Incoming rant. Take cover!
Last night I had a bit of a GADD spaz attack. I was surfing around the toobs and came across an article on how Ultima Online has recently (2007) completely upgraded the graphics and UI by putting out a new client for their venerable MMORPG. The screenshots looked pretty darn good compared to the original, cutting edge at the time but now dated, graphics.
So I headed over to grab the two week trial. I created an account and was sent to Fileplanet to download the client. I started the download and was promptly told that I would have to wait 30 minutes for the download to start unless I was a premium client. Premium meaning paying a fee. Paying a fee to get a two week free trial.
So I canceled the download and did something else.
Okay. Maybe I was being cheap. It was only a few dollars to go premium. Maybe I was being impatient — Homer: “forty seconds, but I want it now.” – But maybe I didn’t want to jump through hoops in order to download something that was spur of the moment. Maybe I was annoyed that a huge company like EA wouldn’t at the very least provide a download of its own, even if it was slower than the premium service.
Game publishers, for goodness sake, don’t make it difficult for potential customers to get your games. Don’t give them reasons to click the cancel button.
There’s a reason why supermarkets put magazines and small price items at the checkout. They’re looking for people like me who make impulse purchases of those sort of items. There’s a reason why EBGames put the on sale games at the front of the store instead of in a disused basement storage room with a sign on the door saying “beware of the leopard.” (Apologies to Douglass Adams.) They want to make it easy for people walking on by to become customers.
Making it hard for someone to become a customer. Stupid.
Okay. Rant over. You can come out now.