A long time ago, I used to work in sales where I will go into other people’s house (invited of course) and demonstrate a product that will cost me two months of wages to purchase. I was trained on how to conduct my demonstration and I believe this is what ArenaNet is doing.
It’s called value building. In sales, selling an item especially those that are expensive requires the salesperson to build up the value of the item they are selling. The strategy begins by comparing the item to any items that the customer is currently using. If the item I’m selling could replace 10 or more items that sum up to a higher cost than the price of the one I’m selling, then I did my job successfully. A reasonable customer will see the values and will make the comparison themselves, then of course, will choose to purchase the item I’m selling.
This is the kind of sales pitch that I appreciate because it relies on establishing the truth and building trust.
Now looking at how ArenaNet is deploying information about their upcoming expansion, it seems that they are trying to justify selling an expansion perhaps as expensive as World of Draenor — a $50 price tag. In my honest opinion, no expansion should cost that much nor it deserves to cost that much. So as a company trying to sell a product, they are now engaged in a marketing strategy on building up the value of their expansion. However, they are doing this incorrectly. Let me explain.
In order for this strategy to work, the customer needs to remember all the value so that they can weigh it in. When you disbursed a feature every week, that feature’s value depletes over time. By the time the 8th profession is shown, players would have forgotten about what the Mesmer’s Elite Spec is all about, just as how nobody is talking about Revenant anymore. When you wait too long in releasing information, you’re basically going back to square one and trying to do it all over again.
When building up value, you need to start with something big and before that excitement dies down, hit them again with another big reveal which would exponentially increase their excitement, then hit them again, and again, until they hyperventilate and pass out — or starts throwing money to the monitor yelling; “TAKE MY MONEY!!”. This is how successful artist performing on stage do. They don’t go on long intermissions because the audience would get bored. What they do is make a big performance, then followed by another, then another until their audience are carried out by safety coordinators after passing out — or someone offers to have their baby, ahem,…moving on. This is how you build excitement and this is how you keep the value of your features as high as possible for the duration of the reveals and this is how you will keep people talking.
Sure they want to stretch the information as long as they want, but looking at how much information is being showed each week tells me that this is a rather small expansion with a lot of grinding. And if the price tag of this expansion is more than $30 and it is smaller in scale than SWTOR: Shadow of Revan ($19.99 price tag)…then I have to pass. So far, the information we’ve received is rather small, smaller than the Shadow of Revan. If it’s a big as FFXIV: Heavensward, then it is worth $40. World of Draenor is not worth $50 no matter how they want to justify that it comes with an instant level 90 boost, that according to them is worth $60 — I call bullshit. If that is the reason, then are they willing to give me $10 + the expansion just by removing the insta-90? I sure hope they are not using Blizzard’s WoD expansion as a model.
As of right now, I’ve renewed my FFXIV subscription since I’m honestly bored of WoW, GW2, and SWTOR. They need to add more hours of gameplay. The latest patch for SWTOR (Ziost) only added about 4hrs of gameplay…it’s really boring. I still have a lot of work to do in FFXIV only because my character can change jobs which adds a lot of gameplay hours. I am yet to finish the story and reach the level cap.
ArenaNet really needs to look at FFXIV: Heavensward if they want a model to follow. Just look at what you get for $40;
– Level cap raise from 50 to 60 across all jobs and professions.
– Massive new areas.
– A new player race with both male and female characters.
– Multiple new jobs — in addition to expanding the current jobs.
– New Primals, one of which will be completely unique to FFXIV.
– Many new dungeons — more than 3 or 4.
– High-end raids
– Airships, Airship, Airships — Free Companies can band together and build their own airships.
– New gear and recipes.
– Flying mounts
Yes, yes I know that FFXIV is sub-based, fine. Let’s then compare HoT to GW2 instead. If GW2 is worth $50, where does that place HoT? If HoT is priced as $25, it better be as big as half of GW2’s content. Either way, HoT should never go over $30 despite what they’ve come up with.
ArenaNet has a habit of over-hyping things and failing to deliver so the expectation coming to the expansion is nothing but skepticism. These hype machine blog post is no different and by looking at the pattern, this will be a rather small expansion that will be over priced.