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Funcom | Play Now
MMORPG | Genre:Real Life | Status:Final  (rel 07/03/12)  | Pub:Funcom
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The Secret World Forum » General Discussion » anybody else not a subscriber get an odd email from funcom

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28 posts found
  Marcelino

Novice Member

Joined: 10/04/04
Posts: 117

Can I have your stuffz....???

3/14/13 7:07:12 PM#21

Ive just got this one

 

"We are excited to let you know that as a member you get three days early access to Issue #6; The Last Train to Cairo. Non-members will not get access until Sunday the 17th of March, but you can jump into the action right now! Get Issue #6 in the Item Store for just $10 or buy it with your bonus points. Remember that your membership discount always applies"

I bought the game on day one of release and got a free month but I never paid for a seccond month. I started playing again when it went B2P :)

  Ortwig

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1087

3/14/13 7:34:11 PM#22
Originally posted by Marcelino

Ive just got this one

 

"We are excited to let you know that as a member you get three days early access to Issue #6; The Last Train to Cairo. Non-members will not get access until Sunday the 17th of March, but you can jump into the action right now! Get Issue #6 in the Item Store for just $10 or buy it with your bonus points. Remember that your membership discount always applies"

I bought the game on day one of release and got a free month but I never paid for a seccond month. I started playing again when it went B2P :)

Just an offer to sub again and gain some bene's.  If you want to keep playing as you are, you can do...  I guess the Members get the new Issue a few days early.

  Po_gg

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 2229

3/14/13 8:14:17 PM#23
Originally posted by Marcelino

"We are excited to let you know that as a member you get three days early access to Issue #6; The Last Train to Cairo. Non-members will not get access until Sunday the 17th of March, but you can jump into the action right now! Get Issue #6 in the Item Store for just $10 or buy it with your bonus points. Remember that your membership discount always applies"

I think they just didn't bother to make 2 kind of letters for one different line... read it like an investigation mission to decide whether you are eligible for the 3days headstart or not :)

  TacBravo

Novice Member

Joined: 12/24/12
Posts: 5

3/14/13 9:52:33 PM#24

I got it too.  I have to say their communication between the previous e-mail and this one is vastly improved.  Kudos for them on that.  But I would still recommend they do not separate their customers into members versus non-members.  It is somewhat of a slap in the face to be lowered into a non-member status after paying to buy the game in the first place.  Plus it's easy to assume that if someone buys the game, then they are a member, permanently.  How does it hurt FunCom to call someone a member if they paid to buy the the game?  It doesn't.  They could have subscribing members and non-subscribing members.  That's also more clear, you're either a subscriber or you're not.  But you are still a highly valued "member," whether you choose to subscribe or not.

There is another issue though.  That is the idea of releasing the next issue three days early for paying members.  It's easy to see another aspect of this is that a smaller group of paying members are used to beta test issue #6 for free before the population-at-large plays.  While that does make good engineering sense and the transition smoother and less buggy, it also makes the three days early access into an unpure bonus because people who pay more are discriminately used to test the game for free.  In effect, they are also possibly paying a little more, especially if there are more bugs--a negative externality.  These people may not care if they are used or not, but the fact is, they are still used if they choose to take advantage of the "bonus."  But FunCom Marketing is not highlighting that anywhere, even though it is a material and ethical fact that deserves FunCom's proactive disclosure at the same time they push the plus side benefits of the bonus to the market.  Why even have this, the three day early access is a highly questionable "bonus."

The other issue with the early access idea is that three days might be a long time to wait for some people.  It could also be viewed as yet another punitive measure by FunCom for "non-members."  Some could view it as a pay to win policy.  In three days, a person can discover numerous other games to buy and sign up for, or continue to play, so there are bound to be more lost sales with this approach.  Three days after announcement is also a cooling off period and who wants their prospects to cool off if it can be avoided, if someone is in sales.  Maybe the loss of sales from all these effects will not happen much.  But it will happen and FunCom should work much much harder on their marketing strategy if the goal is to maximize sales.  They really need to get on this heavily since FunCom's EBIT (corporate operating profit) for 4Q '12 was -5.497 million USD.  This was despite a 30% increase in The Secret World sales in 4Q '12.  Source: http://cdn.funcom.com/investor/2013/funcom_4q12_report.pdf.  Let's also not forget the 30% uptick in sales included the  Christmas bump, which is clearly the critical sales bump all year long for game publishers with distribution channels.

Dropping subscriptions was perhaps a smart financial move the numbers seem to show.  What was clearly not smart was not making it clear on December 12 that subscriptions would and should continue and were highly recommended (although completely optional, but they didn't say it like that).  Instead they just dropped subscribers, and focused on the idea of free.  Smart would have clearly underscored outstanding benefits that would greatly enhance the subscriber gaming experience over and above the non-subscriber experience, but not enough to significanrly degrade either the non-subscriber or the lifetime subscriber experience.  This was not the approach.  Instead subscriber benefits appeared that were questionable to some people.  Too many lifetime subscribers were also deeply offended and felt ripped off and let others know it big time.  FunCom has lost major extra money through these various chinks in the economic strategy.  Fortunately, the game is a terrific asset.  But, that shouldn't be used as a cover-up for a less than shimmering marketing design.

With that said, I am much more encouraged to play now as a result of the latest communiqué, but am considering putting my money somewhere else in the next three days, rather than take part in a possible bug-ridden experience for three days, or else simply wait a little longer for the next great MMO release of 2013.

  Ortwig

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1087

3/15/13 7:25:52 AM#25
Originally posted by TacBravo

There is another issue though.  That is the idea of releasing the next issue three days early for paying members.  It's easy to see another aspect of this is that a smaller group of paying members are used to beta test issue #6 for free before the population-at-large plays.  While that does make good engineering sense and the transition smoother and less buggy, it also makes the three days early access into an unpure bonus because people who pay more are discriminately used to test the game for free.  In effect, they are also possibly paying a little more, especially if there are more bugs--a negative externality.  These people may not care if they are used or not, but the fact is, they are still used if they choose to take advantage of the "bonus."  But FunCom Marketing is not highlighting that anywhere, even though it is a material and ethical fact that deserves FunCom's proactive disclosure at the same time they push the plus side benefits of the bonus to the market.  Why even have this, the three day early access is a highly questionable "bonus."

 

All updates are put up on the Testlive server prior to launch, which all players have access to if they sign-up.  Membership early access is not "bug testing."

http://forums.thesecretworld.com/showthread.php?t=55882

  ktanner3

Master

Joined: 3/19/06
Posts: 4153

Trolls will be ignored

3/15/13 9:53:04 AM#26
I got one of these too awhile back even though  I haven't played it in months. This is clearly a case of a company being lazy with their e-mail lists. It's not that hard to create seperate lists for subs and non-subs and then tailor the message to each one. There are many professional services available that specialize in this. I'd recomend Funcom to use one of them because the wrong e-mail  can lead to a lot of fustration and anger with their current players. It also leads to an impression in the gaming community that you don't know what you're doing. 

Currently Playing: Star Wars The Old Republic

  TacBravo

Novice Member

Joined: 12/24/12
Posts: 5

3/15/13 10:52:40 AM#27

Thanks for the link about testlive :)  That is not quite how the engineering works though.  Pre-release is the second major round of live bug testing.  Testlive is the first major round of live bug testing.  Then it goes live for the entire population and hopefully fewer bugs are found during that phase, and even more hopefully, fixed.  The first round of bug testing is not live.  It's in the studio with the dev team and the employee test team.  The difference is that for testlive, it's a volunteer recruitment thing, like beta gaming, you can jump in and participate if you have the time and wish to volunteer.  With pre-release, that is paid participation whether you joined testlive or not, and the software is not at all bug-free after it comes out of testlive.  Pre-release is used as the next major live bug test phase, big time.

  TacBravo

Novice Member

Joined: 12/24/12
Posts: 5

3/15/13 11:40:28 PM#28
Originally posted by ktanner3
I got one of these too awhile back even though  I haven't played it in months. This is clearly a case of a company being lazy with their e-mail lists. It's not that hard to create seperate lists for subs and non-subs and then tailor the message to each one. There are many professional services available that specialize in this. I'd recomend Funcom to use one of them because the wrong e-mail  can lead to a lot of fustration and anger with their current players. It also leads to an impression in the gaming community that you don't know what you're doing. 

You make a lot of really excellent points.  Now if only FunCom would listen to these advices and apply them creatively, it's not too late to change.

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