- Over at HDRLying, there's an intriguing new editorial entitled 'Giving Back: Market Dominance through Charity', and it posits that the more freebies or pseudo-freebies given out through 'philanthropic marketing', the more beloved a game company may become.

Prime example? Club Nintendo in Japan, he says: "The genius in Club Nintendo is two fold: not only are all products on the site (including figures, Nintendo Music CDs, and even games) exclusive to Club Nintendo, but members that gain a certain number of points over the course of a year are made Platinum Members. Platinum members then choose a free gift from a list at the end of the year, which is then sent to them, free of charge."

The Sony Game Advisory Panel is also mentioned, which is "...an invitation only network that allows Sony gamers to post their game collections, blog about their thoughts on gaming, participate in pivotal gaming surveys, and more. The whole idea is made to make the gamer feel special; to make them feel as if they have the ability to change the course of game development. Who knows? Maybe they actually do." So how about it? Can you 'buy' loyalty through programs like this?