Bonus Games Add To Replay value

In this tough economy that we struggle through today, the consumer mindset is to get more bang out of your buck. This can be applied to a myriad of things such as fuel efficient cars, food, and of course video games.

One main factor of getting what you paid for in the video game industry replay value – the entertainment value of playing a game more than once before the game is considered used up and discarded until the consumer decides that it is no longer boring. One of the newest strategies that developers are using to increase replay value and overall appeal of the game is including a full length bonus game within the packaged game itself.

Call of Duty: Black Ops included not one but two other bonus games in addition to Black Ops. Dead Ops Arcade is a brand new top down style arcade shooter that is one of the hidden games, the other being the computer text adventure game ZORK, which was originally released in the 70s. These games were not marketed as being available in Black Ops before its release, but their presence has contributed to the replay value of the game, not to mention a further incentive to purchase Black Ops.

The increasing presence of bonus games within a game seems to be move that more and more developers are using as a marketing tactic. Another recent example would be the Halo Chess gametype variant for Halo Reach which was released last month. Halo Chess plays just like traditional chess, only in the Halo Reach game engine. This free downloadable gametype may seem trivial to some, but it drew much attention from the Halo community. This seems to have achieved exactly what the developers’ wanted-continuing attention focused on their game. Halo Chess can add a few hours more of entertainment to Halo Reach, enticing players to play the game and possible the standard gametypes. That could eventually lead to the purchasing of downloadable content leading to more entertainment value for the game, and more revenue for the developer.

Using additional games inside the original game as a marketing move is not a completely new idea however. Fable II Pub Games is a stand-alone Xbox Live Arcade title that was released along-side Fable II. Although technically only included with the game itself if Fable II was pre-ordered, the mini games add to the replay value of the overall Fable experience. The incentive to earn more money for your in game character also enticed players to purchase the pub games if they didn’t already have it, earning even more money for the developers.

In the ever changing world of video games, developers are going to use a variety of approaches to help increase the overall appeal, replay value, and total sales. Although no one can say for certain if there will be a shift towards including bonus games as an incentive to purchase a game, the strategy seems to be working quite effectively. Only time will tell if bonus games will become a common feature of the video game industry.


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