USA Today shares a study that finds:
[over] 60% expect to either get a game they did not want, get a game for the wrong video game system or not get any or all of the games they asked for according to Tanya Khamis, senior marketing manager for specialty game retailer Game Crazy, which commissioned the survey.
The article is focused on children and videogame systems, not MMOs, but this got me thinking how to make sure your the MMO/virtual world related gift is the right one this Christmas. It occured to me that most of these games the thing most desired is the currency. In Second Life that would be Linden dollars. In Project Entropia, more PE and so on. In games, buying currency is often a violation of TOS, so you have to be careful about whether or not this is an acceptable practice in world. Something people out shopping for gifts that have no interest in virtual worlds or MMORPG will likely be concerned about.
I wonder why more virtual worlds don’t offer gift certificates? By visiting the Second Life website you won’t find it very easy or friendly — unless you already have an account — to buy a gift certificate for an avatar in world? It’s very easy to buy Linden dollars if you have an account, but what about those who don’t? Those parents, grandparents, friends, associates or perhaps anonymous netizens who want to gift virtual currency these coming holidays?
Back to the gaming scene, I know many retailers offer gift certificates which can be used to buy anything. For people looking to buy good gifts for the MMORPG fan, game cards that extend membership dates are always good. For the Xbox 360, buy Microsoft Points cards because you can never have enough of those.
Time is ripe for virtual shopping deals too
If you operate a business in world, this is a prime time to offer virtual Black Friday deals. Come up with some ridiculous loss leader deals to get people to visit your virtual business. If it works in the real life promotion-wise, it might work in virtual worlds too.
Good luck and happy shopping and selling!