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The Marketing of Mythic

April 22, 2009

There’s one big problem with getting truly involved in a community, and that’s that the community expects continued support and involvement. It’s a tricky path to tread. For any company, not just an MMO one. And it’s easy enough to say things like ‘don’t start it, if you don’t mean to carry it on’, these things are easily enough done.

Community managers usually have official forums to look after and to talk to fans of a game on, whatever their regional status. These official forums provide a couple of benefits, the fans know where to go for official information, and on the other side, the community management team have a kind of ‘fence’ somewhere that keeps them in one place. Of course it’s always exciting when someone from a game company comments on a blog, replies to you on twitter (depending on what that say, naturally), gets in touch via email, or sends something through the mail. That’s because we’re a ‘fan’ community to a certain extent. Even when we knock them, we love MMOs, and games in general or we wouldn’t have them as the focus for our blogs and to draw friends from the same community.

Where community involvement can get a bit ‘dangerous’ is where the lines get blurred and then there’s no going back. It was nothing but great for Mythic to comment on some of the new blogs from Age of Blogging, but it does raise an expectation that they read blogs on a general basis. I’m not sure they do. And if they did at one point, I think perhaps that’s the kind of thing in danger when redundancies hit. Maybe they read them when they can, this isn’t meant as a criticism – reading blogs ISN’T their job, so when things are busy of course it’ll fall by the wayside. But it’s out there that it’s been done and that anyone from Mythic may at anytime stop by a blog.

Then there’s the highly publicised mail-outs for the Valentine’s Day again. Will the same happen for the Necropolis and Land of the Dead? (NB: you can send me a mummy anytime, but no scarabs plz!). I’d say not, because Valentine’s Day lends itself so naturally to mail-outs. So I don’t think they’re in any danger of expectation there. Except… they did use some pretty good clues for the Slayer/Choppa reveal when they sent Keen and Snafzg some neat clues to the new classes (which were pretty much guessed a while before, but it still added excitement and enthusiasm about where they might hit next).

So, rather than expecting them to come up with some new interesting mail-out, I now expect them to come up with something innovative, marketing-wise. Something that captures the imagination of an increasingly despondent community and manages to infect it with enthusiasm. And they have a product that is intriguing people, one that people are hoping will truly live up to expectations – the Necropolis and the Land of the Dead events. If they can just get the balance right again, they could have another ‘word-of-mouse’ campaign. But at the moment, the blogging community seems in the WAR doldrums, so something WILL be needed.

I don’t know of many other games where the ‘big names’ in the company have gone around blogs commenting on stories and stoking up some ‘squee’ points. Community involvement is something we’re used to being via forums, and now perhaps twitter, or facebook or other social networking sites – until it becomes unmanageable. I applaud Mythic for giving it a shot, but now they need to explore what they can do next – and I’m really looking forward to finding that out.

(sorry for a bit of a ramble, am up early and trying to do too many things at once)

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2 comments

  1. […] Arbitrary (her close friends call her Arby’s) looks at the rise and fall of Mythic’s marketing. […]


  2. I’ve always thought Marketing was what Mythic got most right =)

    Their marketing and efforts to reach out to the community is what makes me want to keep playing their game, even if it sometimes can be very frustrating hehe



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