The video games industry continues to grow year on year, with billions of dollars being spent. You don’t have to look any further than the success of Sony’s PlayStation 4 system to see that consumers are handing over bucket-loads of cash to play current generation games. Sony recently announced that they had shipped over 36 million consoles since it released the PS4 in November 2013. Over the past three years I myself have invested more and more time and money into gaming and when I look back at what motivated the increase I’ve realised a few things.
The first is that I love technology, it doesn’t take much to part my money and I. Hell, I’ve already owned two PlayStation 4’s and three Xbox One’s … yes, I do get sucked in when companies release limited edition hardware! I’m a salespersons dream, happily trading in or selling my old console for essentially the same hardware with a fresh coat of paint on it.
The second is that I’m a sucker for a loyalty program. Recognise my investment in your business with a status and benefits and I’m 100% sold!
For the past four years now I have been fairly heavily invested in the EB World loyalty program. It started with me saying “yes” to receiving a Level 1 card … when someone offers you a free anything which increases the trade value of hardware and software you don’t say no after all, do you?! Once I understood that real money translated to points, in this case ‘carrots’ I began quickly trading my doll-hairs into digital vegetables via in-store and online purchases. Often buying games I would typically not be super interested in playing – the result – having a display cabinet full of games I had either only played for a few hours or in some cases, not even installed. After literally years and thousands of real dollars spent, I finally secured a Level 4 status and all the glory that comes with that … even more trade credit and line skipping at midnight launches, if I was inclined to stay up late. It’s interesting because now the dust has settled and I look back at the last few years of my gaming life it’s becoming painfully obvious to me that I haven’t enjoyed games as much as I used to when they were a smaller aspect of my life. When I had just the one console and limited games to play, I really ‘played’ each and every one. It wasn’t a rarity for me to play a game to the credits and beyond, sometimes replaying it immediately after I had finished. Now more spoilt for choice (I own a PS4, Xbox One and gaming PC) I find myself dreading upcoming releases, knowing that I will definitely purchase each and add them to the back of my ‘to play’ list.
The EB World program, along with another handful of initiatives EB Games have introduced have worked perfectly. I used to be a conservative, casual gamer who only invested in games I knew would suit me and would provide countless hours of enjoyment. It didn’t matter where I bought the games from, it was whatever store I happened to be closest to when the desire to play took hold. EB Games has turned that occasional customer into a game consuming monster, who price matches any competitors price at their store and parts with money faster than Ubisoft can release an Assassin Creed game! Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not upset with EB Games, if anything I’m just really impressed with how well they hooked me. The funniest thing is … I don’t even really like carrots, I mean sure they’re good for you, can be consumed with a wide variety of different dishes or even on their own and if you believe the old wives tale – will help you see in the dark. Okay so that last one is pretty cool, but do they have anything to do with gaming though?
One of my new year’s resolutions is to focus on finishing said ‘to play’ list, making some tough decisions about which games will get my time and only picking up new games which I’m genuinely interested in playing. So listen up EB Games, yes I’ll continue to give you my money and I’ll no doubt continue accumulating those orange not-so delicious carrots, but from now on you’ll only receive the cash if your advertised price is the best, or if the item is exclusive to your store. Perhaps there’s some truth to the old tale, all those carrots have helped me see through the darkness, to take a good look at myself and decide that it’s time to get back to basics. For me that’s perhaps a less is more approach, while supporting the stores which support competition and advertise the best price.