Waiting.. patiently?

Where is the newsletter???!

I’m normally a fairly chilled person, and I do write blog posts, I really do. But since last week we’ve kind of been saying ‘well, let’s wait till the newsletter and then write some stuff’. And I know they only said early this week, but I’ve been up too long already (woken by hungry cats, not anxiety about the newsletter!), so I’m sitting here.. thinking of things to write, and then coming back to – ‘but where’s the newsletter’.

It reminds me a bit of having a permanent excuse to not do something. Like, ‘I’ll go cycling when the weather is nicer’ when you live where I do. (another excuse that is well-used by me).

So instead of the newsletter, here’s some things that have been on my mind lately that have nothing to do with the beta. Yay.

The Road to War game (yes, the site is currently down, but you can go read about it and see a screenshot from it over at Keen and Graev’s). It’s no surprise to some of you that one of our discarded posts related to things Warhammer Online could learn from certain cult TV shows. I think perhaps this bit of viral marketing is one thing they share in common. At the same time as I play the Road to War game (and no, not playing until I hear about whether there is or isn’t a European alternative, though I suspect I know the answer to this already), I can also be recruited by the Dharma Initiative.

Lost has run a few successful ARGs (alternate reality games) in between seasons with mixed success. The first was a bit fiddly and only really scored with the hard-core fans who then were a bit annoyed at some of the pay-off. The second was the search for Flight 815 and worked quite well because it included mini-games and then used footage that was later incorporated into episode 1 of season 4 of the show. And now we’re being recruited for Dharma between seasons 4 and 5. It’s a fun way to spend the hiatus – a time when fans can be lost or retained.

So, back to the Road to War. It’s a good idea to keep up and build interest in the game in a viral manner (lest we forget, that’s what viral marketing is about). But, everyone taking part should remember that this is (as far as I know), Mythic’s first pass at such a big enterprise. And trust me, this kind of game is a big deal to pull off successfully. Turbine has done something similar with the Mines of Moria, but on a smaller scale – I played it for a week or two, but then went back to my normal stuff.

There will be exploits, the site will go down, there will be people who complain about the rewards – but through all of that, it’s a learning experience, it’s the games company finding a new way to connect with fans and interested parties and you can guarantee there will be more things like it, each learning from the last.

What else?

I’m as confused as anyone about release dates, pre-order stuff and everything. I seriously have no answers. I suggest waiting for the official releases and making Dress-Your-Own Paul Barnett dolls. I found making mine very zen. Now trying to decide whether to take it to Games Day with me! Also, do as Wrenn suggests and go check out the excellent Warhammer Online community out there. We’ve not really even been a part of it that long, and we feel very welcomed by everyone in it. So thanks to all for that.

But most of all:

Where is my newsletter???!

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6 Responses

  1. The absolute best ARG I played with has to have been I love Bees. If only for at the end we got a nice free Halo Universe audio drama and I am such a sucker for fluff.

    I find it mildly amusing that the fan base managed to “break” the Road to War.

    As well as the Newsletter, what’s up with that Preorder thing (was the 4th, now the 5th)?

  2. I stole it. You can have it back for… ONE MILLION BRASS!

  3. I’ll give you three teef

  4. @ Syp – how about an IOU! It’s worth a lot more (come on, we all know goblins can’t read!)

  5. I think Josh said late last week that it could be a week or more for the newsletter to be out due to everyone being out @ the various conferences.

    Excellent marketing job by Mythic though that I somehow am able to refer to their people on a first name basis. Almost as if I have been watching them in podcasts for the past several years.

  6. True, but GOA site says early this week! To me that’s yesterday or today.. we’ll see though. I’ll live!

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