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Jim Pez

Why are there different labels for games

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I have seen a few 2600 games where the game is the same but with different labels. What is the reason for the different labels

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I have seen a few 2600 games where the game is the same but with different labels. What is the reason for the different labels

 

Changing the ways they market them with the packaging. For an example, going from a text label to a picture one makes it look more appealing.

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Changing the ways they market them with the packaging. For an example, going from a text label to a picture one makes it look more appealing.

In a nutshell, this.

 

Going further, it would be done to create consistency among product lines (such as 2600 packaging going to silver+red when the 5200 came out with its silver+blue packaging, which had the double effect of giving all Atari consoles a fresh, updated look).

 

And sometimes it was simply a cost-saving measure, particularly in the case of labels with black and white artwork (looking at you, Atari Corp.!).

 

I personally liked the old text labels, actually. They made the system seem more sophisticated and "computery," and with carts with gobs of variations it's handy to be able to simply reference the cart label without having to go to the manual. And you'd still have the artwork on the box and/or manual so it's not like you'd be losing out (unless you lost them, of course!).

Edited by BassGuitari
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Maybe it's because of changes in the printer and printing service. Or fodder to keep the marketing department busy. Maybe the marketing department wanted to freshen up a 4 year old label to keep up with trends..?

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I think after they printed the first batch, say 10,000 labels, they ran out. Then somebody had to take something down to Kinkos or wherever for 10,000 more, so they grabbed what they could if they could find it, or just had the art guys make up some new ones after they got back from the hot tub. Eventually, they learned to theme the games with the new products.

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This is not unique to games -- I have two different copies of the very same book with a very different dust jacket. Both the colour scheme and the main illustration are different. Presumably, one copy was a later reprint.

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Or fodder to keep the marketing department busy. Maybe the marketing department wanted to freshen up a 4 year old label to keep up with trends..?

If a marketing department needed to be kept busy, the company wouldn't have it. ;)

 

The second point is much closer. Marketing is about sending a message (and, at the risk of sounding cynical, mind games :P). In any industry, packaging (at least on retail products) rarely goes unchanged for more than a couple of years. When you see, say, Mountain Dew with yet another new label or logo, subconsciously you're thinking there's something interesting about it even though you consciously know it's the same product it's always been. It keeps it fresh. Suggestion and differentiation--that's about what it comes down to. What they want to feel when you see it, and how that feeling is going to separate them from the competition.

 

(Hint, though: any time you see food items with updated packaging that says something to the effect "New and improved!" on it, there is less in the bag/box than there used to be.)

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(Hint, though: any time you see food items with updated packaging that says something to the effect "New and improved!" on it, there is less in the bag/box than there used to be.)

 

Or changing the makeup of the product. It's been decades now, but I'm still miffed they fucked up Whatchmacallit's. Originally didn't have caramel in it. :mad:

 

Nestle bars taste like shit to me now too. Happened the same_exact_time they did away with the foil packaging. Yes, I'm passionate about my sweets. :lol:

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If you like the older style whatchamacallit, try to find a thingamajig- I'm not making this up, it's pretty darn close.

 

As to name changes, it's a marketing thing- "maybe we can sell more 'Basic Math' if we call it 'Fun with Numbers' instead."

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Never heard of Thingamajig! Don't believe we have those around here, but will look next time I'm at the store. Thanks for the heads up TT! :lol:

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