Whilst no one can deny the gaming industry’s rapid transitioning to downloadable games and movie steaming, there’s undoubtedly still high demand for tangible, engaging packaging and products as gamers seek fascinating game boxes and game-related merchandise that delivers realistic or unique graphics and complex gaming experiences.
The physical attributes of game packaging are considered highly relevant elements in the marketing of video games. Successful packaging grasps the attention of consumers towards video games on-shelf in either retail or online stores, even after they’ve been offered innumerable options for digital games downloads.
“With so many products vying for attention on shelf, the importance of video game packaging and related merchandising has often been judged by comparing it to a billboard. It means that you have just three seconds to attract the customer’s attention and deliver your message,” says LB Odendaal, IPL Packaging Innovation and Design Manager.
“The best option with game mechandising it to make its packaging design so enthralling that gamers simply cannot wait enjoy the experience of it,” he comments. “In this way, game purchasers usually prefer a packaging solution which provides a unique and multi-layered unboxing experience for the user.”
Video game packaging can play a vital role in the product’s marketing success but in order to achieve this it needs to blend imagination and creativity so that it imprints a long-lasting impression in the mind of customers.
“Those components that really seem to work are creative designs that show the main characters of the game, recognisable pictures (people prefer to recognise images) rather than extensive text, and the use of inspiring 3D effects,” says LB. “When these elements combine with an interesting unboxing experience they can lend the product an almost ornamental display quality whilst decorative options including combinations of embossing, debossing and foil stamping can achieve an exclusive and award-winning appearance,” he continues.
“Quality is, of course, all important, as is the use of innovative material and techniques where possible. Consumers really like to get the ‘wow’ factor from the game itself, but also expect that to follow through to the packaging – and for the packaging to transport the user to another world or to tell an interesting and engaging story.”