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August 22, 2004

Where did all the schwag go ?

Now and then I get reminded that schwag isn't what it used to be... (and that people spell it differently). Over at NerdWorld the author of a blog is complaining (tongue in cheek) that he isn't getting swag, including not getting a copy of Transformers PS2 Game from Atari to review. Now since I'm no stranger to schwag/swag I know how he feels - but it's just plain weird that he wants the game I just finished producing as schwag :-)

Over 5 years (1996-2001) I collected a massive amount of schwag as I traveled around the world going to gaming conferences (GDC, Sony Devcons, Xbox Devcons, etc)
Just ask my wife - I haven't bought any clothing for the top half of my body for 10 years, with the exception of some souveniers and stuff for formal occasions.
Why ? Because I have dozens and dozens of T-shirts from those conventions (some still never worn!). and I gave most of the ones I collected away after each conference!
What else have I received (either for me or the company I work for) over the years? ...

- 3d video cards (pretty much every brand, from crap to brilliant)
- Entire PC's (seriously!)
- Sound cards
- Books
- Games (usually PC games)
- Cups, Mugs, Pens, Keyrings
- Joysticks (good ones, MS Sidewinders)
- a keg of Beer (!)
- and heaps of desktop toys and figurines.

These days it's dried up a great deal, companies are not trying quite so hard to bribe developers. Yes, sometimes they are bribes. In some cases they are justified (e.g. 3d cards being supplied so you could guarantee support for them, same deal with the PC's) but in other cases it's more about making relationships.
In fact, one guy that I kept in touch with changed company 3 times and took me along (figuratively speaking) by keeping in touch and sending out cool stuff from the new company. This meant that when the shit hit the fan during development I found myself contacting him rather than giving up on the hardware he represented.

Which brings me back to the orginal point... where has all the schwag gone ?
Anyone out there still getting cool stuff ? I've kind of dried up since 2001 because I've changed roles (now a Producer) and because we've stopped making PC games (which is where all the good schwag is!)

Reviewers get great schwag - free copies of games. In fact I've always wanted to be a DVD reviewer because I could save a fortune on my DVD collection... but then I'd be forced to watch stuff I'd never watch otherwise.

Posted by Zaph at August 22, 2004 05:57 PM

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» amazing things from (nerdWorld)/2
The most amazing thing, I guess, is that the new column is up, and already we have a real live comment from the real live producer of the game that we were hoping to review but didn't. A tangled web... [Read More]

Tracked on August 23, 2004 02:03 AM


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