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Game Company Will Keep Charity Money If It Sells 10 Million: Brilliant or Bogus?

Gaming 2011/10/10 18:00:00
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Nicolas Games is running an interesting promotion for their newest game, "Afterfall: Insanity." At first glance, the promotion seems like it has the potential to be an absolute bargain for buyers and philanthropy to boot; but on further examination, it might not be as squeaky-clean as it looks.

The deal goes something like this: Nicolas Games is currently offering "Afterfall: Insanity" pre-orders for a dollar through the game's website. If the company sells less than 10 million pre-orders, they'll donate 100 percent of the pre-order profits to an unnamed charity and send out the games to pre-ordering customers for the list price of $33.90 when it comes out on November 25.

But here's where it gets sticky. If they do push 10 million pre-orders, Nicolas Games will keep 90 percent of the pre-order profits and give away all of their pre-ordered copies for no additional charge. That means whatever charity they're planning to support will get significantly less money as soon as that last pre-order goes through.



In other words, if "Afterfall" is pre-ordered 8 million times, their charity will get $8 million; if the game is pre-ordered 10 million times, the charity gets $1 million (10 percent). To be fair, they've promised to donate half of the proceeds from purchases made after the 10 million pre-order mark. However, the chances of them pushing 10 million in the first place are already slim.

We have to admit, it's an intriguing marketing strategy. They haven't promised anyone anything, and if they want to pull off 10 million sales, the prospect of getting the game for a dollar will certainly reel in interested gamers. But it does seem a little sleazy.

Read More: http://kotaku.com/5848266/if-10-million-preorder-t...

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  • Scott Cochrane 2011/10/11 18:39:52
    Bogus
    Scott Cochrane
    +2
    What an utter crock of (you know what).

    When I first read about this and even checked the website, it all sounded like a great deal to me, Until I dug a little deeper and watched the YouTube video.

    $1 for a copy of a game, sound too good to be true? you bet it is.

    Especially when I heard this nugget of information (Paraphrasing) "If we fail to meet 10 million pre-orders you don't get the game for $1 but it all goes to charity".

    On first glance that doesn't sound too bad either but then we don't know what Charity it is do we? Here's my problems with this in a nutshell.

    1) 10 Million Pre-orders is impossible, even all the humble bundles combined didn't manage to get that many orders and you were GUARANTEED to get a game no matter what, and you even had the option to pay a single penny.
    2) As mentioned earlier we have no idea which Charity it goes to, so there is no accountability here, they could easily just pocket the lot.
    3) Their website does not make it clear enough that they get nothing if they don't reach their target and their video is a bit incomprehensible at times.

    Lets look at some other statistics, how about the amazingly successful Humble Bundle, the one running right this moment (At the time of writing):

    Began almost three weeks ago on September 28th.
    Numb...









    What an utter crock of (you know what).

    When I first read about this and even checked the website, it all sounded like a great deal to me, Until I dug a little deeper and watched the YouTube video.

    $1 for a copy of a game, sound too good to be true? you bet it is.

    Especially when I heard this nugget of information (Paraphrasing) "If we fail to meet 10 million pre-orders you don't get the game for $1 but it all goes to charity".

    On first glance that doesn't sound too bad either but then we don't know what Charity it is do we? Here's my problems with this in a nutshell.

    1) 10 Million Pre-orders is impossible, even all the humble bundles combined didn't manage to get that many orders and you were GUARANTEED to get a game no matter what, and you even had the option to pay a single penny.
    2) As mentioned earlier we have no idea which Charity it goes to, so there is no accountability here, they could easily just pocket the lot.
    3) Their website does not make it clear enough that they get nothing if they don't reach their target and their video is a bit incomprehensible at times.

    Lets look at some other statistics, how about the amazingly successful Humble Bundle, the one running right this moment (At the time of writing):

    Began almost three weeks ago on September 28th.
    Number of Orders: 215,456
    Money Generated: $1,027,183.51

    Does anything honestly believe that "Afterfall: Insanity." can achieve even 1 million pre-orders, let alone 10 million? At the time of writing they have only 15357 preorders, they would have to have several hundred thousand preorders a day in order to achieve their ridiculous target.

    To put it simply, this is Gambling, I would be willing to put in a dollar if:

    A) I got the game no matter what OR
    B) I knew which Charity it was going to and I agreed with said Charity. AND The pre-order target was a little more reasonable.

    Even if the Charity is a worthy cause I don't like to be cheated in order to give money to them, I would much rather cut out the middle man and give the money to the charity directly, at least then I know that there hasn't been any tampering with the donation.
    (more)
  • He'a: ka'ka:' 2011/10/11 18:36:39
    Bogus
    He'a: ka'ka:'
    +2
    Not cool to toy with charities, man.
  • TorchwoodTrinity 2011/10/11 17:19:10
    Brilliant
    TorchwoodTrinity
  • MichaelWolfgang 2011/10/11 16:05:56
    Brilliant
    MichaelWolfgang
    +1
    i dont see a problem with it. its their money either way, they can do as they wish. personally i would put it the other way around, keep t'charity' money if i solde less than 10 million copies.... but thats a really high number of pre ordered copies. anyway the point is its their money so they can do what they want.
  • Kino 2011/10/11 15:29:55
    Brilliant
    Kino
    I don't think it's either brilliant or bogus, but perhaps a little bit sketchy. Still, if the consumer is willing to pay for it then it is what it is.
  • Yoru Azenia 2011/10/11 13:40:14
    Bogus
    Yoru Azenia
    +1
    In either scenario its bs
  • shadow76 2011/10/11 13:29:52
    Bogus
    shadow76
    +1
    What a con!
  • Tony 2011/10/11 13:16:11
    Bogus
    Tony
    but then, it IS a polish company! xD

    I dunno, either way the charity gets money so for them it's a win.
  • ladyfyre 2011/10/11 13:13:44
    Bogus
    ladyfyre
    Well, it kind of sounds like they are out the money regardless, they give to a charity if it is under 10 mil and don't make the people pay the rest of their game if it is over. I only said bogus because if it was truly charity, it would be a goal to donate the money not to NOT donate the money. Seems rather backwards. Interesting marketing to be sure but not entirely clear what the bottom line will be. Sounds like they are expecting to lose money somewhere anyway and I am not sure that is communicating the sort of confidence that they may wish....
  • Dean 2011/10/11 11:23:22
    Bogus
    Dean
    +1
    Why would you agree to give the money to charity, but if it goes over a certain amount im going to keep it. They should be ashame of themselves.
  • Sue MacDonald Kyak 2011/10/11 10:56:21
    Bogus
    Sue MacDonald Kyak
    Total scam!
  • Princess Milissa 2011/10/11 08:13:58 (edited)
    Bogus
    Princess Milissa
    That is illegal and wrong. Bait and Switch illegal in all 50 states. Hope they get sue by the AG in every state!!!!
  • James Princes... 2011/10/11 16:52:41
    James
    The problem with your statement is that the US can't do anything about it. They are a polish company.
  • AnonRanGER 2011/10/11 06:28:22 (edited)
    Bogus
    AnonRanGER
    +1
    So I pre-order a game for $1, and if 9.999.999 people don't do the same, it suddenly costs me $33.90? I'm a gamer, not a gambler.

    "In other words, if "Afterfall" is pre-ordered 8 million times, their charity will get $8 million"

    What's missing in this calculation is that if they get 8 million pre-orders, not only does the unspecified charity get 8 million bucks, but Nicolas Games will get 8.000.000 x $32.90 (because in that case, the 1$ pre-orders become $33.90 pre-orders, of which only 1 buck goes to charity), which is $263.200.000.
    In words: TWO HUNDRED SIXTY THREE MILLION TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS.

    Looking at the trailer, I can say with some confidence that that is not justified.

    I like the charity-idea in general, but this feels more like a scam to me. Unfortunately, it will most probably work and leave a couple of million gamers raging because they have to pay $33.90 for a game that isn't worth it, and the company cashes in BIG TIME, then closes down because its rep is ruined, but the CEOs and/or investors are set for life.

    For that scheme to be "brilliant", it's too f-ing obvious.
  • PDenoli AnonRanGER 2011/10/11 10:25:37 (edited)
    PDenoli
    +1
    I don't begrudge any company giving to charity, not matter how much or how little. I think it would be silly of anyone to buy a game for that reason, though. If you want to see money go to charity, write a charity a check. It works perfectly well that way.
  • AnonRanGER PDenoli 2011/10/11 10:48:27
    AnonRanGER
    Oops, thanks for pointing that out. I'll edit it. ^^'
    Anyway, it all looks to me like an obvious scheme to use "charity" to scam people out of their money.
  • PDenoli AnonRanGER 2011/10/12 21:11:29
    PDenoli
    "an obvious scheme to use "charity" to scam people out of their money." Maybe. But do people buy video games they wouldn't ordinarily buy - for the sake of charity?

    "Buy Tetris for $5 and we'll give $1 to charity!!" Would you do that for charity or just slip a dollar (or five) in the donation tin?
  • archcorenth 2011/10/11 04:34:21
    Bogus
    archcorenth
    +1
    It's also bogus that they are giving the money to "a charity". Their "charity" could be the Westboro Baptist Church for all their buyers know.
  • Tony C 2011/10/11 04:20:26
    Brilliant
    Tony C
    Although a bit complicated for my simple brain, I'd say anything that benefits folks that need it, is positive. BUT the big question is, what is the unnamed charity?
  • coach k 2011/10/11 04:03:00
    Bogus
    coach k
    someone should look into that
  • Næthan Æterna 2011/10/11 03:35:25
    Brilliant
    Næthan Æterna
    Sounds like a win-win to me.
  • Açorda 2011/10/11 03:32:40
    Bogus
    Açorda
    That's probably just a way to sell more, and if they're happy, then maybe yes, they'll give a little bit, but probably not much.
  • Dub 2011/10/11 03:24:14
    Brilliant
    Dub
    +1
    Well no matter what the charity gets money so its more than it had to begin with, and with that comes the chance to get a game for a dollar. So either way its a win-win for everyone.
  • Cal 2011/10/11 03:21:24
    Bogus
    Cal
    Too complicated for me to bother with. Basically they're asking you to gamble a dollar.
  • Fresno State Fan CB-05 2011/10/11 02:41:56
  • Juliet Alyssa 2011/10/11 02:34:21
    Bogus
    Juliet Alyssa
    Charity money is supposed to be given to charity. If it's kept it's not charity money anymore. Just saying. >_>
  • funkymonkey 2011/10/11 02:16:32
    Bogus
    funkymonkey
    +1
    It's charity money it's like stealing from a children's hospital
  • Tigger Too 2011/10/11 01:59:20
    Bogus
    Tigger Too
    +1
    Nicolas Games' "interesting" promotion for their newest game, "Afterfall: Insanity" is both bogus AND brilliant. Offering the product for one dollar to pre-ordering customers is a brilliant marketing ploy to entice gamers to buy it, greatly benefiting them if ten million copies aren't sold and they do indeed end up getting the game for a buck. On the other hand, the shady way this video game is being sold under the guise of (possible) philanthropy is ethically, even legally, questionable and bogus. The charity, which would purportedly receive the sale proceeds, isn't even specified. That right there should make someone pause and wonder what in the hell's going on with this offer. But at the end of the day, gamers really don't give a rat's hairy ass about philanthropic endeavors, nor how their pre-order price of one dollar is allocated, just as long as they can get a video game on the cheap. Of course, I seriously doubt that Nicolas Games will be able to pull off selling ten million copies of "Afterfall: Insanity" in the first place, bogus or brilliant marketing ploy aside. I smell a federal investigation...
  • Bomb a 2011/10/11 01:58:45
    Brilliant
    Bomb a
    If they presell a 1,000,000. The charity gets $1,000,000.
    If they pre-sell 10,000,000 the charity gets $1,000,000
    Either way the charity gets a million dollars. Good for them.
  • Shelley Henderson 2011/10/11 01:54:30
    Brilliant
    Shelley Henderson
    +1
    If they didn't run this marketing campaign, the chosen charity would get $0 no matter how many games they sold or pre-sold. So no matter what, the chosen charity wins because it will have more money than it had at the start. This is a brilliant strategy where everyone wins, it's just a matter of how much. LOVE IT!!
  • Princes... Shelley... 2011/10/11 08:19:31
    Princess Milissa
    but it is illegal.
  • Thomas ... Princes... 2011/10/11 21:58:32
    Thomas Olson
    There isn't anything remotely illegal about it.

    It may be somewhat unscrupulous, but since when is THAT anything new for businesses?
  • Princes... Thomas ... 2011/10/12 05:51:52
  • Richie Yen 2011/10/11 01:30:35
    Brilliant
    Richie Yen
    bogus really, but if they really do give abit to charity, why not?
  • Keen Tojones 2011/10/11 00:24:04
    Brilliant
    Keen Tojones
    +1
    Making money is what business is all about. Even if every business in America only gave 1% charity a year, wouldn't that be fantastic?
  • NarcolepticGoat 2011/10/10 22:11:59
    Bogus
    NarcolepticGoat
    I'd expect nothing more.
  • Bomb a Narcole... 2011/10/11 02:03:51
    Bomb a
    Your right! They should give everything to charity, go broke, and live off the government.
  • Narcole... Bomb a 2011/10/11 11:37:15
    NarcolepticGoat
    Or, you know, not advertise in that bogus way. You know, truth in advertising?
  • Neil Humphrey 2011/10/10 21:23:42
    Brilliant
    Neil Humphrey
    Brilliant, but very shady.
  • Vezman 2011/10/10 21:02:12
    Brilliant
    Vezman
    It's called marketing. Everybody does it. I bet if they sale 9,999,999 pre-orders...the charity wouldn't be too upset. I would be that they have an insurance policy on not making the mark or on mark being over a certain amount. I mean if they sale over 10 mil then the charity gets $1 mil, but it they only pre-sale 1 mil....the Charity still only gets $1 mil.

    I've seen a couple in Oklahoma have an essay contest on "why I should give you my home for $50". But, they published it nationally, and you had to pay $50 to be entered. Over 2,000 people entered and 1 person won a 5 acre lake front property for $50. But the sellers got over $100,000 for a $55,000 property. I would bet that they did there homework and got an insurance policy on it to insure that they didn't lose their shorts to at least break even on the house. Its just creative marketing.

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