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    Fallout 4

    Game » consists of 14 releases. Released Nov 10, 2015

    The Fallout series continues in a post-apocalyptic Boston, Massachusetts.

    Has bethesda set a new precedent for game merchandising?

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    oraknabo

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    Is it just me or does Bethesda's merchandising of Fallout 4 seem kind of overwhelming? It has me wondering if this is some kind of new record for merchandise produced for a single game release?

    I'm not the type of gamer/geek that gets excited over convention schwag and things like lootcrate.com and I've never been too comfortable with the collector mentality so I'm sure I will come off sounding like a cranky old man here. I understand how supply and demand works and that Bethesda wouldn't be doing it if there weren't plenty of fans out there wanting a bunch of Fallout junk IRL and lots of money to be made from providing it to them.

    I don't personally share the dedication to materialism it takes to feel like owning a pip-boy replica or a real-life Vault-Tec bobblehead will somehow improve the quality my life and while I'm usually satisfied to interact with stuff like that in-game without surrounding myself with it in reality, I do understand why occasionally people might want that kind of thing.

    I also understand that most of Bethesda's current audience grew up in an environment of mass merchandising. When I was really little, the world was just beginning to see the flood of action figures, t-shirts and lunchboxes from franchises like Planet of the Apes and Star Wars. Sure, there had been toys and collectibles produced for things like Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Lone Ranger and Howdy Doody for previous generations, but they were nothing compared to the precedent set by merchandise in the late 70s and early 80s.

    In the 90s I watched as comic stores shifted their priorities toward selling overpriced limited-edition statues and books with multiple foil-stamped covers. Today I can't go more than a few hours online without hearing about some new gadget or special edition release complete with unboxing videos for just about any product you can imagine.

    It's nothing new for games to include things like physical maps, posters or figurines in a special-edition (as far back as the early Ultimas) or sell t-shirts but it seems like Fallout 4 has the most I've seen produced for a single title at one time.

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    Brother_PipPop

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    Besides the limited edition I haven't seen any merchandising?

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    oraknabo

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    #3  Edited By oraknabo

    @brother_pippop: I've seen tons of shirts & hoodies, mugs, bags, glasses, hats, jewelry & watches, mice, headphones, lunch boxes, a line of dresses, beers, nuka-colas, statues & figurines, a plastic bomb(though that's more of a retrospective than specific to fallout 4), a pip-boy, bobbleheads & snowboards.

    I'm sure that's not everything.

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    ripelivejam

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    #4  Edited By ripelivejam

    Thought the whole thing with fallout 4 was the distinct lack of merchandising/promotion.

    E: from how you describe it im pretty sure i would have seen some of this stuff. Haven't ran into any of it personally.

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    Yesiamaduck

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    You forgot the fallout 4 Christmas jumper

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    louis0nfire

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    #6  Edited By louis0nfire

    You're right, OP. I can't remember a game that's had more merchandising than Fallout 4. From the figures (Vault-Boy bobbleheads and blind box) to the clothing (jump suit hoodies and socks as pre-order bonuses) to gaming accessories (mouse pads, controllers, etc) and of course the Nuka-Cola Quantum soda being sold in Target and the Fallout themed beer for sale in the UK.

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    thomasnash

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    @brother_pippop: Carlsberg have done a Fallout Beer, apparently? I've seen a bunch of stuff like hoodies and chibi bobbleheads on the Game website but that's nothing beyond what I've seen for, say, Assassin's Creed. The beer is the only thing that I've seen that seemed bizarre.

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    Zelyre

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    Bioware has crazy levels of merch, too. From models of the normandy to Inquisition hoodies, to N7 Pajamas and Tali's leggings...

    The weird thing is that, for clothing merch, they seem to be going through the same company. The N7 hoodies have been real great - soft, stiched details, and not horribly pricey. The Bethesda stuff costs more and the detail's all just screen printed on.

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    hassun

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    I think none of these companies can hold a candle to the Toys to Life type of merchandising. Especially Disney. That's on another level compared to Valve, Bioware or Bethesda selling merch based on their IPs.

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    ajamafalous

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    You guys should check out Dota merch

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    oraknabo

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    @ajamafalous: I'll freely admit to being totally ignorant when it comes to anything surrounding MOBAs. Do they have their own beers, colas, snowboards and dresses?

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    whitegreyblack

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    Most major franchises these days have a pretty wide-ranging merchandise catalog to go with it. I don't see why not; it's really easy to avoid if you're not into it, and I highly doubt it affects the game development - if fact it might help it by building the brand even larger and allowing the publisher to gauge the customer fervor for a franchise and boost dev budgets because of it (hypothetically).

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    discomposure

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    Eh it doesn't sound too excessive, I guess the beer is a bit odd but I'm certain there have been game-merchandised foods/drinks before.

    Clothing is nothing new either, plenty of games have it - it's just usually you have to seek these things out otherwise you don't realise they exist. Just as an example, Bioware has quite a few different Dragon Age and Mass Effect clothing items on sale in there store, including shirts, scarfs, hoodies, leggings & dresses. As well as stuff like figures, art pieces, bags, books etc.

    I say it's really cool to have the option, as long as they aren't constantly trying to shove it in your face. It's not something I go nuts for, but for my absolute favourite games a bit of merch is always nice.

    Maybe Fallout 4 has the most, I dunno. Personally I haven't seen much of it apart from the preorder bonus stuff and bobbleheads

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    LtTibbles

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    @oraknabo: Can't speak for beer but Valves merch store has a ton of different gear for all of their games, same with Bethesda.

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    peacebrother

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    I have no idea what you're talking about? I haven't seen a thing. Though that's also just me not really giving a shit about paying attention to stuff like that.

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    Justin258

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    #16  Edited By Justin258

    Minecraft? Pokemon?

    There's quite a bit but I don't think it's that bad.

    I also want to note that I'm 24, have grown up with ads for action figures and merchandise constantly being thrown at me, and I just don't care. I don't think it's a generational thing, just that a lot of people really like that stuff.

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    ninnanuam

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    ERRR I'm a sucker I picked up the fallout 3 vinyls, and the fallout monopoly.

    I also got eh pip boy edition (pc) and the lunch box edition (XBONE)

    I am the problem.

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    AdequatelyPrepared

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    Fallout 4's 'hype machine' was literally about 95% created by the fans. Bethesda actually did not do all that much by way of aggressive marketing or anything of that sort. Almost every major AAA game comes with some kind of physical collector's edition, as well as try to give it their all at E3. Hell, they even pulled a real solid by way of not having pre-order bullshit for stuff in the game.

    I understand that people are somewhat disappointed in the final product, but let's not try to pretend that Bethesda overly hyped Fallout 4 or purposefully tried to pull a fast one on us. The only real flag for me is the very quick take downs of leaks in the weeks leading up to release.

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    oraknabo

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    @believer258:I wasn't even thinking of Minecraft. It definitely set some new standards of its own when it comes to merch.

    I think of Pokemon as more of a multimedia franchise so a lot of the stuff they produce isn't timed to a specific game release, but they have generated an overwhelming amount of merchandise over the years.

    Maybe I'm wrong to think this way, but I also sort of forgive those two for being more for kids. I just have a harder time comprehending the motivations of adults who want to spend hard-earned money on this stuff.

    @ninnanuam: Has it impacted your experience with the game or your personal happiness/quality of life/whatever? I don't mean that in a snarky way, I'm genuinely interested.

    @adequatelyprepared: While I'm definitely bothered when publishers overhype junk, I'm not accusing Bethesda of that. I think their Fallout games are good and they put a ton of work into them. I get that they are mostly responding to fan demand, it just struck me as more merchandise than I remember seeing for most single game releases (especially in the case of mature titles).

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    deactivated-5b031d0e868a5

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    I was surprised by the sheer amount of it initially but after a bit of thought its not that other games don't have a lot of merchandise its just that they aren't as up in your face and "Buy me! Buy me! Buy me!" about it.

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    ninnanuam

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    #21  Edited By ninnanuam

    @oraknabo:

    Well my family collect monopoly sets so that one was a no brainer and I collect Vinyl so that was also a no brainer. Neither have arrived yet so I cant speak to their improvement of my quality of life. However as one who listens to music and plays boardgames with family I assume ill get use out of both of these products. That's all you can really ask out of any product.

    The only spur of the moment purchase was the Xbone edition and that has actually been a bit of a saviour as I was able to pick it up from a store unlike the pipboy edition which is still "in transit" according to the postal service. Which means I've been able to play it since launch instead of still sitting here moping.

    I don't see my fandom of fallout as detrimental, I put it in the same category as my fandom for bands I like, I go to the shows when they come to town, I buy their interesting merch, which for some extends far beyond t-shirts (check out Iron Maiden merch some time). If Slayer released a Monopoly set Id be all over it.

    Fallout, as a series, is my favourite videogame franchise, Nowadays I love videogames more than music so why would i feel weird about buying merch?

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    DoctorTran

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    #22  Edited By DoctorTran

    I love vinyl. I love Fallout. I could -not- justify buying the picture disc or box set that they released. I'm just not a fan of collecting/listening to scores. That said, I was -mildly- tempted because of the beautiful presentation of the set.

    All that said, I do have to agree with the OP. The merch merchandise machine for this game is running at full power.

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    oraknabo

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    @ninnanuam: Thanks for your reply. I'm always curious about the motivation behind buying these kinds of extra items, whether people feel like it enhances their experience with the game itself or feel like its a communication of their support for the franchise or publisher or some more esoteric reason.

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    alistercat

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    Minecraft. Pokemon. Even Dota2 has a ton of figures and clothing. I have a dota 2 headset. There are mice and mousepads. It's just perception, because they're pushing it hard and you noticing it.

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    thesquarepear

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    I guess they don't have an Elder Scrolls cartoon dude that they can print on cups so they are going full tilt on Fallout.

    Nothing will ever beat 'Pacman Fever' but I wasn't there to experience it first-hand so what do I know?

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    oraknabo

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    #26  Edited By oraknabo

    @thesquarepear: I only recall hearing Pac-Man fever at the roller rink, which is where EVERYONE had their birthday parties. It might have had a moment in discos too, but I was way too young to experience that firsthand.

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