Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Dear Yourself!Fitness

Dear Yourself!Fitness people:

You made a grave marketing error.

Let me give you some statistics. This is pirate copies of X-Box games available on Emule, a relatively popular file-sharing program. Since significantly less than half of the people who download a game from a file-sharing program then continue to share it, these numbers are only a fraction of the people who have actually gained copies through the system. In addition, people tend to keep sharing the games they like for longer. And, of course, this is only one of many file-sharing programs.

Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - 8 people
Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy - 17 people
Simpsons Roadrage - 28 people
Yourself!Fitness - 63 people
Jade Empire (extremely popular) - 90 people

You are doing well, according to the pirate ring.

Why have so many people downloaded your game while nobody bought it? I'll tell you why: it's FRICKIN GIRLY. NOBODY wants to buy a new-agey girly box, even gamer girls.

If you had marketed it differently, you would have sold ten times as many copies. Whoever in your group pushed you to target entirely on the imaginary "new-agey girly-girl xbox players" was a fool and cost you millions. The X-Box is the "manliest" of the three major systems.

We geeks have a very powerful hidden urge to get fit and attractive. That much is clear simply by the amount of pirating of this game, but it is also obvious to anyone who is a geek. If you had made your game a little closer to the mainstream, you could have convinced them to buy it.

It could have been simple. For example, injecting some fantasy into the game. Even if you wanted to avoid turning your teacher into a sex object, you could have had alternate graphics for the gritty gamer crowd that you needed to appeal to. Couldn't afford extra models? How about some extra backgrounds? Some alternative skins for the teacher? Or some alternate voice tracks? Even just making the backgrounds you had less... new agey... would have probably done well.

Sigh... the game was supposed to burn calories, not cash. If only you had done your market research!

Lesson learned: know who you're targetting, and if they even exist. I'll keep it in mind.

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