The typical method of keeping games in glass cases works like a charm when it comes to reducing theft, but stymies impulse buys — something the game industry is working to change as companies attempt to appeal to ever broader markets. The San Jose Mercury News has a reasonably interesting short piece on what companies are doing in an attempt to broaden their appeal, get games out from behind glass and locks, and encourage people outside the target 'gamer' audience to pick up games on a whim. Of course, there's the problem of dealing with retailers' wants and needs:
"If a customer has a hard time getting an item and putting it in a shopping cart, it's going to reduce sales of it", said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, a retail industry consulting and research firm.
That's what Hasbro and EA are trying to get around with the upcoming "N-Strike" game. Johnson said he expects retailers to make similar arrangements this holiday season with related products from other game and toy companies.
If it were up to game makers, such arrangements would be the rule. Ubisoft, for instance, makes a line of personal improvement and education games under its "Coach" brand that it would like to sell in related areas of retail stores, rather than in the games department.
But few analysts expect retailers to make wide-scale changes anytime soon. One reason is fear of theft. Games, particularly in the first four weeks after they are released, are frequently stolen, said Joel Alden, a principal at A.T. Kearney, a management and consulting firm.
I'm lazy and have Amazon Prime, so I can't remember the last time I was in a brick and mortar store to purchase things like books and games, but I have a hard time seeing big box retailers moving gaming inventory from glass boxes — though I suspect real concern is over big, popular titles that would be magnets for sticky fingers. Will gaming break through the glass window on a large scale anytime soon?