Today I saw a huge string of popular gaming sites, and even a celebrity, offering free beta weekend keys all over the Internet. You may have noticed that I blogged several over the course of the afternoon. One message that came consistently with these announcements was “A-net has gifted us with (a certain number) of beta keys to give out.”
I thought about it a bit, and I realized that this was a pretty genius move for GW2 pre-launch publicity. Hand out a bunch of keys to popular sites and let those sites hold contests or site events to reward hopeful players who have either not yet pre-ordered or are only curious and holding back from a pre-order.
What does this do?
- It puts the power of advertisement into the hands of fan communities. I’ve seen those communities create contests and use the beta keys as ways to spread the word about their own sites to interested players,which is a win for them.
- It spreads hype for the game in a way that costs nothing to A-net… and, in fact, may net them some new pre-orders or future customers when it’s done.
- It gets Guild Wars 2 in people’s minds across many different types social media, blogs and sites.
Overall, I think it’s quite clever. Everyone enjoys the feeling of winning something. And folks who are sitting on the fence about pre-ordering might just need this little sneak peek to realize how awesome the game will be.
What do you think about this approach?
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