Monday, January 15, 2007

Dear Blizzard, Regarding your Marketing Department

I tried to post the following to the World of Warcraft Forums, but since i took so long writing it, by the time I went to post it, it told me I had to log in again. So I did but then it returned me to a completely blank post entry page. The entire thing was gone. Well would have been gone if I hadn't learned long ago to type this crap up in Word and then copy/paste it over. So tried to repost it and got the error "???wow.web.forums.error500.message???". So I'll just post it here instead.

update I got it posted, lets see if it lasts or is deleted and I'm suspended for through some odd interpretation of the rules. You can find it on their forums HERE.

Dear Blizzard,

I don’t want to sound like I’m trolling or anything but I was pretty annoyed when I got the latest Blizzard Insider email with links to all the stuff in the collector’s edition. What’s the point, they are already GONE!

Let me start over by telling my story:

I pre-ordered 3 copies of the TBC from Electronics Boutique in August only… ONLY! 2 months before you even announced that there was going to be a collector’s edition. There was no price or release date for TBC at that time.

So when I went back and got my 4th copy of the game (my wife has taken over my second account. Don’t judge me) and a 4th pre-order of the TBC they manager asked me when I had pre-ordered my other copies. I wasn’t exactly sure and said, “a few months ago.”

She pulls out the pre-order book and starts at the beginning looking for my name and she gets to somewhere in July and there is a red line across the middle of one page. Nope she says, “You didn’t order soon enough to be offered the collector’s edition.”

She went on to explain they only got *some number I forget* copies of the collector’s editions and they are calling people in order they pre-ordered and offering them a copy of the collector’s edition. She said that there was a chance that somebody could turn one down and that if I had ordered within a few weeks of that red-line date maybe I could still be in the running. The other guy chimed in that nobody had turned one down so far.

I checked my receipts when I got home and saw that I was almost 2 months out from that red line in the book I knew I wasn’t getting one. Again note this is all still before there was a price or a release date. The people who were listed in the book before the red line pre-ordered over half a year ago.

A friend of mine’s wife called Harvey Norman (Yeah I’m a yank living in Australia, don’t judge me) Anyway, they took great pleasure in informing her that she would have had to pre-order the collector’s editions the day they were announced… and besides the employees had already claimed them all. They were probably joking… probably.

So back to the point, why are you advertising the collector’s edition? They are already sold. Do you just want to rub it in? The only thing you are accomplishing is driving up the price for the guys re-selling them on Ebay. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you didn’t grossly underestimate the demand for the collector’s edition. Maybe there will be copies available on the shelf. Maybe you’ll have a contest for coming up with the funniest game-related ‘maybe’ punch-line for this paragraph.

I understand you wanted there to be a limited quantity. What I don’t understand is why the percentage of collector’s editions to accounts is so low. I think the only people who would be upset if there was a higher percentage are the people who managed to get one to sell on Ebay. Am I pushing the ‘selling on Ebay’ thing too much? I really don’t see them becoming valuable collector’s items years in the future. People really do want those extra goodies in the box. The DVD, the art book, the in-game pet… yeah we actually want to open the box and get those.

What I don’t understand is what your marketing department has been doing all this time. The figures they came out with recently: troll priest, undead necro, and tauran shaman. Great marketing job on that one, never even heard they were coming. I managed to grab the last one they had for the first two, but the shaman was already sold out. They are already gone and yet everybody who sees them is amazed and asks where I got them. The t-shirts Jinx is selling, “Camp Taurajo”, yeah I’m sure that one is flying off the shelves. The cool shirts you had on sale from Warcraft III that would still work as WoW shirts have never been restocked.

Now I think the company who put out those figures I mentioned above did all the work there and that Jinx designed their own shirts, so umm what has your marketing department been doing for the last 2 years, raiding? And don’t say promoting WoW or TBC because it seems to me that isn’t too hard and shouldn’t be taking up that much of their time. The Burning Crusade doesn’t really need that much extra marketing kick, its kind of selling itself. You already got the market nailed. The girl manages the hair saloon around the corner has a 60 rogue. My wife has six level 60’s and her MOTHER has two!!! Marketing TBC is kind of like putting up ads for life preservers on a sinking ship, I’m pretty sure you got a sale there.

Here is some DKP-free constructive advice, assuming you guys do want to make some money... you do don’t you? A little dragonling beanie and the Murlock beanie that gurgles, you know the Murlock one that everybody has been talking about for the last few YEARS! Yeah, people would buy those.

Now figures, people love to have figures on their desk. I am sure you know that everybody wants. Everybody wants a figure of their own character and I’m sorry to admit I haven’t figured out how you could do a pieces-parts figure that people could dress with their own facial options and equipment. But until we figure that one out, put out a couple of packs of the 6 inch figures, for example an Alliance pack, a Horde pack, and a few mob packs. If those do well you can expand it to include some of the top end dungeon theme packs with mobs and a larger boss figure. If Homestar Runner can sell those 6 inch figure sets, I’m sure a multi-million dollar company like you guys can pull it off too.

All my love,


Spyder said...

I think you picked the worst possible time (TBC release) and worst possible place (General forums) to post that :)

it's already buried beyond page 10, and really belongs somewhere like the suggestions forum. Certainly anywhere but the forum with insane amounts of traffic!

Oh and hi, I'm a friend of cam mcneil who pointed me at your blog a few months back ;)

Joseph the Fourth said...

I didn't start out to with a plan to write a big rant. I was being pissy that they were showing off how cool the collector's edition was knowing there was no chance of getting one. So I starting writing a little rant that I was just going to post here. But once I got going it just all came out and I found myself sitting here thinking, "now what the hell do I do with this!?"

I didn't want to just post it here where hardly anybody would see it
Present company excluded. Actually people are starting to come out of the woodwork lastly. I though it was just me and Bughunter here.

So I reworded it a bit and turned it into a post for the forums. It was late at night here early morning PST and so I thought there was a chance it would get some bounce before the forum monsters woke up. But yeah, it didn’t get any nibbles and vanished. I went looking to find it this morning but I got down to page 12 and gave up.

BugHunter said...

I like to think that I comment in proxy for the masses who are here, but are too shy to speak up.

As I think about it, I haven't a clue how I found this blog the first time.


Joseph the Fourth said...

I've always thought of you as a "Man of the People" myself.

I think I should install a hit counter on the site just to see what's going on here. Can't be that many people sliding through, it’s just not interesting enough. I’m not trying to be self deprecating or anything, it’s just that I am afraid to try too hard because then I would have to keep up that level of effort and quality. I think I would crack under the pressure. Besides I have characters to level to 70 and a MMO PvP game to get out, not necessarily in that order.

BugHunter said...

"Besides I have characters to level to 70 and a MMO PvP game to get out, not necessarily in that order."

And if there was more traffic you couldn't say things like that. You'd have to run it past the Fury PR people first to make sure no one will respond with "get to work, no playing!" Wait a minute, you are the guy they run PR type statements past to make sure it can't be misconstued.