Square Enix’s director of marketing, Cord Smith, would like to see an end to retailer-specific pre-order bonuses, to the benefit of all parties.
Speaking with GamesIndustry, Smith argued that “channel-wide” pre-order incentives would actually benefit everyone.
Gamers would no longer miss out on content by placing their orders with one retailer or another; publishers wouldn’t have to manufacture and distribute multiple SKUs; and even retailers could benefit from simpler messaging and reduced chance of losing regular customers to competition with “better” exclusives.
“It’s a sensitive game, but it’s one I think we can play. The retailers have been very receptive to the fact that something channel-wide doesn’t really take anything away from them,” Smith said.
“It kind of puts the ball in their court. The more they can do to bring awareness to their particular customer base about the offer, the better they’ll do. As long as it’s a good incentive, it’s not so bad that’s it’s not fully exclusive.”
Smith said Square Enix is already planning channel-wide pre-order bonuses for Tomb Raider, its next major retail release due in early 2013 – although some retailers have already announced exclusive deals, including Amazon and GameStop.