Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Monday, August 8, 2011

DC Universe Online: When Servers Collide

They've got some super problems...
Full size version here.
Here's an example of a game company trying to put a happy face on obvious bad news: Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) has announced that they creating "megaservers" today. That means the players that were once previously spread out on 26 servers will now be handled on 4 servers. The information posted on SOE's web site talks about all the benefits for players, in that it means it'll be easier to find other players to go on raids and such.

Why, of course, SOE is doing this just because it's something that will benefit players. What other reason could there be?

Only a cynic would think that perhaps DCUO is not experiencing the number of players they thought they would have originally, and that the servers resemble ghost towns where it can take a very long time indeed to find other players for activities. A cynic might think that if you had 26 servers, and then somehow were able to fit all the players onto 4 servers, that your game population is perhaps a factor of 6 or so smaller than you thought it would be.

Really, does SOE think no one will notice that the game's user base is apparently getting ready to fit into the Bottle City of Kandor? Admittedly, it would be difficult to craft a good marketing message about how the user base of the game is far smaller than you expected. Perhaps, though, if they fessed up and asked for suggestions, they could figure out how to improve the game and attract more players. When they've reached this point, a sudden reversal of fortune seems unlikely without some big changes.

Hmm, maybe some red kryptonite is what they need...

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