Thursday, February 11

Blizzard to Give Each Warcraft Moviegoer a WOW Package?

Ever since the first news surfaced about the upcoming Warcraft movie, it was clear for everyone that above and beyond the delivery of artistic value and expansion of the Warcraft canon, Blizzard would use the title as a major marketing push into as yet uncharted territory. Indeed, the company's venerable World of Warcraft has penetrated its natural market as well as it ever would in recent years and over a handful of expansion packs none of which disappointed. To make a long story short: to milk WOW for more, Blizzard will have to venture into uncharted territory - which they are indeed doing with Warcraft, the movie - and they will have to adopt some unorthodox marketing techniques, breaking new ground for the MMO genre as a whole.

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The movie will obviously rally the fans, but its primary purpose is to familiarize people not yet exposed to the world of Warcraft with the canon and to get them hooked. A player survey recently sent out by Blizzard revealed how the "sales push" would commence: those who bought tickets to the movie would automatically receive an "Ultimate Movie Edition" package, which would contain the game, with all its expansion packs, as well as one month of game-time and a unique in-game item. The survey was essentially about asking players whether they thought the giving away of such a package was a good idea.

Indeed, very magnanimous at first glance, the move would be nothing short of a superb marketing master-stroke: people interested in and likely freshly hooked by the WOW universe (having seen the movie) will be tempted to give the game go, and if they get sucked in, they'll probably purchase additional subscriptions. In addition to that, the Legion expansion is not included in the Ultimate Movie Edition package, and is likely scheduled for release around the time the movie hits theatres. Everything considered, the push is a bold one, but it makes perfect practical sense, and if they opt for it, Blizzard will likely score big yet again. If nothing else, actually watching this experiment unfold will definitely be quite the experience for marketing-minded fans.

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