This is aimed squarely at the developers and PR at Blizzard.
Forgive my bluntness, but ARE YOU THICK OR WHAT!?
The garish ‘my little pony’ Celestial Steed in BoA and costs 20 Euro. A one-off payment to benefit all your alts.
By all accounts this brought in tens of millions of dollars in revenue in just a few days. Possibly hundreds of millions of dollars.
Now, recommend a friend give one poxy BoP mount (I’m STILL waiting for mine after a week by the way…) and generates about 50 Euro – with knock on sales for extending the sub, renames, transfers, and all the other things you charge for, making the ‘recommend a friend’ FAR more lucrative for you.
Now, already we are at the WTF? stage. Does customer loyalty mean so little to you that you give such a relatively shabby reward?
SO… here’s my suggestion.
REWARD CUSTOMER LOYALTY!
For a start – and this is a cast iron certainty – if the mount was BoA you would sell a vast number of new accounts because players would see the value in the offer and either pull friends in or, more likely, buy additional accounts for themselves!
Yes, say your cynical, Armani suited execs, but that only nets us one extra recruit, give us your money…
Gods you are thick!
Given the lengths you lot go to play on our obsessive natures (as evidenced by the in-game pets you sell for 10 euro a shot) you lot ain’t very bright, eh!?
Give them – give us – options, a selection – And make the damned things BoA!
For instance, a tiered choice of 20 existing or new mounts and pets. Give people the option.
Recommend a friend gets you the X-53 mount (or the old Zebra)
Recommend a 2nd friend offers you these, Little XT, or another.
At 5 recommendations you open it to offer one of the trading card items, like the Tuskarr Kite.
At 10 other options become available.
For the maximum you offer rares like the Spectral Tiger Mount or Tyrael’s hilt.
I dare say your legal department will sit bolt upright and scream you can’t offer /those/ but I’m sure you get the idea.
(And yes, muggings here has the Little XT, my little pony etc…)
Addenda November 2013
They did eventually make pets and mounts BoA, but their RaF deal still wants work, in my opinion.
I’m sure if you still play the game, you are ‘with me’ on this next bit. I stopped playing WoW for a variety of reasons, not least of which being my obsessive playing was greatly affecting my health and personal life. Still, they keep sending me reminders trying to get me back in the game. Last time it was offering me a weeks free game time. I declined. This time is the 9th anniversary. Log in during the event and get : a temporary experience boost.
And that’s supposed to entice me how?
Blizzard, on and off, used to give a better reason for being loyal, for logging on during the anniversary, like pets. Now? All the new goodies like that go onto their store, €$9.99 for a pet, €14.99 for a mount, €24.99 for a helm for your bank alt. Not sure of the actual prices and can’t be bothered going there to see, to be honest, but you get the idea. I stopped playing not because I hate the game, but because I like it altogether too much, that and hiding from real-life issues. The constant DC’s, poor support for technical issues they cause and their move to wanting more and more cash for extras helped nail it of course.
Seems to me it is a head in the sand attitude. Denial. The more they drive away players, the less they give-away, choosing instead to desperately make up funds for in-game items via the store. In the last year or so they lost another 2 millions players – a further drop in revenue of over £200 million a year. And to keep / entice you back for an annual event they offer – a poxy short-term buff that’s pretty much useless for most long-term players. Clueless. They are utterly clueless.