The latest reports show that the number of  href="http://wow.tentonhammer.com/" target="_blank"> style="font-style: italic;">World of Warcraft (WoW)
subscribers now totals over 57 billion [Ralsu tends to exaggerate. The
real number is closer to 12 million.—Ed.], so there are no more adults
left to market to in the MMOG player base. Blizzard cleans up on the
surface of the market, so new games are left to try to get the spaces
in between. Interestingly enough, 57 million is almost exactly the
number of viewers the Cartoon Network can claim [Again with the
exaggerations!—Ed.]. Since the television network already has “dibbs”
on our children, it only made sense to release a new MMOG featuring
Cartoon Network characters. The manifestation of that cunning
capitalism is  href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/347"
target="_blank">FusionFall,
and the game just went live the week of January 12, 2009.

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Families will gather around their PCs for
long nights of wholesome fun with Cartoon Network's MMOG.

FusionFall
has a lot of worthy features to discuss, but I’ll focus on just one
today and save the rest for my upcoming review; specifically, I want to
talk about the ingenious pricing model for this kid-friendly MMOG.
Players can enjoy FusionFall
for free, but they will get access to a limited number of missions, be
able to control only four nanos (think of them as summoning-type
spells), and have only read access on the official forums. The free
version of FusionFall
essentially is a trial, and it may be perfect for the youngest gamers.
It’s the pricing of the unlimited version of the game that shows the
genius behind the game.

FusionFall
costs a paltry $5.95 per month, making it a very affordable method of
entertainment for anybody. Subscribers will have access to all the
missions and 36 nanos (nine times the amount of the free version) and
can write posts in the forums and make twice as many characters as a
free account. The value is outstanding for as long as a person wants to
play the game, and the low price makes the game accessible to just
about any household, almost completely removing the issue of
socio-economic status from the equation.

Even better than the deal subscribers get on an individual
basis, the Family Plan costs a measly $9.95 for four unlimited
accounts. Cartoon Network and partner TimeWarner can afford to run a
“buy two, get two” agreement like this because it sucks in the parents.
The longer parents and children play together, the longer the parents
are apt to subscribe for the children. Futhermore, getting parents to
play FusionFall
with their children might be to the only way to get those parents to
stop playing WoW. The affordable pricing and mass appeal of Cartoon
Network characters could propel FusionFall
into the limelight with a huge subscriber base.

The value of the gameplay of style="font-style: italic;">FusionFall
illustrates some keen understanding the MMOG market. As already noted,
it’s very hard for any game to find its niche in the MMOG player base,
and niches are about all WoW leaves room for these days. Making a game
for children seems like a no-brainer, but several other models
appealing to youngsters already have a foothold on the market. Parents
aren’t likely to enjoy  href="http://www.tentonhamster.com/taxonomy/term/6"
target="_blank">Webkinz
or  target="_blank">Hello
Kitty Online
. Without parental buy-in, companies
will have less luck in generating revenue. For instance, my daughter
plays on the Webkinz
site now and again, but our household does not invest any money in the
game. Parents are prone to like the offering form Cartoon Network
because FusionFall
delivers an experience that has a passable story, contains real
missions, and provides some genuine conflict.

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FusionFall
leads
players through a variety of environments as the game progresses.

The pricing model of FusionFall
demonstrates an understanding of the parents of the typical Cartoon
Network customer, too. At roughly $10 per month for a whole
household, it’s hard for any parent to argue with a child’s request to
play this title. $10 might buy one toy for your child you’ll never want
to play with, but that same $10 will buy an entire month of fun gaming
together. It’s very easy to pick the expense that brings you closer to
yor children. It bears repeating: this pricing structure is pure genius.

I haven’t spoken about the quality of the gameplay experience
in FusionFall
because I intend to cover that in my review, but I wanted to tip my hat
to the folks at Cartoon Network for the business acumen displayed in
their handling of the title. It’s not easy to make your debut in this
very competitive market, but wise strategies like the ones employed in style="font-style: italic;">FusionFall go a
long way to helping your game succeed. I encourage any reader with
children to check out FusionFall
as soon as possible, and keep Ten Ton Hammer in your bookmarks for a
review coming later this week.

Got something to say about style="font-style: italic;">FusionFall or
free-to-play games? href="mailto:mailto:[email protected]">Email Ralsu.

The Top Ten

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/61598">Continue
to page two to see Ralsu's
latest Top Ten list.



To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our FusionFall Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

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