Wired calls World of Warcraft the Masters of Bribery.
When does customer retention turn into bribery or is it the same thing? Is bribery bad? Maybe bribing a police officer is a bad idea, but I don't know if the act is bad. It all goes back to the golden rule, he with the gold makes the rules. With enough gold, you can buy anything, even people. That is a long way of saying that customer retention is the name of the game in MMOs, companies have to keep giving players reasons to come back. In Lore Sjoberg's commentary "Worldo Warcraft Masters In-Game Bribery" Lore spells it out like this:
"World of Warcraft's developers have mastered the unholy art of in-game bribery. They have discovered that players will do any number of stupid, tedious things in order to earn perks that have no effect on the game."
And before we get all high and mighty and lash out at Lore, let's remember, that he is apparently a devout player of the game and is writing this tongue-in-cheek, at least I think he is...
Anyone that can pen:
"This is as if someone said: "Hey, if you board a plane with this condom full of cocaine stashed someplace unmentionable, I'll give you a stylish cravat."
Has it all figured out, maybe.
Check out poor Lore discussing his chasing of the dragon at Wired.
It did get me thinking about how many retention programs being launched right now: SOE and the Living Legends Promotion, Tabula Rasa's Operation Immortality, and now World of Warcraft. The current crop of MMOs is feeling the heat of the games coming out shortly like Warhammer Online and not to mention the expansions due before year's end.
So is customer retention bribery, and is that bad? And of the current stock of promotions, which have you tried or which are you intrigued to try? Let us know.
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