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Recognizing a brilliant MMO marketing campaign from Collector's Edition rewards

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While countless MMO titles have developed any number of marketing ploys with which to ensnare players into making a purchase; with the recent release of Final Fantasy XIV for the Sony Playstation 4 and what that brought for Collector's Edition owners, Square Enix is reinventing how to market towards players. While purchasers of other titles' collector's edition copies have received some initial in-game reward, Final Fantasy XIV players invested in a gift that keeps giving.

Simply updating the rewards offered from that purchase however, is a minimal token when compared to the free marketing this introduced for their collector's edition within the game. Prior to the Playstation 4 release players could simply observe the items such a purchase would provide them, after the PS4 release all collector's edition titles received the rewards planned for the PS4 collector's release and began ensnaring purchases of collector's editions from many players that hadn't already bought them. What exactly made these rewards so much more significant to players as to instigate an unneeded purchase? Before we look at that, perhaps we should take a look at the rewards collector's edition titles offered prior to the PS4's additions.

Behemoth minion & Helm of Light
Behemoth minion & Helm of Light Square Enix & Final Fantasy XIV; a Realm Reborn

Behemoth minion & Helm of Light

Before Sony's latest console released their collector's edition of the game, there were 4 items awarded from the purchase thereof.  Two of the four could be put to use immediately, whereas the other half of the awards might be seen as incentives to progress and play the game.  The two items that could be put to use immediately however were the 'Helm of Light' and 'Baby Behemoth' minion.  The Helm offering additional experience gained while equipped prior to reaching level 10 and a pet/minion to follow you as you begin your adventuring in Ezorea.  These items were exclusive to the collector's edition copies for PS3 and PC; but not all that the player had received, the rest however would require some investment of time by the player to see firsthand.

Behemoth Barding
Behemoth Barding Square Enix & Final Fantasy XIV; a Realm Reborn

Behemoth Barding

Once a player has progressed far enough along as to unlock their Chocobo mount and purchased the needed license to ride it; so too has the collector's edition owner given way for firsthand observation of their other rewards from that purchase.  The Behemoth Barding as shown here, serves as a graphical overlay/armoring for your Chocobo mount.  Granted further progression and appropriate quest completion will unlock the Chocobo as a companion to fight alongside you; but this barding nor any offered within the game will actually provide any statistical additions to that role.  Still whether beneficial to the mount/companion or not, many players can be seen putting this barding to use, and sometimes even just components in a mix-match of other bardings they may have acquired.

Coeurl mount
Coeurl mount Square Enix & Final Fantasy XIV; a Realm Reborn

Coeurl mount

Setting the barding aside, an additional mount to ride would too now be available to the collector's edition owner; that of the Coeurl as seen here.  This mount, like the others ingame currently, cannot serve as a companion simply as an additional mount option for the player to choose from or use their mount roulette to randomly choose for them.  While no faster than any other mount within the game, any player seen riding one has applied the collector's edition code to their account.  As of currently this mount serves as the exclusive feline mount available to any player.  While the recent 2.2 update has introduced another feline mount for Paladins (that of the lion); this mount requires no specific achievement or job/class to unlock.  Simply purchase and application of the collector's edition code to the player's account.  While mounts, minions, and gear all may seem worthy enticements to some, it was the introduction of the PS4 collector's edition items that would steal the stage and forge a new chapter in MMO marketing campaigns.

Wind-up Moogle minion
Wind-up Moogle minion Square Enix & Final Fantasy XIV; a Realm Reborn

Wind-up Moogle minion

Probably as recognized an icon to Final Fantasy fans, as the chocobo; with the release of PS4 collector's edition all players with a current collector's edition or prior received a moogle wind-up minion.  Not only does this addition tickle the fancy of the Final Fantasy fan-boys & girls; but this minion may serve as an iconic cornerstone for MMO marketing from here on in.  While the other awards may have their own style of standing out, the moogle minions not only stand out alone, but especially together!  Anytime these minions come into contact with others they will begin dancing about the other minions close enough to them.  Should those other minions they come near be moogles as well, then a veritable square dance of sorts can be observed as these minions, of their own accord, begin dancing about in a circle swaying across the center as they switch off with one another in a do-si-do fashion.  While fans of this series may find the moogle alone enticement enough, if not the dancing merriment of moogles to propagate the purchase of a collector's edition of them perhaps it's the newer mount and the tickling it brought.

Fat Chocobo mount
Fat Chocobo mount Square Enix & Final Fantasy XIV; a Realm Reborn

Fat Chocobo mount

Everyone make way for the Fat Chocobo mounts!  One look at these beasts and it becomes obvious that if you don't they will!  Chasing a Gysahl green on a string held before them, the fat chocobo mount has probably served in winning more additional purchases of collector's editions than any of the prior incentives.  The day these hit the moogle mail of those awaiting their arrival, was the day they could be seen en masse throughout the town of Revenant's Toll in Mor Dhona.  Why there was even an effort early in that morning where players surrounded the Aethernet crystal of that town each atop their gargantuan overfed choco's.   While this mount offers nothing more than the chuckles of watching it flail about while chasing the greens you as the rider dangle before it to keep it moving, countless husbands and boyfriends have found themselves under duress to purchase collector's editions for their significant others that play alongside them.

While many games have given boast to enticing collector's edition rewards for players that invest in as much; how many are successful in offering further freebies that in-turn incite further purchase?  Let alone freebies that interact and apply efforts to catch the attention and desire of players that did not make the investment?  Take that purchase a step further and morph it into an 'investment' as further offerings from it are unlocked to the players that have already purchased; and you have a remarkably note-worthy marketing strategy evolving within these realms.

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