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Feels lacking in Marketing departmentFollow

#1 Aug 24 2010 at 2:57 AM Rating: Decent
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Well I have a group of friends whom I usually stick around with and of course, hoping to share more about this game to them...

I'm hitting a situation where most of my friends, they've heard of FFXIV and is utterly dismayed on the online videos (which are not suppose to be there, but - you can't censor-the-internetzzz and just stop people from violating the NDAs), in short, they're not impressed at all with all the delays, UI responses and basically an unfinished piece of work...

Now I am of course annoyed with their expectations of seeing a finished product and pass on a judgement about the game from what they see - beta-bug-bits of it. And of course I have told and explained, this is NOT FREE-TRIAL period which is aimed at captivating your attention, it's a test period to fix flaws and adjustments.

But alas, first impression is always most important. Anticipation dwindling, curiosity plunging and there is a severe lacking of official marketing media accessible within the public's reach, to promote the game, to show it's awesomeness, or simply to brag about what's waiting for them in Haedelyn. No official gameplay demos available, or sort of a trailer - nice music backgrounds, capturing essence and put it into a presentation which leaves ppl breathless...

The feedbacks from Beta testers are not favourable also, they're a mix of positives and negatives, and there are still doubts whether certain negatives agreed by the majority are going to be fixed or not...

I just find it hard to advocate the game at this point... : ( that's why I'm just calling for more of these 'marketing' media about gameplay to be shared or published ^^
#2 Aug 24 2010 at 3:57 AM Rating: Default
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Don't forget that its still beta so I dont see why they would infatuate the media with new tidbits just yet. I think we will see a lot more near the end of open beta which is basically to stress test the servers with thousands of players. What we will uncover on open beta day will be the time to see how its changed since closed beta. Who knows really, SE may have gotten on the ball and fix the UI, the aggro system, the party-exp dilemma, the targeting, the interface lag. I will say that solo is flawless without regards to UI issues and targeting mess (it targets the furthest mob instead of the one right in front of u) but party is the most important thing to me and they need to fix the party-exp. All they need to do is make one single accumulation at the end of the fight and distribute the exp equally among party members so there is no competition between ur party members.
#3 Aug 24 2010 at 5:29 AM Rating: Good
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Imaboomer wrote:
Don't forget that its still beta so I dont see why they would infatuate the media with new tidbits just yet.


Because the game comes out in 29 days?

If not now, when?
#4 Aug 24 2010 at 6:00 AM Rating: Decent
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I always wondered why FFXI never got more attention in the media, and now the same thing is happening with FFXIV! Every time that I go passed a Beckett Massive Online Gamer mag I always page through hoping to find somebody writing something nice about the game, but it's always primarily about WoW and nothing about FF anywhere :( They even have a piece on X Play now that covers online games, and I was expecting someone to mention how excited they were for FFXIV, but nothing! It makes me sad that nobody in the media seems to recognize it as a great MMO, but the only upside I can see to this is with less advertising hopefully the annoying people I ran into in WoW wont know about FFXIV to come and bother us there, hehe :)
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#5 Aug 24 2010 at 6:38 AM Rating: Good
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You have to realize, while there is a small group of loyal FF fans in North America, their target audience are the Japanese.

As to your "if not now, when" comment. . I'd say about a year after launch is about right. An MMO isn't like a stand alone game title launch. While most regular games get updated a half dozen times or less over their life cycles, MMOs are living games that are never truly "finished". They are also never truly "ready" at launch [or so I've read from the community, as this will be my first actual MMO launch. It's an almost certainty that, when you first install the game, you'll be downloading an update before you ever see any gameplay or opening cut-scene.

Just give it some time, let the game come out, let SE get the technical issues out of the way, then plop your friends down next to you for some gametime. If they change their minds, great! If not, it's their choice, and there's not much you can do about it. Let them go play sims or something ;)


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#6 Aug 24 2010 at 6:39 AM Rating: Decent
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Their marketing department is crap. This whole deal about surplus XP is a shining example.

Instead of spinning it as a reduction in XP after spending time on a class it should have been sold as you get a bonus that slowly wears down to normal levels.
#7 Aug 24 2010 at 6:51 AM Rating: Good
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Hesper is right, when it comes to advertising (at least in Ireland) SE doesn't do much. Myself I only noticed FFXI on a DVD rental place while looking to rent a DVD.

On the other hand the OP can always direct his friends to the official FFXIV web site for the trailers and youtube for the "Making of..."
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#8 Aug 24 2010 at 8:03 AM Rating: Decent
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seneleron wrote:
As to your "if not now, when" comment. . I'd say about a year after launch is about right. An MMO isn't like a stand alone game title launch. While most regular games get updated a half dozen times or less over their life cycles, MMOs are living games that are never truly "finished". They are also never truly "ready" at launch [or so I've read from the community, as this will be my first actual MMO launch. It's an almost certainty that, when you first install the game, you'll be downloading an update before you ever see any gameplay or opening cut-scene.


The bulk of the population growth of an MMO occurs in the first 6 months to 1 year after release, and beyond that growth spikes are driven almost entirely by releasing in new territories (the only other major contributor is massive media coverage - Second Life had major population growth in 2007, when everyone and his dog was practically proclaiming it the second coming).

Those first 6-12 months are so important towards determining the games future that, even though you can practically guarantee that the vast majority of those early adopters will quit within 2 or 3 years, that is the time when you want to do everything in your power to maximize sales.

It doesn't matter if it's "ready" or not - that's not what early adopters care about.
#9 Aug 24 2010 at 8:16 AM Rating: Decent
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seneleron wrote:
You have to realize, while there is a small group of loyal FF fans in North America, their target audience are the Japanese.

As to your "if not now, when" comment. . I'd say about a year after launch is about right. An MMO isn't like a stand alone game title launch. While most regular games get updated a half dozen times or less over their life cycles, MMOs are living games that are never truly "finished". They are also never truly "ready" at launch [or so I've read from the community, as this will be my first actual MMO launch. It's an almost certainty that, when you first install the game, you'll be downloading an update before you ever see any gameplay or opening cut-scene.

Just give it some time, let the game come out, let SE get the technical issues out of the way, then plop your friends down next to you for some gametime. If they change their minds, great! If not, it's their choice, and there's not much you can do about it. Let them go play sims or something ;)




Yeah, I agree, even though FFXIII was marketed hard and sold a respectable number (don't ask me how; that game stunk worse then a skunk hiding in a gym sneaker) in the U.S., it's numbers dwindled in comparison to the GTA's and CoD's in the U.S. market.

Figure that it's an MMO and Japanese, and you have a winning combination to save yourself some marketing dollars...at least in the U.S.

This is a niche market and I would be very surprised if they pushed FFXIV as hard as they did with FFXIII.

In the end, I could care less who buys it because I already bought it and I don't need to be swayed.
#10 Aug 24 2010 at 8:23 AM Rating: Good
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Maybe it's the way how SE does it usually...

I know there are information on the website, but sadly, they're more of collection of pre-rendered movie clips, I think by now such quality CGs are already expected of SE. They are indeed pretty.

But how about the actual gameplay footage, perhaps demonstrating Gladiator class skills ? How about a mage casting a big whooping tornado onto a Boss monster ? Maybe I'm asking too much... but I know other game developer does this, recent gameplay footage on Guild Wars 2 (umm not my type of game, looks kinda like wow ^^;), it's demonstrating what you can expect to see inside the game - minus the flaws within a Beta, and yes, I was impressed when the player character joining in a fight with a few-stories-tall-monster...In a way it's marketing the game, showcasing some of it's epic boss fights.

I mean, I understand the game WILL HAVE it's fine moments and I will always remember those Shadowlord fights, CoP mission fights back in FFXI. I expect no less in FFXIV. But 1 month away from release, there are mostly only videos of 'which isn't the finished product' - kinda doing more harm to the game's reputation rather than promoting it to the mass. It's just sad :(...

Just hoping SE would take a step to show the naysayers, THOSE VIDEOS ARE BETA. NOW, LOOK AT THE RRREAL THING!!!!
#11 Aug 24 2010 at 2:01 PM Rating: Good
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I think the Open Beta is basically their NA marketing plan.

After the game has matured some people will give it another chance to see if the improvements are acceptable. It's a unique game with unprecedented artwork and graphics. It doesn't need to take over the market on Day 1. Word of mouth will work fine over the coming year. I think anyone who would play it at release has heard of it by now.

That said, I do agree that some NA TV commercials closer to release would be a good idea.

Edited, Aug 24th 2010 4:01pm by RufuSwho
#12 Aug 24 2010 at 2:31 PM Rating: Good
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I, for one, am kind of glad that FFXIV is a "niche" game for a fairly limited audience. Not that I want the FFXIV servers to be ghost towns, but the lack of big market advertisement means that the bulk of the people playing are playing for the love of the game/series specifically and not just because they "saw it and thought it looked cool," "tried it because it was popular," etc. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with the people who get into a game that way, but if it's widely known to a lot of people (rather than to a niche community who already knows/loves the series) it's more likely to end up like WoW in a sense that, while the game is a masterpiece from a developmental perspective, the community is terrible.

Any game is going to have its bad apples, but in FFXI you could go into the game with no real-life connections and no linkshell, but still grow to have a very "full" and positive community experience, making friends and so forth due to the reliance upon a dedicated community for leveling and progression. In WoW, if you don't have real-life connections or a guild, good luck... Just getting an answer to a simple question is a hassle. If you ask something in general chat (on a good day), you'll get 5 or 6 d-bag/fake remarks and maybe one true answer. Maybe. The rest of the chat channel is comprised of insults and trolling.

I don't think this is the fault of WoW as a game. A lot of people that I knew from FFXI used to argue that it was because WoW was "too easy" compared to FFXI. As far as leveling was concerned, maybe that was the case. It doesn't really require a lot of trouble to get to the max level. The bosses and "endgame content," however, are much more difficult/complex than the endgame content in FFXI. Yet, even when you get to endgame the game itself is still riddled with d-bags, difficulty doesn't really weed them out. It makes some of them worse. I get the feeling that the difference in communities has a lot more to do with the fact that the Final Fantasy community is involved with Final Fantasy due to a specific love/interest for that game/series rather than a passing awareness of it. I'm not saying this is a rule by any means, but the people that have ordered FFXIV have (probably) mostly done so because they played FFXI and liked it, or they know someone who did. They already have a personal investment in the community and are not just picking up what's popular/available.

Sorry, I know that FFXI(V) vs. WoW is not a very desirable comparison, but those are the only two I know from experience as far as small "niche" community vs. big "marketed" community. :(
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#13 Aug 24 2010 at 2:36 PM Rating: Default
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How exactly is FFXIV a niche market when they have already stated they want this FF to be mainstream so that casual players can enjoy unlike their previous FFXI. How do you know there wont be any advertisements popping up all over the place when we are days from launch?
#14 Aug 24 2010 at 2:43 PM Rating: Good
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windexy wrote:
Their marketing department is crap. This whole deal about surplus XP is a shining example.

Instead of spinning it as a reduction in XP after spending time on a class it should have been sold as you get a bonus that slowly wears down to normal levels.


I still don't like it, but I agree that this would have been a great way to minimize damage.

See, any marketing 101 class will tell you that the MOST RELIABLE form of advertising is word of mouth. TV ads will get people to try your product, so will magazine features. Statistically speaking though, word of mouth has a higher yield in results, whereas TV and such will have a lower percentage yield, but coupled with free trials, you can still get a huge influx of players this way.

Here's what SE sees:

See, any marketing 101 class will tell you that the MOST RELIABLE form of advertising is word of mouth. TV ads will get people to try your product, so will magazine features. Statistically speaking though, word of mouth has a higher yield in results, whereas TV and such will have a lower percentage yield, but coupled with free trials, you can still get a huge influx of players this way.
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#15 Aug 24 2010 at 2:43 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
How exactly is FFXIV a niche market when they have already stated they want this FF to be mainstream so that casual players can enjoy unlike their previous FFXI. How do you know there wont be any advertisements popping up all over the place when we are days from launch?


S/he doesn't, s/he's basing his post on the statment from previous posts that the advertising for FFXIV is basically non existant in the western market. (IMO)
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#16 Aug 24 2010 at 2:49 PM Rating: Good
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Hugus wrote:
Quote:
How exactly is FFXIV a niche market when they have already stated they want this FF to be mainstream so that casual players can enjoy unlike their previous FFXI. How do you know there wont be any advertisements popping up all over the place when we are days from launch?


S/he doesn't, s/he's basing his post on the statment from previous posts that the advertising for FFXIV is basically non existant in the western market. (IMO)


Based on the computer requirements alone, it's pretty obvious that if SE -thinks- they're going to attract casual players, they're in for a rude awakening.
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#17 Aug 24 2010 at 2:52 PM Rating: Decent
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In Japan, there is a lot more advertisement and public marketing for the game. In the US and other foreign markets, it is a "niche" community because the majority of people who know about it are "hardcore" (well-informed) gamers who keep themselves up to date on everything in the gaming community, or people who played FFXI (or other SE products) and knew about it back before it was even "FFXIV." Especially in "foreign markets" (markets that are not Japan), since SE considers them secondary and don't spend many resources advertising to us the way they do to Japan. That has nothing to do with the ease of the game as far as casual/hardcore play. Wanting something to be suited to casual players and wanting something to be mainstream are not at all the same thing. Casual vs. hardcore is a measure of how many hours a person plays per day/how deeply involved they are in the game. Mainstream vs. niche is a measure of how great the spectrum is of people who are aware of the game. More or less.
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#18 Aug 24 2010 at 3:51 PM Rating: Good
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Look, at one point FFXI was making over $3,000,000 a month. With more importantly, a strong community.

This was without virtually any ads in the U.S., a shaky PS2 launch (due to modem and a harddrive connection), and just by virtue of being a hardcore game. Plus for the most part it was (like most JRPGS), unrelatable to western audiences.

Now would you spend a million dollars to make a million dollars in the U.S. based off of this info? No way. I think SE rightly realizes their lack of return in our market. Even though companies make mistakes, I'm sure SE's marketing department isn't all hur dur drones and has access to demographics we haven't even thought of.

Now if FFXIV takes off (which at this point who knows) then by the time the PS3 launch comes around you bet your boots they'll be making bundles and advertising the #$%@ out of it.

And again, who knows, maybe when the game actually comes out they'll push it hard. (insert joke here).

#19 Aug 24 2010 at 4:08 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
In Japan, there is a lot more advertisement and public marketing for the game.



Aye, someone mentioned in the IRC the other day that some computer retailers in Japan advertise the system's FFXIV benchmark as a part of its specs. Of course that's hearsay to be taken a s a grain of salt. Still, I could see it happening.
#20 Aug 24 2010 at 4:29 PM Rating: Good
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Maybe Akihabara in Tokyo shouldn't be the only example, but FFXI, even 8 years after its release, was still advertised pretty well there. An old game with continued advertisement is pretty nice. ^^;

http://i1181.photobucket.com/albums/x429/Joshua_Warhurst/DSCN0867.jpg

As of yet, due to the requirements, FFXIV is not a game that will attract anything other than the hardcore PC crowd--and they'll find out about the game. I think SE would do best to focus their advertisement on the PS3 release. While a bummer for people like me with plans to play on the PS3, it gives them time to polish a game for the casual fanbase. Sure, that group may hear things before the game is released from PC players, but when the time comes around to play, and it's only $50 or whatever to buy the game on PS3, with no upgrading of a computer necessary, and a "what-the-****-I-only-play-a-single-player-game-for-a-month-anyway" mentality, advertising at that time would be ideal.

Even so, I'm sure the US will be limited to Gamestop posters and whatnot. Only time will tell...

Edited, Aug 24th 2010 6:32pm by BlackRagnarok
#21 Aug 24 2010 at 5:05 PM Rating: Good
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Even so, I'm sure the US will be limited to Gamestop posters and whatnot. Only time will tell...


Ineed, because here in the US, when folks hear gamer, they still imagine something like this:

Screenshot



Any mainstream marketing attention will be absorbed by the new Call of Duty, developments in Madden 11 and what's left will go to AC: Brotherhood. Only game-specific stores will really advertise XIV with maybe a poster or two.
#22 Aug 24 2010 at 6:04 PM Rating: Decent
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Even if SE wants to specifically cater to the Japanese market, I don't think they would have to go too far out of their way to appease the Western market. I think a single international representative hired specifically to do PR with international markets would be a god send. Frankly, I think the potential international market for SE games are much larger than they have ever tapped into. What would be the harm of developing an international marking and PR department. There is no need to purchase expensive tv ads. **** with the state of the internet, publicity is nearly free. My biggest issue with SE has always been their level of secrecy. When functioning in game it is actually enjoyable to discover all the little nuances of the games and hidden benefits, but during the initial marketing process of a new game you need to at least reveal the basic features. Even less than a month from release we can still merely speculate on basic features of this game. We have no idea how anything is going to work on release. Yes, we all realize "it's beta", but there is plenty of things in the game that are finalized already. A bit of information would be nice. Just enough so potential players know what they are signing up for.
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#23 Aug 24 2010 at 6:34 PM Rating: Good
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You should keep in mind that the majority of NA FFXIV players are not looking up info on FFXIV on a daily basis. Only the die hard fans are keep a close watch on the game. For the masses, the current level of marketing is probably good enough.
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