Brand Loyalty (was Re: [MUD-Dev] Requirements for MM(wasComplexities of MMOG Servers))

Russell Lewis spamhole-2001-07-16 at
Thu Jan 9 13:52:10 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

Damion Schubert wrote:

> And the ironic thing is that, if you hop and only see the beta
> period of all the games, you will forever be disappointed.  Ultima
> Online's feature set is probably three times today what it was
> when it shipped.  Anarchy Online today is a world of different
> than it was six months ago.  The Sims Online devs are right now
> learning a ton of lessons about the really cool things about their
> game and their audience, and those lessons will bear fruit in six
> months.  But the players who dimension-hop just the betas will
> never see the fruit of these labors, just the slightly
> green-and-hard fruit that's still clinging to the tree.

Perhaps, then, established games should offer free months
periodically. I'm not talking about AOL-style "first month free" (as
that would just encourage more jumping), but instead to offer the
game totally free for a few weeks a year.  Let players experiment
with the game.  And, maybe, set up custom servers that let trail
players start as high level characters (to increase the "carrot").
If they decide to buy the game, they have to (?) restart as level 1

Of course, there are practical issues, such as server load (maybe
you let people sign up for a waiting list instead?), and
distribution of the client software (free download of a crippled
client?), but I think the general concept is sound.

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