Sunday, November 14, 2010

Out with the Old, In with the....Old?

With the onset of the Verminous Horde, there are sure to be more than a few new subscribers over the next few weeks.  Overall, the reviews from the PTS have been on the good side, and forums are giddy with anticipation for the new ORvR content.  Things really are looking on the up and up for the game, and I am very pleased with how things are turning out.

Over the past few months, we have really seen Mythic step up their efforts to lure back old players.  Free T1 play forever, Free 10 days with no cc info, Free transfers for people away for 3 months.  Not to mention all of the press they have been slowly releasing with the upcoming patch.  While I'm sure a there have been a few former subscribers to again pay to play, what about the literally hundreds of thousands that are still out there?  If you all remember, Warhammer Online started with something like 1,000,000 original game sells (please feel free to correct me, this is from memory) turn creating that number of accounts.  What is the population now though?  100,000 max?  Obviously EA does not release those numbers, but we are all more than aware of the current state of the realms.

Please don't get me wrong here, I am in no way trying to bash the game.  Tonight I was talking to my brother-in-law who previously played a Rune Priest on Phoenix Throne.  I always try to pressure him to come back, and of course I told him about the new stuff coming in.  Unfortunately though, the beginning of Warhammer really tainted the game for him.  Thus, I truly believe he will never again play.  He, like many others, really hated Warhammer originally.  Justifiably so, as there was not much to offer.  But there is so much more to the game now, and it has grown by leaps and bounds recently.  So much has been added over the past year, and I really feel terrible for those who did not stick through till now.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that my brother-in-law, and others, would surely love the new content.  The RvR is great, and getting better.  The renown abilities will be completely game changing.  Time-To-Kill is slower.  Scenario matchmaking.  More attainable gear.  More customizations.  Just so much more coming into the ever changing world of Warhammer.  How else can Mythic get back a larger part of those old subscribers?

I definitely foresee a jump in the numbers over the next few weeks and months.  Maybe as many as 10,000 even.  How though can Mythic go beyond that, to say 500,000?   What other ideas can they come up with to entice players back?  A free month?  A free rank 40/40?  A free "re-enlistment" weapon?  Maybe something that can be traded between characters on an account?  I know they are doing a lot, but I believe more can be done.  I'm not putting this out there to bash, but putting it out there to garner some positive feedback which is hopefully seen by someone in a position to change things.  So with all that said, all ideas are welcome.  Please leave a comment or send some tweets to @Andy_Mythic with ideas.  Let's get this game the attention it deserves.


  1. I do not see 500,000 ever. Players almost never want to look back on old mmos. I think the only exception to this is in the f2p market, for obvious reasons.

    If WAR went free to play then it would get a decent amount of people. Would they pay for things though? At first I thought not. However, now seeing the people buying fluff like the pet, I think that it would work. Do I think it would be near 500,000 active players? Still no, it is too much to ask.

    MMMORPG's are in a terrible market. Most games can not survive with the current $15.00 a month model. That is why Mythic has opted to charge for these packs, or so I believe.

  2. I should mention that in the past I was adeimently against a f2p model. Now I think that if it was done well then I would not mind. I am content with the current system though so I do not mind either way.

    You would obviously have to pay to be competitive, however if it was kept to a minimum then I would not mind. For example, pay a few bucks to unlock these 2 armor sets for all characters. Now you may use your tokens to pay for them.

  3. Perhaps lowering the monthly subscription cost could work, although I'm not so sure how financially viable that is for EA at the moment. Yes, people are buying the Account Entitlements and not doubt shelling out $15 for the xpac come Thursday, but money has got to be tight with such a low subscriber base at the moment. I understand why they aren't going f2p, they need to milk every penny they can to justify keeping it open and the costs that went into the game.

    I do believe they need to re-look at their marketing though, something other than Producer Letters every month to current subscribers. Perhaps send a mass email to subsidizer of other EA games offering free game time?

  4. Marketing costs money. Especially when you are marketing a product that is already trying to maintain what staff it has.

    I can not say for certainty that the f2p model would bring in more money but I think it definitely has the potential.

    The game would have to retool some things though to place value on more than just RvR. If it was also advantageous to do things like PvE dungeons and PQ's then that content could also be sold. I would not mind paying a couple of dollars for all of the pq's in a zone. I especially would not mind paying to get into Gunbad.

    I think I may have just been inspired to work out my own template for a f2p model... I really need to get my blog fully functioning...

    Oh wow. That word verification sucks. I just got done working out. The word verification? "nonabs"

  5. Marketing isn't for current subscribers, so not sure where you were going there. The Producer's Letter is for people that aren't currently playing WAR. Subscribers get 95% of that information off the forums which only they have access to. A bit more marketing would be nice, of course, but I'm not quite sure WAR could handle being as popular as we'd like it to be right now. Just look what popularity did to Badlands.

  6. Look at what the lack of popularity has done though to past servers though. Actually one could argue that the reason Badlands is in the state it is, is due to the fact that the game became so unpopular there was nowhere else to go. I understand that the Producers Letter is for people not subscribing, but who else is it sent to other than subscribers? It's not as if people are mysteriously gaining interest in Warhammer right now, so they certainly aren't checking out the herald.

    More servers can be reopened if the player base would support that. How many more servers can we lose though?

  7. I do not think they could maintain the cost of marketing. Putting one ad out there for a week is not enough. An important part of marketing is repetition to get the consumer to make the unconscious decision to buy.

    I think if we did a short term marketing campaign we would have to give incentive to those we market to. Maybe a free exclusive item code that could be used by all active subscribers for a limited time?

    What kid of marketing would we propose doing?

    I think server populations would be better served by having more players, for the same reasons Vizo said.