MMO development and launch is always a high stakes business. Every team and investor prays that their product becomes a successful venture with subscribers and followers galore. However, many of us who explore the genre as much as we do know that MMOs fail. So when an annual anniversary comes around it is an achievement worth touting to the public. The topic of my thoughts today..
What MMO Anniversaries were worth it? In other words, what ones either a) made you want to resubscribe or buy the game or b) what ones made you log back in to check things out
There isn't a MMO out there that doesn't give a proverbial carrot to players in the form of a pet. A mini thing or persona that follows you around. Maybe gives a bonus. However, I personally don't care if I get a mini puffie to follow me around. It has never been a reason for me to come back to your game.
My guess is that most of you just rather play a mini expansion for an Anniversary Celebration. The only thing I say to criticize this is that are you (the game designer) recruiting new players or are you getting old dusty accounts to log in for a few weeks? It may be worth it to existing players and may even bring back some lost accounts, but I am not sure if you will get new ones or ones that were frustrated with your original game.
Game fixes/ Upgrades
Would you come back to a game if they announced all major bugs were fixed? No additional content . What if there was an Anniversary Celebration event called : "It Bugs Me" - if players report a bug or problem and it cannot be fixed in one hour, the player gets a free month of game time or x amount of cash shop coins, etc. If the bug gets fixed, the area drops a small trinket when picked up by anyone immortalizes the player - L3golass was here and smashed a bug. The player may also get a bug pet of his/her choice..
talk about incentive to fix a game!
Everyone can be a Jedi now! No, just kidding. As an Anniversary Celebration, new skill trees, new hobbies, new skill here and there. Again, wonderful for existing players, maybe some old players, but will it make someone who never played your game to give it a go?
Free to Play / Cash Shop discounts
When I see subscription games go free to play, it tells me in some way the game is falling short of expectations. Maybe the value of the gaming experience was not there in the first place, maybe the pricing model was wrong, or maybe the game needs an overhaul or major upgrade. So if a game announces as an Anniversary Celebration they are now going to free to play when they were not before, I am skeptical. Now if the game was always F2P, then obviously this type of promo does not exist. same sort of idea for cash shop discounts. If I am not playing your game now, cash shop discounts in your store aint gonna do it for me, either.
Below I listed a couple popular past Anniversary Promos - Please let me know what ones were memorable to you!
LORTO Anniverssary Promos
World of Tanks - cash shop discounts
EVE - nuthin
COH/ COV -
EQ - gives away 12 subscriptions
EQ 10th anniversary - lots of stuff - much of it promoting the card game
WOW - a multi billion dollar cash cow - gives you a feat of strength in achievements