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The Angry Guild Leader

I'm the guild leader, and I'm pissed. Read what possibly goes on in your guild leader's mind. I shoot the truth, and I shoot it straight. If you can't handle it, then My Little Pony Online is taking beta applications.

Author: Equilibrium_JW

How to Double the Subs on Your MMOG

Posted by Equilibrium_JW Sunday June 29 2008 at 12:17AM
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So you're playing an MMORPG? Perhaps you aren't lucky enough to play a game that has 10 million subscribers. Maybe your particular cup of tea only has 100,000 players, or maybe even 10,000.

But you play it, don't you? Why? I would hope the answer is because you like the game, and with all of the offerings out there on the market, I would even hope that it is because you love the game.

The only problem is that in order for a game to have more content developed for it, or to have bugs fixed it has to have a steady income of subscribers. In fact, a healthy one.

Some games limp along. Some do better than others. I hope that this guide will help you and the others that you play with get more people into the game of your choice.

I know people are sick of hearing about Vanguard on my blog lately, but I will use the game as a case in point.

Vanguard has seen a bit of a rebirth, as of late. It may not be the best example, but in some ways I believe that it is. Even with the horde of refugees we've had hit our shores from AOC, and now even more with the free month being offered, we could use even more subs in VG, just as I am sure anyone could, in any game.

Of course, a game has to be good to get subs. There have to be things about the game that you like. Things that you love and that keep you logging in every night. A game has to be engaging and have things to do aside from questing. And this can be debated until the end of time, but a game has to have an engaging and rewarding crafting system. It seems in their mistake, Funcom is learning this lesson almost too late.

So, you have a game like Vanguard. It had a rough start, but after a year and a half, it has more content, a lot of changes, and is heading in a good direction. You want more people to play with, I would assume.

Well, the good news is that this is easy. In fact, it is quite easy to double the population of any MMORPG, and quite possibly in a very short period of time. Yes, you heard me right. Double.

I've heard numbers thrown around lately that Vanguard, with the new influx of people, has anywhere from 50,000 subs to as much as 120,000. Honestly, I don't know. If I did, and someone on the inside were to tell me, I probably couldn't tell you. I might be an angry guild leader, I might leak some info here and there, but if I'm asked to keep quiet about something, I simply keep quiet. No need to burn any bridges here.

So. Let's say the game in question has 150,000 subscribers. I see no reason why this can't be 300,000, and I find no reason why that can't be easily done. And to boot, this doesn't involve the company developing and maintaining the game one bit. No martketing money, no extra tools, nada. This involves you.  All of you.

You see, dear reader, it's this easy. Tell a friend about your game. Tell them what you love, what keeps you going, and what you hope to see. Tell them about the love your devs put into the game, and the communication they have with the community. Give them the pros, but also give them the cons, but be positive. If you've been around the block, let them know, that in all you've seen, this makes the most sense, and more importantly, is the most fun.

Don't just bring do this once. Bring it up in passing, but then expound upon it later. I'm not asking you to go out and pummel the idea though people's heads, but this is your game we're talking about. It's life could be at stake, and then what will you play? That other thing?

Let people know how you feel. Try to pick some friends who would listen to your judgement. If you hear them complain about their game, or say in passing they aren't happy with a change, let them know about yours.

Of course the first few of you need to do the legwork. Post something similar to this on your forums. Let the others know in your game that they need to do the same. Get the word out. You will need to let as many people in your game know about the initiative as possible. Let them know they need to be on the lookout for their next victim... er friend, as well.

Now, without saying, there are going to be people who are hard headed. People Who only believe their game is THE game (just as you do). There will be those who are closed minded. Those who think that they know everything about gaming. Individuals who make their judgments based on what they've read from others. People who only play what is thought to be cool by peers, or said to be cool by magazines whose written word is steered by the need to appease their advertisers. It's easy to play a game because the cool people think it's cool, or it's not that other game that has all the subs. It's easy to play what the magazines tell you, but it's hard to play the game that really has the promise and the fun.

You only need one. Just one.

You see, that's how it works, folks. Get one more person to play your game. And if Bob gets one and Sally gets another, that's three. And if the other 149,997 others playing your game get just one, single, solitary person to start playing, you just doubled your subscriptions.  You just hired more devs, more people in the art department, more of what might have been needed to begin with.

And it's a domino effect. You and your comrades just doubled the population of the game. All of a sudden, you have a bigger staff.  That staff can now give you double the content and double the vision that they could have previously, and maybe they can even buy some new tools. And that staff will do it gladly, because you did it for them.

It just takes one. When are you going to start?

Lork writes:

great piece of writing.

Sun Jun 29 2008 12:38AM Report
samuraislyr writes:

Unfortunatly this doesn't always work...hardly ever does really. If you have been in WoW for 3+ years paying all that money and working for all the awesome gear you have, would you just want to up and leave? Probably not...unless you were damn bored of the game but who knows. Many people don't want to leave their current games, others jump around all the time, others have different wants and needs.

Sun Jun 29 2008 6:56PM Report
thedrakon writes:

It might work on player that's still doesn't know mmorpg. I've got some of them. But not soo sure to show them mmorpg, cuz they might fall into one who those kind of player I might not really like to see.

Sun Jun 29 2008 7:05PM Report
rsreston writes:

samuraislyr, it's not about dragging people out of WoW, it's about letting ANYONE interested in games know how cool the game you love is. After you tell them like the blog suggests, they may try it, and if they really like it, they'll sub it. So, you gotta try, playing on the side of your game, not against your friend's game.

Sun Jun 29 2008 8:46PM Report
rsreston writes:

Liked the blog. A bit too long to really get on to the subject, but good. I propose you another important matter in catering for your beloved MMOG: helping newbies. If you don't wanna talk about, I'll write a blog on it.

Helping newbies is a very important thing, because they're the new blood that keeps your MMOG going. I see tons of comments against newbies. Recently, I was a newbie in SWG. If it weren't for the Helpers, I'd have quit about 5 days after having started (specially because the game has tons of features and no tutorial or manual for them) and now I've already a lvl 90 and having lots of fun with my guild.

I'd love to see more tools to tag your avatar "helper" in MMOGs - that'd make life for newbies much easier (though I'm against not reading manuals).

Sun Jun 29 2008 8:52PM Report
samuraislyr writes:

I didn't mean it was about dragging people out of WoW but I was using WoW as an example. It's just a bit hard to drag people out of any game unless they are bored no matter how much praise you give to your game...I know for sure. I've tried and they really did not want to even try it.

Sun Jun 29 2008 9:45PM Report
EricDanie writes:

Cool post.

And those who think it doesn't work - you thought wrong. Obviously you won't be able to call every friend you know to play your game (unless you have a tradition to play games together - aka the friendly guilds, not the zerg guilds or the hardcore ones although they can also be friendly).

You're bound to have a friend that is currently not very satisfied with their current game, and friendship can be a powerful thing - more powerful than gear or levels, as it is an incredible potential for adding a fun factor in your gameplay.

Wed Jul 01 2009 12:59PM Report writes:
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