Publishers are stupid (in Germany at least)

I just don't get it. The marketing people of German distributors are just stupid, plain stupid. I am talking about covermounts. In case you don't know: in Germany most major magazines have one or more full games on their DvD. Thats right, a full game for the price of a magazine. You also have to be aware that German magazines sell far more than any other counterpart worldwide (ok, lets talk western world, I don't know about Asia). The largest magazine has a circulation of well beyond 500.000 sold copies ... each month. And yes, they have a FULL game on top of every DvD.

When this started a couple of years ago (PC Player invented that here I think 1995?) usually older games where on the CD/DvD. That was during a time when a one year old game really looked a year old. The graphic advancement in technology was much faster back then. Today the visual quality doesn't jump tremendously like it did in the past. A game which was high end last year also looks pretty good this year. Even some games 2 or more years old still look decent.

Of course there is money behind it, magazines pay a lot of money per covermount. However it is the publishers decision WHEN the covermount is being released.

What happened this month? Neverwinter Nights 2 is being reviewed and the launch hype is there with widespread advertising (6 page ads? Wtf!). And PC Games has Neverwinter Nights 1 on their covermount while their sister magazine has the Add On on theirs. Do marketing people REALLY believe this helps sales for NWN2? Do they actually PLAY their games?

Someone who doesn't know NWN (yep there are some out there) and actually starts to play NWN won't play another RPG for weeks, if not months. Its that big, its huge, and a very good RPG on top. And he gets it for $5. And he gets a magazine on top. Or is it vice versa? Who knows.

Publishers, listen. Dont covermount your primary IP when your sequel is going to hit the shelf. It hurts. Believe me. Ask your gamers. Ask your audience. Thats a stupid decision you made, and its not the first time you did so. Every year you loose customers, destroy the value of high end games in the mind of your customer.