Every year just before the start of the holiday season, an influx of new games hit the market. Companies look to attract those with a little extra income from end-of-year bonuses while reminding others how a new game makes for a perfect gift.
This year is already proving to be no different.
One of the most anticipated games is one that has been in the forefront of many of our minds lately—World of Warcraft’s Warlords of Draenor. Recently GameSpot compiled a montage of TV and commercial spots for the game, claiming that Blizzard Entertainment is doing all they can to ramp up marketing efforts before the game’s release in a few weeks. Several of the videos have already been viewed over 100,000 times by eager fans left twiddling their thumbs in anticipation.
Hallels even called November the “special month” for Sony, as it’s when gamers acquire new and more games. It’s also when Sony will be releasing their new list of free games for PlayStation Plus. While the titles on the list are still unknown, speculation was fueled from an entry on PlayStation’s official blog, which said that one of the games “combines the elements of Smash TV and The Legend of Zelda yet with a rogue-like genre.”
But the point of releasing free games isn’t just an act of kindness. More than likely it’s to stir attention towards the ones that aren’t free for the taking. The game they likely hope to get the most buzz about is the upcoming title Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Set to go on sale in just a few days, the massive popularity of the franchise will likely make it a success. If that alone doesn’t fuel a buying frenzy, Kevin Spacey’s shockingly life-like animated character is sure to do the trick. Ad Week says that the likeness of his House of Cards character integrated into the game has been brought to head by the creator’s subtle advertisement campaign from the last few months. And I would be lying if I said it hadn’t completely worked on me.
However, all franchises can’t rely on an on extreme fan base to draw attention to their games. Instead, those that still want to contribute to the spike in gaming sales around this time draw players’ focus through giveaways. Online hub Betfair Bingo is even taking the tradition of the gaming season to the next level by creating an on-going contest throughout the autumn to promote their games. While players engage in their usual activities on the site each week, they’re entered in to a drawing for a chance to win £1 million. On certain days, they can even increase their opportunities to win, gaining one, two, or three tickets determined by the day of play for every £5 they wager.
I’d like to say that being able to point out the goal behind companies releasing games and promotions around this time makes me think I’m above shelling out my money for them. But like so many other people that contribute to the spike in sales this time of year, the end of my fiscal quarter is coming up at work. With any luck, I’ll have a few extra bucks burning a hole in my pocket as a result. If I’m really being honest with myself, I know I’m going to check out every last one of these games the minute they’re available.