I was genuinely shocked yesterday when I came home to a bunch of people shouting “DID YOU GO TRAILBLAZER?!”Â I had absolutely no idea that SOE was planning a Founder’s Pack program.Â I shouldn’t have been surprised at all, though, because this form ofÂ early cash generation has become almost a norm in the digital video game industry.
Usually this type of program is done by smaller studios kickstarting or looking to help fund their project.Â Since SOE is neither, I can’t help but salute the marketing genius of it all.Â They’re making a MMORPG set to launch god knows how many years from now.Â Somewhere along the way they decided to launch a dev tool turned “game” (Landmark) that they are using as (1) a source of revenue, (2) a hype machine, and (3) a way for players to actually help build the game.
Of course Landmark will be monetized naturally from a F2P model, which would bring in additional revenue, but why stop there?Â Sell access to the Alpha and Beta versions of the game!Â I just wish I came up with the idea myself.Â It’s like quadruple dipping the revenue stream.
Knowing exactly what they’re doing didn’t stop me.Â I bought the Trailblazer pack with little thought.Â I get to play on or before February 28th, get a ton of stuff it would take weeks to earn, get some neat exclusives, and somehow feel like I’m apart of an imaginary elite club.Â Again, I wish I came up with the idea. I really don’t even feel bad at all about buying my way into alpha.Â Maybe I should?
Maybe I should feel ashamed that as a professional marketer I’m susceptible to such tactics, but it all boils down to value.Â I find value in the Trailblazer pack, and apparently so do a lot of other people.Â According to a tweet from Smed, Trailblazer pack is outselling the others 10-1.
I’ll be there day one with bells on ready to strike out once again in Norrath — this time to claim part of the world as my own.Â Which pack did you buy?