Are games the new advertising platform for reality?
When Trion Worlds first began promoting Rift many of the ads featured the text “We’re not in Azeroth anymore” and lead to an initial game launch that offered everything World of Warcraft had, but with significant improvements. While Blizzard was quick to add many of these same features to WoW in the coming months, Rifts downfall was seen by many as not being able to differentiate itself enough from the MMO giant; especially as the two would add similar features as each other each update.
When Rift launch Battegrounds in WoW, like Warsong Gulch, didn’t have time limits which often led to many groups “camping” a flag for upwards of 30 minutes. Rift’s Warfront’s launched with a time limit on all these activities, to ensure that players would not be able to grief others into exiting a match early. Rift still allows quest mobs to be un-tagged, and auto-grouping to ensure players don’t have to fight over a quest mobs spawn point, communication with the other in-game faction and numerous customizable features. In addition, Rift was the first to launch Chronicles, solo and duo instances based on the lore and dungeons of the larger group focused encountered. Blizzard later added Scenarios to WoW in Mists of Pandaria.
Fast forward a couple years and Trion announces their SyFy cross-over game-show and brings in sponsor Dodge to promote their Charger ‘The sky may fall but the fast will survive.” Being a First Person Shooter, Defiance is unlike any of Blizzard’s three primary franchises of Diablo, StarCraft and Warcraft and with the current releases on Trion’s site, it is clear these two companies are now moving in clearly separate directions.
However, recently Blizzard partnered with Motorcycle manufacturer, and reality show, American Choppers to bring Azeroth Choppers to World of Warcraft.
“Grab a front-row seat for the ultimate road showdown! Legendary custom motorcycle designer Paul Jr. has assembled two handpicked teams of bike experts to bring to life a pair of asphalt-kicking chopper designs inspired by World of Warcraft’s two warring factions. Joining each crew on their epic quest are members of the World of Warcraft development team, on board to help to infuse the essence of the Horde and the Alliance into each bike. In the end, only one chopper will reign supreme as the undisputed king of Azeroth’s roads in a winner-takes-all showdown voted on by World of Warcraft players around the globe.”
So how long before we start to see more reality cross-over promotion in our games?
And what do gamers think of this?