/s...85033620758528

    I guess this shows retail is still an important channel for publishers to get their stuff to consumers. Clearly they want to have *something* lying on the shelves. But I can´t help but feel that this stuff is anti-consumer as well. You can´t sell it, your game is yours as long as the publisher/platform holders decide to offer it, the collector´s value of an empty box is limited, ...

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    Senior Member banditwolf's Avatar
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    I guess a package is nice. Obviously they still feel retail has appeal yet. Another game that did this is one of the Patapon games on PSP. Kinda dumb to me.

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    Senior Member Fabrizo1's Avatar
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    Yes this is a horrible trend, maybe even worse then single player games that require an internet connection to play. This kind of thing that put the final nail in PC gaming at retail.

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    Senior Member Gypsy's Avatar
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    Yeah I think this is dumb and I don't know exactly who they are marketing to. If you are going to be digital just be digital imo but you are right this does hint at the importance of retail shelf space.
    Bad media connoisseur and frequent avatar changer.

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    Senior Member Lord of Pirates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizo1 View Post
    Yes this is a horrible trend, maybe even worse then single player games that require an internet connection to play. This kind of thing that put the final nail in PC gaming at retail.
    The publishers saw their opportunity to screw everyone with Steam gaining popularity and they took it. It's very unfortunate that GFWL got trampled under Steam. I've never had to go online for any GFWL games, Halo 2 is the only game where I had to activate it and I was able to call for an activation code.

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    Senior Member JWiley_12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Gypsy View Post
    Yeah I think this is dumb and I don't know exactly who they are marketing to. If you are going to be digital just be digital imo but you are right this does hint at the importance of retail shelf space.
    In Nintendo´s case: probably quite a bit of 3DS owners out there who´ve never visited the eShop. This might be a way to lure them in.

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    Senior Member zborgerd's Avatar
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    This is so silly. SE did this with the Drakengard 3 LE as well. Gamestop has also been doing this for years by selling DLC from boxes on the store shelves. This is an attempt to force the move to digital, sooner, rather than later. When this becomes the norm, I'll stop buying new games.

    I like Nintendo, but they discovered with the GBA that they could have a business model of reselling you those old NES games on a new cart. Then that turned into the Virtual Console. When moved to Wii U, you are given the option to buy an "enhanced version". Then you can buy the same game again on 3DS. Sony did it with PSN and MS does it as well to a very limited degree. At least their methods only require one purchase rather than several. It's in their best interest to not sell you a game that essentially lasts forever, as a cart or CD does. It's easier to fix prices on downloadable games, a practice that Nintendo loves (no sales on their games unless there is far too much stock to move at full price), and it's easy for them to pull the plug at a moments notice... But I've ranted about this numerous times in the past already.

    We should forget that silly Vita FTC suite and claims should instead be filled in favor of digital rights for consumers.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by The Gypsy View Post
    Yeah I think this is dumb and I don't know exactly who they are marketing to. If you are going to be digital just be digital imo but you are right this does hint at the importance of retail shelf space.
    I agree it is very dumb. By the same token, not every game fan reads about games on the internet and not every game fan regularly goes through online stores. I've always said, despite my relatively pro-digital stance, that our games really need to have that presence in retail stores.

    Say you are some kid, 15 years old, who loves anime. Never played a JRPG in your life. You look at the awesome box art, and decide to give it a shot. You love it, become hooked, and we have a new fan. That retail presence did push a sale. Say you loved Final Fantasy when you were a kid. You are now pushing 40, have a good paying job, kids and wife and all that. You are at the game store, and you see a game that catches your eye. You pick it up even though you haven't touched the genre in years. Things like this happen. People on the internet will sometimes get the false impression that all gamers read the internet faithfully and follow message boards and news sites. It just isn't true, I know this because I've lived it.

    As long as it is clearly marked, and reinforced by the cashier, I don't see a problem with it personally.

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    Senior Member banditwolf's Avatar
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    I like the gift cards more for digital games. Very easy to tell they aren't for a physical copy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JWiley_12 View Post
    Well, there are quite a bit of bad (anti-consumer) trends, like microtransactions and horse armour and the likes...

    But this particular fairly new trend is really bugging me. :-) Empty boxes in retail!
    oh, you mean like Patapon 2! I remember people were kind of angry about that

    you know what's worse than a game box with a piece of paper with a digital code in it? Buying a boxed retail version of a PC game with discs and everything where the activation key is a digital download code. Trying to install by disc doesn't work since the installer prefers to download the game by internet instead. Happened to me with Civ V. I hate that so much! What a waste of time and plastic!
    Last edited by sweetsweetfugu; 11-26-2014 at 06:15 PM.

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