If you read Loading... yesterday, and oh... I know you did, then you got the latest marketing plan for the massively multiplayer online games being published by Sony Online Entertainment. Sony is the company behind EverQuest, the game that took the genre and placed it firmly on the podium of games that needed to be taken seriously. Like a hobo on a ham sandwich, other developers jumped into the market churning out a slew of games that ranged from great to ghastly.
I received an e-mail from the good folks at FilePlanet yesterday telling me that Sony had gone a step further in their marketing barrage of EverQuest 2, this time giving away the game and a free month of subscription to anyone with a FilePlanet account who would download it.
I am by no means a marketing genius, but if something is selling there is no reason to give it away. Even if EverQuest 2 still has a rising subscription rate, which I doubt, the perception in the industry of first packaging it with games that are failing, and then giving it away for free is one of desperation. It really doesn't matter what the facts are in this case. The prospective players, many gaming sites and industry followers see it as a desperate move. On top of these questionable marketing choices EverQuest 2 just went through server mergers. No matter how you spin that, it comes off as a game in decline.
To be fair, World of Warcraft has offered a "Free Trial" version for quite some time. The difference is that the perception of WoW is of a game that is growing faster than Kirstie Alley can churn out Jenny Craig commercials. When you are perceived as a success, you can pretty much do anything you want and it will be looked upon favourably.
Needless to say, I don't want to see EverQuest 2 in trouble. I enjoyed the game and more selfishly for the TenTonHammer.com network, we have a thriving EQ2 community that grows in size each month. If there are fewer subscribers to EQ2 there are fewer potential readers for our site.
Those of you looking for friendly faces in EverQuest 2 can find our TenTonHammer guild on Blackburrow (formerly Oggok). Those of you who play World of Warcraft can find us as Horde on Sen'jin or as Alliance on Hyjal.
Comments? Flames? Send them here!
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Exclusive Dungeons and Dragons Online goodies are yours today! Oh, and $100,000 cash.
Let us entertain you.
Here's what's new on the network!
- Dungeons and Dragons Online - Exclusive Pre-Release Video
"Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach will launch on February 28, 2006. Can't wait that long? We've got the next best thing to being in Stormreach--some exclusive video footage of one of the newbie quests from the harbor area."
- Dungeons and Dragons Online - Exclusive Pre-Release Screenshots
"We're offering another glimpse into the world of Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO) to whet your appetite for the North American launch of DDO on February 28, 2006. Three of our exclusive screenshots come from Satine, community manager of the DDO European portal <http://ddo-europe.com>. The other three were captured by our staff members during beta playtime."
- Guild Wars: Fame, Glory and $100,000 Cash
"A look at the Guild Wars World Championship, currently underway in Taiwan."
- Auto Assault: Roadstop Comedy Club #5
"That silly Devrek. What's he up to this time? Well find out in our latest installment of the Roadstop Comedy Club! This week we bring you the fifth edition in our humorous series featuring a wacky stand up comedian. This time he's back at the roadstop and something's brewing!"
- Into The Sunset: A Tribute to Francis Joseph "Joe" Cain
"Todays content strays from the norm and I hope you will indulge me.
On Tuesday my father passed away after an extended illness with a rare dementia. Dementia is a nasty illness, claiming ones essense long before taking their life.
Into the Sunset is my tribute to him, a true "knight in shining armor"
- Spring Into Assault Contest
"Spring into Auto Assault with Ten Ton Hammer! We have started a brand new contest here at Auto Assault @ Ten Ton Hammer. We call it "Spring into Auto Assault." From February 16th, 2006 until March 1st,
2006 you have the chance to enter to win all kinds of prizes including a pre-order goodie pack! All you have to do is create your own skill and post it in our forums. It's that simple!"
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: Fighter Creation Guide
"Ralsu brings us a basic guide to the fighter in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach. If combat is your thing, and you like to dish it out as well as you take it, then the versatile fighter may be the class for you."
- EverQuest 2: Coyote Sharptongue Presents "Guards"
"Coyotee Sharptongue makes his Ten Ton Hammer debut by riding along with Qeynos finest to clean up the streets of Nettleville Hovel. Read all about Norrath's favorite Reality TV show while examining the rampant crime in EverQuest 2."
- Worldof Warcraft: Warsong Gulch Basics
"WoW @ TenTonHammer gets queued up for some PvP action in the popular battleground instance, Warsong Gulch. This capture-the-flag style battle between 10-man crews from the Horde and Alliance will test your wits (not to mention level, experience, equipment, and all that good stuff!). You'll be at a disadvantage without getting schooled on the bg basics, which is where we come in! Get a leg up on the competition with WoW @ TenTonHammer!"
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: Cleric Tactics
"Darkgolem offers up his guide to playing the cleric class in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO) to its fullest advantage.
Do you know when to hurt, and when to heal? Or when it's appropriate to use damage spells? Find out as DDO Ten Ton Hammer's resident power-gamer shares his secrets."
- EverQuest 2: A Hero's Tale - As Tall As It May Be
"Brokain weaves a tale of suspense and wonder by retelling the the boastful legend of how he "saved" his party from certain doom in the dangerous Clefts of Rujark."
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Virtual Memories Part 2
"Merriandra looks at the other side of vitural relationships."
Now on to the real world. You can't make this stuff up.
As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin