Games and software distributor Dataflow Computer Services has launched a host of promotions aimed at converting festive season browsers into sales for computer retailers.
Richard Hirst, a brand manager at Wolf Interactive, said some new games - which received glowing advance reviews - and a car give-away will highlight the Christmas offerings from Dataflow's games division.
Wolf has launched a "Hot Sierra Summer" promotion which gives every buyer of selected Sierra titles the chance to win a Suzuki Sierra.
All boxes are stickered with the promotional offer which applies to titles such as Kings Quest 8, Return to Krondor, Caesar, Star Siege, Small Soldiers and the smash hit new title Grand Prix Legends.
Collector's edition of Myst
Meanwhile, a special Myst/Riven collector's anniversary pack including both titles, a unique commemorative journal for note-taking and a CD on the making of Riven, has been released by RedOrb, Broderbund's game division. This $99 package comes in a commemorative box and will only be made until Christmas.
Another big promotion this Christmas includes a Sierra buy-one-get-three-free deal which sees buyers of 11 selected titles - including Cyberstorm II and Hoyles Casino Collection amongst others - get a bundle of three additional titles at no cost.
"Buyers will be able to pick up a game for as little as $49.95 and then also pick up a three- pack that includes Golf, CART Racing and Caesar II at the same time," Hirst said. "This is instant gratification and our experience is that gift buyers love these promotions."
Hirst said that the other titles he feels will be big this Christmas are software like World Book Encyclopaedia and the latest versions of Hasbro Interactive titles like Axis and Allies, Cluedo II, Stratego and Monopoly.
Clare Parker, Dataflow's national marketing manager, said this time of year presents a wonderful opportunity for computer retailers.
She said the biggest sales performers at this time of year are generally big name brands as well as games and CDs that are extensions of popular movies or board games.
"At Christmas time there are a lot of people walking about with a $50 note in their hand which they are trying to spend on a present for somebody," said Parker. "Last year those people probably were not aware as much as they will be this year about what is available from their local computer shop.
"Computer retailers really have to make those potential customers fully understand what they have to offer as a Christmas shopping destination," she said.
With many games and reference-CD pub- lishers saving some of their biggest launches for this time of year, Dataflow have come up with some seasonal promotions capitalising on these launches and the annual Yuletide buying frenzy.
Luring potential buyers for the younger generation will be the chance to win a trip for two to Disney World in Florida.
There are several new Disney Interactive titles being launched by Dataflow in the lead-up to Christ- mas and boxes will be stickered with competition entry details which immediately alert buyers as they pick it up.
Parker felt two new Bug's Life CDs (for ages 4-7), spin-offs from Disney's new kids' movie of the same name, will be well received during the Christmas season.
In addition to stickers on boxes, Dataflow has also produced all sorts of shelf markers, merchandising stands and other attention grabbers to make sure punters can't miss the promotion.
"This movie is going to be bigger than Toy Story which means the CDs are going to be in huge demand leading up to Christmas," said Parker. "Add the chance to win a trip to Disney World and there are many reasons why this product will appeal."