Stropp's World

Games And Gamery

What About The Point Of Difference?

Posted by Stropp on April 15, 2011

One of the things that happens to you when you start a business is that you (are forced) to learn a whole bunch of new stuff. For me, a lot of the new subject matter being packed into my gray matter is on the topic of marketing. It’s amazing the gap between what I thought I knew and what I actually knew.

For instance, one of the early lessions I learned was that successful business market themselves not on price, but on how different they are from their competitors. That’s called the point of difference.

So when I read the following passage in Tobolds most recent post,

But isn’t the problem rather that the new games are too similar to WoW and other previous games, so they don’t hold the attention of players for very long?

it occurs to me that maybe the big reason that so many games fail to get the numbers that they want in a market clearly favoring the themepark style is that they are not selling their point of difference to the MMORPG market.

I’m only a little familiar with US themeparks, so my analogy here might be flawed, but when you compare places like Six Flags and Disneyland, they are differentiating themselves not on price but on what kind of experience they offer.

Why aren’t the MMORPG developers doing the same?

Or do you think they are?


  1. Scopique Said,

    I think they DO, but it’s not “in your face” enough for people to remember it. Using your analogy, if people walk into Disney, they’re constantly slammed with Disney iconography, so there’s no doubt about where you are.

    Rift seems to be doing a pretty good job mainly because people are constantly tweaking their soul builds, and you can’t leave the house without running into a rift. Meanwhile, other games like WAR or EQ2 — both games that I love, don’t get me wrong — really don’t have any constant thrum of difference that you simply cannot get away from. Yeah, WAR has RvR, but it’s not open world, so it’s something you can sweep under the rug. What’s left is the common DIKU experience that WoW uses, but with different skins.

    In essence, little or out-of-the-way differences aren’t enough to remind players that they’re getting something different in their daily experiences.

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