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Random: The Battle For Alphabetical eShop Supremacy Ramps Up With ‘a’

Questionable flirting with copyright images, check! (Image: Banana Cat)

The eShop is crowded, and even if your game is particularly good there’s still a lot of hard work – and some luck – needed to get attention, positive word of mouth and solid sales. There are tricks to try and get around it, of course, as we’ve seen with crazy discounts of 90%+, and a slightly stranger strategy seems to be betting on alphabetical listings and store placements.

Recently we had AAA Clock, a ludicrous app attempting to cash in on the meme power of Calculator, while conveniently playing the alphabetical listing game.

Now we have a, which is actually its full name. Here is the official game description for today’s release (EU only it seems), see if you can figure out the tactic.

a a a a a a a a a a

a a

a a

a a

a a a a

a a

a a a a a a a a a a a a

is a 2D-Platformer.

Features:

– Fast paced platforming gameplay

– Top-down Overworld

Let’s skip past the fact that this got waved through by Nintendo in the submission process; yes, let’s do that.

That name is an interesting move but, unlike the well established and often successful ‘huge discount’ strategy, hoping to appear at the top of alphabetical searches is very unlikely to lead to increased visibility and sales. Not only is ‘a’ a poor name for a product and inefficient when it comes to search engines etc, but we’d bet a sizeable amount of money that searching all results alphabetically is not how most people browse the eShop. Its price is also very cheap, but the problems with the name likely make that less relevant.

That sure looks like a drunk Olimar
That sure looks like a drunk Olimar (Image: Banana Cat)

While it’s funny in one respect, this is also a problem for the eShop platform, particularly when there are many intriguing games in the crowd that are so easily missed. And as you can see in the screens above, it’s difficult to take ‘a’ seriously.

Discovering ‘a’ in our weekly eShop crawl today sure made us question the meaning of life and the universe – hopefully its sequel ‘b’ will defy the odds and be a banger.

Another questionable moment for the eShop, all told, but a browse through this week’s releases shows lots of darn good and fascinating games to discover. Just don’t search the eShop alphabetically looking for gems, it won’t end well.



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