Thursday, April 15, 2010

"How to Create Demand" - a step by step essay by Blizzard

Step 1: Sell a magical flying horsie online for 25 dollars.

Step 2: Have them in limited quantity, so if your playerbase is on the fence about whether or not 25 dollars for a magical flying horsie is worth it or not, TOO BAD, YOU SNOOZE YOU LOSE (because as we all know, ones and zeros can only be replicated on computers so many times before they degrade). ***UPDATE: confirmed to not be limited in quantity by blue, see comments***

Step 3: (See below)

Step 4: Profit!

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Step 3 in further detail (a.k.a.: A Nested Guide On How To Punish Your Playerbase For Being Loyal):
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a. See diagram 1A, entitled 'How to Pretend That Online Checkout Systems Are Like Physical Lines That Wrap Around a Block'



b. See figure 1b, entitled "How To Force Your Playerbase To Camp The Browser, Because If They Get Up To Pee In The Next 7 Hours, They Might Just Miss Their Magical Pony Chance"



c. LOL as you roll in money that people are lining for 7 hours at a time up to throw at you.

d. PROFIT!!!!




Really, Blizzard? I mean... really?

25 comments:

Dwism said...

Amen

We Fly Spitfires said...

I tell ya, if they really do sell 80,000 horses then that's a cool $2million in the bag. Easy money for Blizz.

Hatch said...

Amen +1

Kiryn said...

I don't see anywhere that they're limited supply. Not on the announcement, not in the description in the store, not anywhere. The FAQ even says that they have no plans to remove it any time soon. Where does it say this?

Personally, I'm waiting for the store to calm down a bit before buying mine. I'm overjoyed that this incredibly cool-looking mount isn't from some stupidly difficult hardmode or PvP thing that only people who have no lives would ever be able to get. I had been assuming so ever since I first saw it datamined on MMO-Champion, a little sad that I'd never have a chance to ride one myself =(

Kiryn said...

Oh, you mean the little thing that says "94% stock"? My friends and I were just assuming that the online store requires a "number available" field, and they just set it to some arbitrary high number. One of my friends said it was at 49% for a half hour. I doubt that actually means they're going to RUN OUT. If they were only planning to sell a certain number of them, they would have said so in their announcement.

Sage said...

The line is to stop people from e-baying them. Pro-tip: make it a link from your account management area in www.worldofwarcraft.com, so it's bound to that account. Or gift it to a specific character on a server, and their entire account gets it. No more camping.

Klepsacovic said...

I suspect that in their quest to go green and curb inflation, Blizzard has switched to money-burning power plants.

Geforce said...

This mount is by far the most profitable item currently available in their store.

I've had 3 alts one in each majorly populated capital (IF,Sw and Dala) and counted over a 100 of these shortly after it being available yesterday.

If every realm has so many players buying this its just...

BTW I'm probably not buying it because I expect Cataclysm to have so uber mounts people that bought these will switch over aswell

Bri said...

I figured the queue was there to avoid overloading their banking provider and billing systems. They're pushing through 2 to 3 transactions a second on these two items, on top of normal business. Would you rather a queue, or the Fail Murloc?

Ixobelle said...

let the process queue, then, but take the order now. Like, enter your CC info, and hit 'yes I want a magical pony', then receive a page saying 'your order will be processed over the next 7 hours, please be patient'.

Not 'don't go anywhere for seven hours, cuz we're trying to recreate the EQ mob camping experience for a sec here'.

Kiryn said...

I bought mine last night around 10 PM, and there was no queue. I'm glad I waited for the store to calm down a bit before trying for it.

Kyir said...

I am confused to why anyone would buy these, let alone almost 7000 at a time.

Ixobelle said...

Blue has commented on the "quantity" field:

http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/24262410938/there-s-a-quot-quantity-quot-for-digital-downloads/

The store itself does not act as a generator for loot codes, so a set number of codes had to be added to the store. That number is very high. If it's ever reached, we can add more. The item offer isn't intended to be of a limited quantity.

Cheryl said...

The queue time estimate was completely inaccurate. When I joined the queue it said I was number 155678 with an estimated wait time of 10 hours. It took around 50 mins.

HP said...

My bf bought me my horsie, I lluuuurrrvvveee itttt.

I still feel slightly guilty though.

Anonymous said...

this is actually quite sad...

Anonymous said...

You bought one iso?

Ixobelle said...

oh hell yeah.

Magical Flying Donkey FTW

Bluspacecow said...

IMHO I see no reason that they can't just change where it says "% stock left" to "% of codes left before we generate more"

It's honest , straight up and makes the customer aware if they do run out of codes just wait to order until they order some more.

Or that there might be a delay in them getting a code if the % is close or near to 0

Bluspacecow said...

"It's honest , straight up and makes the customer aware if they do run out of codes just wait to order until they order some more."

I mean for the customer to wait before completing their order until more codes are generated.

They could even put something on the page saying we can email you when more codes are generated.

That is in the highly unlikely situation where they run out of codes before some intern has to go click a few buttons to fill it with a few bazillion more codes.

Bluspacecow said...

"let the process queue, then, but take the order now. Like, enter your CC info, and hit 'yes I want a magical pony', then receive a page saying 'your order will be processed over the next 7 hours, please be patient'."

Very good suggestion there ixobelle. I think you should make a suggestion on the suggestion forums about that :)

Or I already have a thread over there about improvements in the digital download process do I have your permission to post that there ?

Ixobelle said...

go for it ;)

Bluspacecow said...

@ixobelle

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=24401481366&postId=243992657544&sid=1#0

Decided to make a new thread as I can't change the name of my thread and make it reflect the content of both suggestions. The subject line was too small :(

oshin said...

Is this going to be another classic downfall scenario where a smallish company with a good ethic ends up being the victim of its own success ?

I don't think the horse is a step over the line as such, but I remember back around the release ideas like faction changes and race changes were shot down with venom, but now they are all being used. Now that they are a large company I`m sure they want to stay that way, and hat tricks like the celestial horse are easy cash compared to making something like starcraft (which is only 2x as expensive as a horse one graphic artist could have knocked out in a fortnight )

Will it ever become weapons or armour ? Or will the game just start to feel cheap when every second cool thing you see has another price tag (stuff like tabards/dyes/orge suits etc)

Bluspacecow said...

@oshin

I've never actually seen any quotes where Blizzard explicitly say they will never do faction changes or race changes.

The posts I've seen have the Blues talking about how "we have no future plans at this stage to do so"

Things change over 5 years of being out and the player base has changed. The world has changed. And obviously Blizzard's stance on things has changed.