Classic Video Games

by Nitin M

Grim Fandango

Grim Fandango, LucasArts

During my time in video game distribution, we regularly met some resistance from retailers when it came to stocking and selling classic budget games. A quick scan of video game retailers in Dubai will highlight a scarcity in classic video games.

Retailers tend to stock the latest games in abundance while ignoring the plethora of classic video games from yesteryears – games which were critical and commercial successes.

Retailers do stock titles from the recent past at low price points and use these as promotional footfall drivers.

There is an argument for the availability of physical space and demand for classic games, but one of the responsibilities of a retailer is to provide customers with a choice and range of games. The range should offer something for everybody.

One might ask about the relevance of old(er) games in an environment when customers are interested in the latest products. The leaps in technology every few years does not help the case.

There are generally three types of customers for older games.

Firstly, you have the price conscious customer who doesn’t want to buy a new game at it’s premium price point. These customers will wait a while for the price to drop. These guys are more or less taken care of and usually want games that launched in the last six to nine months.

Secondly, you have those customers who recently got into gaming as a past time and would like to indulge in some of the classic stuff from history.

Thirdly, you have buyers of new consoles who, apart from wanting a new game, would also like a couple of quality games at a cheaper price.

Apart from the above, you also have the gift giving customers who are not necessarily buying the game for their own consumption, but that of others. These customers are usually buying for birthdays and seasonal celebrations like Eid, Christmas and even occasions such as birthdays.

Franchises such as Sam & Max, SimCity, Monkey Island, etc are great products from the golden years of gaming. Online retailers like Amazon continue to stock these, just like they do classic movies and TV shows.

My favourite game of all time has to be LucasArts’ Grim Fandango. What’s yours?