When Connecting With Fans, Be Careful What You Promise
from the high-class-problem dept
The submissions for Connecting-with-Fans (CwF) stories are ramping up these days, and here’s a cautionary tale from thublihnk who writes “… one of the guys behind Borderlands (an upcoming online multiplayer FPS/RPG) promised to play with/give loot to anyone who preordered his game, and due to a game journalist alerting people to this deal, is now swamped with requests. Good try, better luck next time?”
So this doesn’t actually sound too bad for Mike Neumann, the Creative Director of Gearbox, who promoted his game by tweeting a promise to play with anyone who pre-ordered it, even if the number of folks who viewed his offer is in the thousands (so far, though, it sounds like the number is more like hundreds). Neumann says he’ll hold up his end of the bargain, but he’s also asked fans if they’d accept playing with the CEO of Gearbox instead of just him, which seems perfectly reasonable. It’s not like Neumann promised he’d show up in everyone’s living room. He also didn’t specify how long he’d play with these fans, so there are a few loopholes that will allow him to live a normal life — assuming his normal life didn’t already include hours and hours of gaming. And presumably, superfans are not out to destroy him, though, it might be a bit embarrassing if Neumann turns out to be a total N00b at playing his own game. But, yes, the lesson here for creative CwF promotions is to make sure to think through the consequences. Fortunately for Gearbox, the virtual loot in Borderlands has zero marginal costs.