Launching MMO Games

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Here's a presentation I've given many times on how to plan an MMO game launch. It's pretty top-line, but it should get the basic concepts across.

Here's a presentation I've given many times on how to plan an MMO game launch. It's pretty top-line, but it should get the basic concepts across.

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  • 1. May 2, 2012
  • 2. Types of Launches Limited Access – good for games with some polish or the need to keep some things behind the curtain Full Access – Highly polished and ready to go Stealth – Keep it mysterious as long as possible (bad for pre-orders, but may delay a potential negative wave)
  • 3. Ways to Get the Word Out Community Empowerment (can relieve approval process hold-ups) - Granted Permission Leaks  Sanctioned but not publicized  Unsanctioned
  • 4. Getting the Word Out Incentivize virality Build 2 lists – Large releases (6-9X) and core releases (30-40X) to minimize spamming editors Twitter, Facebook – you already know this, but there needs to be a reason to “Like” something Look at other virality tools – Overwolf, VCast
  • 5. “Assets are currency that can be used to drive traffic to partner sites”
  • 6. Assets Art-Related Assets  Concept Art  Screenshots  Videos  Hi-Res Renders Other Assets  Interviews  Developer Chats/Community Roundtables  Developer Blogs and Video Blogs
  • 7. Centralized AggregationPhilosophy External - Sites which are partners for acquisition and interest creation  In pre-launch and launch – 99% of new information and assets go to media outlets before the forums. Internal - Product/Community Sites are for retention or committed interest. Link to all external posts through forums.
  • 8. “Get them expecting something everyday and into a routine of checking your site and partner sites.
  • 9. Daily Programs There should be something new everyday – create a flow You are giving traffic to a site = value for advertisers There are a lot of potential daily programs:  Beastiary  Enemies  Heroes  Weapons  NPCs  Community member of the day  Spells/abilities, zones/areas  Bosses  Quests  Instances  Etc.
  • 10. Flow You control where the community goes each day Online scavenger hunts make the process of daily news and discovery a game
  • 11.  Look for protectors in the forums Empower positive reinforcement Celebrit-ize and reward individuals – third-party spokespeople are the most credible with media Create cosmetic rewards – Beta 1 Badge, Trophy for house
  • 12. Asset Planning Build a bank Carrot the end-game, but save things for players to discover in game, and through later releases The team doesn’t like surprises, but will get you what you need if it’s worthwhile Key art and master screenshots are essential for brand building and association
  • 13.  Only 2-3 magazines available in U.S. (Game Informer doesn’t do launch covers), 40-50 relevant worldwide  Beckett  PC Gamer  @Gamer Pitch and create specific packages for 3 months out Need to request renders and cover art for each outlet
  • 14. “It’s harder to say bad things about people you’ve met and are speaking to in person”
  • 15.  Reward supporters with interaction and access Correct detractors through clarification and understanding Let them leave with assets and exclusive info (interviews, video, screenshots) Make sure devs have a clear understanding of the goals and what can and can’t be said at a specific time
  • 16.  Plan official assets and exclusives for each outlet Servers need to be full or have liquidity Be specific in what is going to be shown at each time Support with pizza, In-N-Out truck, etc. can help with getting people to stay at their desks during play times
  • 17.  Closed server Limited access Guided tours and set times to create liquidity
  • 18.  Consumer – fully guided Gaming – guided and then free access MMO/Core – offer guided and free access
  • 19.  10-10,000 depending on site Use as currency Support the supporters Can also be for community A good way to build the Twitter and Facebook feeds at the same time
  • 20. Contact