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Sunday, May 04, 1997

April 30th, 1997, Breaking News @ dEX:

Sega of America Wednesday announced the early arrival of its greatest fighting game of all time, "Fighters Megamix" for the Sega Saturn, at Blockbuster Entertainment stores nationwide. An exclusive for Blockbuster customers, "Fighters Megamix" will be available for rent Friday, May 2, 11 days before the game ships to retail stores May 13.

My initial repsonse is one of delight. Try before you buy is one of the best marketing schemes ever. But after a little time I wonder, would any of five local Blockbuster stores actually get the game on Friday? Or, would this be a Megascam?

Friday, May 2, I walk into my Blockbuster and head for the games section. The first thing that I notice is that the Saturn games have been yet again squeezed into a smaller area to accomadate for the growing PSX library they have. Looking at the tiny Saturn area, I see nothing new...again. Chatting with the employees, my questions are met with confusion. All of the people there haven't even heard of the promotion. I leave disappointed and angry. After talking to gamers across the country, not one of them was successful in obtaining a copy from any of their local BB stores. The BB chain has been known as taking anti-Saturn approach to their rentals, but when the PR people start talking, the chain should follow. Store owners claim that new Saturn games are not made available for rental because their current tiny selection of Saturn games do not rent. Just as no one will rent a movie that bombed in the theater, who wants to rent a really old or poor title?

Sega has made a poor choice by getting a 'promotion' with BB. Most people know that BB is in love with Sony, so why even deal with them? Its all just a big scam. The people in marketing at BB aren't told anything so they go ahead and promise that Megamix will be available for rent. Announcements are made, but nothing happens. What I'm curious about is if Sega has shipped these titles to BB, where are they? Are thousands of FMM games sitting hidden in a warehouse? Or did someone screw up the timetable? Sometime in the next week, I'll head back to the local BB stores and see if they have begun the promotion late. I'll let you know what happens in the dEX update after this week. I think I'm going to head to the Hollywood Video that's opening nearby and discuss an untapped market with the owner...What do you think?


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