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Monday, October 10, 2005

Walk of Shame

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I was going to let them slide on this one. Honestly. I was going to walk away. There's probably only a handful of people who even care about this issue, let alone get up in arms about it. I've been quite pleased with the game lately, specifically with the boost in quest xp, which I previously stated I found lacking in this post. I have seen players who normally just grind get excited about quests again and I think that's a great thing for the game.

But they had to push me. They had to /command it. They had to put it in the update notes. They had to aggro me.

If you don't know what I'm talking about. It's the
Game Walk of Fame thing. I found out about the voting on some game site or other early on and when I checked, Lara Croft was in the lead. I laughed. I noticed Everquest was somewhere in the middle and I moved on with my life.

Then I started to see the links on the top of the official forums for the SOE games. "EverQuest has been nominated for a star on the Sony Metreon's "Walk of Games. You will be able to vote once per day (per IP address) for EverQuest."

Well, my first thought was that it reminded me of a Geocities Baby Spice fansite begging you to click this link to "vote me in the top 100 best Spice Girls links on the web!" Kind of cheesy, in other words. Those top 100 site lists are basically one big scam by the way.

But, hey, I thought, it's kind of plucky. They really want to win and that's kind of cute. I'm going to shut up about it.

I noticed EQ climbing up the ranks.

Then came the update notes:

"*** Vote for EverQuest ***

- Here's your chance to help EverQuest be recognized for its role in gaming history by receiving a star on the Walk of Game!- Gamers worldwide can cast their votes on
http://www.walkofgame.com/ to award EverQuest a star on the Walk of Game at Sony's Metreon entertainment complex in San Francisco, CA.- Typing the /vote command will open your web browser to the Walk of Game website where you can register and cast your vote for EQ.- Vote daily to help EQ secure its place in history! Voting runs through October 31. "

Seriously gang. What are we talking about here? What the heck is the Walk of Game anyway? Is it some prestigious award by independent critics? Is it some governmental salute to gaming? It's an internet poll. It's a marketing scheme located in a
glorified Chuck E. Cheese.

I'm not saying it's against the rules to mobilize the forums even though Pac-Man, for example, can't very well do the same thing. And I do think Everquest should eventually be inducted into any such list. It's an incredibly important piece of gaming history.

But is it really necessary to sleaze up the patch notes and have in-game commands for this? I'll tell you what, I'll build a Gaming Heroes display in my kitchen and SOE can be the first inductee. /vote? Come on.

One positive I take out of this: this is the second time they have been able to quickly reconfigure a /command to link to a website since the slow death of /pizza. Kind of handy. And I do give them points for cleverness and good execution.

As I write this, EQ has a convincing 7% lead over Final Fantasy. I hope you're very proud. I guess my questions would be, "Do you want to act like the historic game company you say you are or a third-grader with a webcomic? Do you want some mild publicity at the cost of diluting the prestige of your brand even further?"

Bah, I didn't study branding or marketing. It probably is worth it from a PR standpoint. But I don't have to like it and SOE didn't have to push it quite so hard.

Anyway, I did my part. I followed the link from the forums and voted daily at the Walk of Game website.

For Doom.


Anonymous Stanrule1 said...

Wooohooo. Go Doom. Agro I live 3 minutes away from the Metreon and you have no idea who much SOE is whoring out Everquest for this one.

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet SoE got more votes for other games through /vote than they did for Everquest.

Mmmm. Bonus vit daily for my vote - a week later EQ will be winning by 200%. C'mon. Where's the marketing in this?

Otherwise, I'll be killing the ghost tree in LT. Great post as always, Aggro. gghhkthnx.


12:43 AM  
Blogger Mr.X said...

Just what the hell is the Metreon anyway ? It must be some kind of a shopping mall. Which Sony apparently owns. So, um, if they want to have Everquest 1 get a star on this walk that bad they should............. just put it there ?

I've never heard of the Walk of Game, unlike perhaps Computer Gaming World's award for Game of the Year, along with their lifetime achievement awards. Some kind of touristy thing only works for me if it's based on something with some history.

Where's the Hollywood Blvd of gaming ? Put stars on that. In the meantime I think I'll vote for Doom too.

11:29 AM  

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