Watercrown Productions

Now, That’s How You Sell A Free MMO!

by on Nov.03, 2009, under Opinions

If you’ve been following my blog, you know precisely what I think of lame attempts to use sex to sell a product.

I think the perpetrators ought to be castrated with a chainsaw.

Which is to say, it was curiosity alone that led me to research Civony – I mean, Evony, purely because the ads were freakin’ everywhere and I was curious just what kind of game was apparently buried under all that cheesecake. Unsurprisingly, it appears that the gameplay is just as vapid and uninspired as the methods used to market the game. (And anyone who plays the game expecting it to have scantily-clad women like in the ads is going to be sorely disappointed. To be honest, I call that karmic retribution.)

Which is not to say that there aren’t any good free browser-based MMOs. A few years back, I had some fun with Urban Dead, a zombie apocalypse-themed game set in a ruined city. More recently, one of my favorite webcomics ran an ad for Spy Battle 2165, a text-based browser game where you play as a freelance covert operative in a sci-fi future.

The ad in question is only tangentially related to the game (not to mention the comic), but take a look. Heck, why stop at just the ad? Girl Genius is an epic (and hilarious) tale of mad science in an alternate universe where borderline supernatural geniuses called Sparks changed the course of history; it’s well worth spending a few hours on an archive binge.

So let this be a lesson to all you developers out there. If you want people to play your browser-based games, don’t slap some tired buzzwords onto some stock photo and call it a day. Instead, hijack yourself a webcomic artist!

Hey, it worked for Final Fantasy XI.

Oh, and if you decide you want to check out Spy Battle 2165 yourself, make sure you tell them Ryusui referred you. Or better yet, just click one of the links I’ve helpfully provided in this blog post!

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