On Sunday May 23rd, I picked up some games. The person checking me out asked me a question I have been asked numerous times when buying my games. This time it made me stop and think. The question: Would you like to buy the strategy guide?
I never buy a strategy guide with any game now. It has been at least 10 years or longer since a strategy guide has graced my home. Even then I didn’t buy it but rather was a gift from someone else. The strategy guide was free with a paid-in-full reservation of the game.
Why would I ever need an actual hard-copy book? There are a lot of great gaming websites that have excellent walkthroughs. I would think the easy access to these guides/ walkthroughs (written or video) on the internet would have made the strategy guide obsolete. But there they are staring me in the face when I am at Gamestop or the gaming area in places like Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy.
Who’s buying these things? There has to be a market for them otherwise they wouldn’t keep making them. A quick search on Gamestop generated a possible selection of 178 strategy guides with 277 on Walmart’s website. In amongst the hardcopy guides on Gamestop we have downloadable versions. Some of the downloadable versions include games at least as far back as 2001 – Myst III (granted it is not a 360 game). One of the downloadable guides is for Madden 08. Really? When was the last time you played a sports game and thought: DANG I need a strategy guide for this? By strategy guide I mean something other than help with getting some achievements.
Not only that but the guide for Madden 08 is priced at $14.99 and the game can be purchased used for $2.99. This raises another question. If you are going to sell a downloadable guide then shouldn’t it at least be equivalent to roughly 33% of the price rate of the game? If you bought Red Dead Redemption at $60 then a strategy guide would cost you $20 (roughly 33% of the cost of the game). Going back to Madden 08 and applying this same idea the downloadable guide should cost roughly $1.00.
Who do you think is buying the guides?
What does it take for you to purchase a guide?