The Tao of Snarky. Comics Obscura. Betty White vs. Wolverine. An impressive beard. Today’s guest artist, Jay Jacot, is responsible for all of these, and more! You should check out his work here. Jay has provided pin-up art for Punching the Clock in the past, and I was SUPER excited when he agreed to jump on and help out while Jeff takes a break.
Ah, new console launches. We do this every few years or so, and people still don’t understand the basics of video game supply and demand. Allow me to break it down:
1. Create Demand via advertising to your core demographic (in this case, nerds with disposable income, and kids with parents with disposable income.)
2. Drive demand via “leaked” announcements, game-play footage, convention appearances, limited pre-sales and 2 REALLY exciting launch games (and a whole bunch of disappointing ones).
3. Allocate all of your initial shipment by divvying it up between all of the major US retailers… but don’t tell them how many they will get.
4. Allow stores to do limited pre-orders, above and beyond your initial allocation.
5. Continue to advertise and build a bit of pandemonium, knowing full well that your supply far underscores your demand.
6. Watch as the madness ensues as you launch your product for sale just prior to the holiday shopping season. A dick move indeed. All units sell out in hours.
7. Send parents on a wild goose chase for a month trying to get the damn thing for their spoiled kids, because, as Will Smith once said, “Parents just don’t understand.”
8. Pretend that you are going to “save the day” by releasing more units in spurts throughout December… but lose most of that allocation to cover replacing the 40% of your initial shipments that bricked straight out of the box.
9. Utilize the best PR department that money can buy to smooth things out with the general public.
10. Get caught up enough on production that consoles are readily available and on store shelves by April of the following year.
11. Repeat in five years.
All the while, the kids are pining, the parents are searching, and store clerks are drinking themselves to sleep at night. Folks, I guarantee you that if you work retail, you have this conversation at least 4-5 times a day. For a month straight. And it makes you want to buy a console when it comes in, if only to destroy it in the parking lot for vengeance.
It’s kinda like that, and I LOVE video games.