Often change isn’t realized until long after it occurs. Once in a great while we can see it happen in an instant. Lets take an over exaggerated look at how MMO promotion has changed recently.
(Current) 1. Look into crowd funding for your game. Do some reasearch and get some feedback on if it’s something players would be interested in.
(Old) 1. Acquire an IP that you think can give you insta subs and compete with WOW.
(Current) 2. Start Kickstarter (or other form of crowd funding). Tirelessly make as many rounds as you can to promote the game and spread the word to players you think would be interested.
(Old) 2. Put out a CG Trailer hyping the game as the “next generation of MMORPGs!”
(Current) 3. Offer exclusives for backing the game, gamers love exclusives!
(Old) 3. Put out a dev vid with some more CG talking about the mind blowing things your game will do. Say you aren’t trying to kill WOW but think “there is room for both of your games” “you're not the WOW killer but you wouldn’t mind achieving some of WOW’s success”.
(Current) 4. Trickle out the info. Slowly pull back the curtain on your MMO and the concepts it plans to implement.
(Old) 4. Make another trailer, this time with some gameplay (that really isn’t) and more CG claiming your game will do old things better than they have been done and new things that have never ever been dared before!
(Current) 5. Form a symbiotic relationship with the backers, you need them, the hope your game restores their faith in the genre. Continue trying to promote enough to reach your funding goal.
(Old) 5. Claim your game is new, fresh, never been done, and, just maybe a threat to WOW, maybe.
(Current) 6. Grats, you funded. Now the even harder work begins. Hit the grind but remember, you have those pesky backers that are always starving for new info. Keep making media rounds when you have something to show, keep the backer morphine drip coming, keep grinding.
(Old) 6. Claim your internal testing is going incredibly well (despite the contrary). Claim your feedback has been off the charts good and players are in shock that you have crafted such an incredible piece of playable art, AND IT”S ONLY BETA OMGGGGG! Mention your early “conservative” projections put you within WOW striking range.
(Current) 7. Funds are tightening, they always are. More media, more promo. You want to hype but not too much. You want to spread the word but not over promise. It’s a long hard road but you haven’t felt this liberated in years!
(Old) 7. Drop the bomb on your loyal original IP fans, your game is a lot different and “more advanced” in many ways than WOW BUT will feel VERY familiar to WOW players. (hide this info in between teo CG trailers)
(Current) 8. You have a bit of game, time to do some youtube vids announcing new paid beta backer tiers beginning in the next few months (hopefully).
(Old) 8. Hit the EXPO circuit. Make SURE the ONLY reporters that get any access get it in a private viewing room where it is subtly hinted that they are special but should the information being reported be “overly critical considering it’s an early build” that access may be revoked.
(Current) 9. Your early early early testing starts. You don’t have much but it’s enough to slap some more vids together showing some of your features and put out an update on beta.
(Old) 9. Announce launch date (mid November) with a CG trailer and interviews where you talk about the WOW killer rumor that you “didn’t start”, how your game is a lot like WOW but on steroids, and how betas is ahead of schedule (despite being behind). Only grant previews and interviews to the “loyal” reporters.
(Current) 10. Beta has been going well, only a year or two to go before launch (hopefully). Despite what THEY said you did it without the corporate monkey on your back, but you're starting to wonder if you didn’t trade king kong for a barrel of backer monkeys...speaking of back to the grind. You can’t afford to miss big deadlines, MMO Inc would love it far too much if you did plus you would have a million backer voices suddenly crying out in terror, that would never be silenced.
(Old) 10. Remove numerous features and launch. Give “loyal” reviewers a head start for launch day reviews. Deny wanting to kill WOW but brag that your projections put you ahead of WOW “at launch”. Mention your game ended up more “familiar” than fans expected but the majority of feedback has indicated your fans prefer it and many are even claiming it’s the “best mmo they have played” and they “can’t believe how much quality, nearly endless content your game already has”. Hint about the first expansion being “nearly as big as the actual game itself”.
Oh the times they are a channnnnnggggggggeinnnnnn. Now we just have to wait and see if the "new gen" of MMOs, the crowd funded MMOs deliver. If they do we could see an MMORPG renaissance, if they don't I believe we the MMORPG fans will finally give up and turn our backs on this cruel mistress forever.