Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Heroic customer awareness

I used to play an online game named City of Heroes and I still receive their newsletter (becuase it's interesting, not because they're stalking me.) Today they sent out an announcement of a new service that lets you move your characters between servers, presumably so that you can play with your friends. Of course, in the last month people have started talking about technology that will make it possible to have an unlimited number of people in a single "instance" of an online world, and the City of Heroes people are aware of this. So in their announcement they did a fantastic job of announcing the service, while also warning their customers that it may be superfluous in the future--that the $10 they spend now may have been completely wasted in a few months. Contrast this paragraph with the iPhone's price break:

IMPORTANT! It is possible in the future that we may make changes to the game that would remove the need to transfer servers. One example of such a change would be a “server-less” game configuration where all players can group with anyone, without the restriction of which server they play on. We are not committing to this “server-less” configuration, and there are no plans to implement a “server-less” environment this calendar year, but because we are charging a fee for these services, it is important that our players understand that the possibility exists. We want to be very clear in this regard so that those who do decide to make use of a server transfer understand that they may not need it in the future.

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