The importance of games merchandise

Christmas approaches, and video games once again find themselves competing with toys, gadgets, books and other items as they try to grab gifters’ attention.

But the industry has found additional ways to generate revenue with its most popular brands.

As with any other major form of entertainment, gaming lends itself perfectly to merchandising. If you know where to look, you can find soundtracks, novelisations, figurines and other toys, posters, T-shirts, trading card games and more – all based on some of the biggest names in games.

Examples are too many to list. The Halo Mega Bloks series. EA’s Need For Speed: Shift Scalextric. Hive Entertainment’s range of Final Fantasy XIII figurines. Impact International’s Sack Boy products. Pokmon and World of Warcraft trading cards. The books, toys and more that Ubisoft is working on for Raving Rabbids.

There’s a plethora of products out there, but why have games firms invested so much in them? Are they just extra sources of revenue, mere margin makers or something more?

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