How to have a Massive Effect on sales?

How to have a Massive Effect on sales?

Post Christmas I stepped into EB Games amongst the throng, its turkeys and turkey filled people looking for bargains in the sales. I immediately found a brand new version of Mass Effect for sale at $25 bucks, which basically meant it had 100 bucks off its initial release date price.

Awesome, I thought. I’ve heard about the game and that it had aliens and inter-alien love scenes and all so I thought I’d give it a chance for $25 bucks.
inter-alien love scene.

There was a whole pile of them so I was like, oh there’s a sequel coming out soon so they are just flogging the old stock. Old stock? Did this game suck and no-one bought it? (I realise the existance of the sequel means the game might have had some merit… ;) ).

It was a two weeks into playing the game and having thoroughly enjoyed its interstellar ‘pick-a-path’ plot when I mused to myself what a good buy it was. Then it hit me:

EB Games is not selling the game to get rid of the stock, they are selling Mass Effect so cheaply (and possibly below cost) to get you hooked so you spend $125 bucks when Mass Effect 2 is released. Of course, what better time to do it in the post Christmas sales. Effective huh?

It’s a clever strategy when you think about – it ignites interest in the game that those who missed it first time round may have gotten. Kind works in the same view as downloadable content – which Mass Effect has too!

There’s also another really cool hook – as you play Commander Sheppard in ME, you build your character’s personality and demeanour – you can be a paragon or reengage in your approach to dealing with people and issues. Over time, your decisions affect the game’s plot and ultimately the ending.

With Mass Effect 2, you are able to carry over this element from the first game into the second. So the character you’ve spent 50 – 70 hours playing in the first game can be carried over, traits and all. Decisions made in the first game, affect the second. Some plot elements might not appear for you, or rather they will, depending on your point of view.

Mass Effect 2This might be a reason people would go back to the first came, so they can get a ‘head start’ in the second. The cheap price of the original is all the casual gamer needs to go back and explore Commander Sheppard’s universe and check out some hawt alien chicks!

As to the game, I’m actually not even ¼ of the way through Mass Effect itself. I’ve found the story to be interesting with a solid array of characters and conflicts to work out. Getting the nuance of what is being told is very import to the decisions you make. What is this character actually telling me? What is being left out? Which garden path am I heading down? are all questions I’ve found myself asking.

Underneath it all is the classic ‘chase the bad guy across the universe’ story – a Where’s Carmen Sandiego? for sci-fi fans if you will, with guns thrown in. Heck, it reminded me of the original Mech Warrior on the PC.
I’ve found the fire fights game play a little clunky and not as fluid as it perhaps have could be. As my character has advanced, I’ve noticed improvements in its ability to take on the various bad dudes and dudettes – aiming and skill with weapons so a player has to be patient to progress.

Thus far, Mass Effect has proved to be an excellent ‘story based’ game rather than a space shoot ‘em up / run and gun like, dare I say… .*

Check out the trailer for Mass Effect 2 – it looks pretty and pretty cool.

* Yeah I hear you, Halo does have the best story in a game ever, Period. I agree, except that basically it’s a run and gun. Mass Effect is not, so quit bleating, bleaters.


Here's what everyone thinks about the Mass Effect Andromeda campaign.

1 comment:

His Whoreness said...

ME2 looks very cool but a lot of the character classes seem the same blend of biotics and something else, and biotic abilities really annoyed me in ME - with Tali and that biotic woman, you could get the best of combat, biotic and tech abilities and I'm not sure that'll happen in ME2, which kinda sucks