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Long time fan of the game, Personally i've been playing since early 2005? although going through a number of accounts to achieve a 'main', this one is from 2009 I believe?
Spending some time now watching over the statistics of the game, populations and such there has been somewhat of a decline in the servers and I've come to offer some few ideas to the mix, rather then say 'Dead game whatcha'doing about it!'
I've been an avid player of games for well, All my life! I've earned the title of the 'casual' gamer, as well as 'hardcore'. And since I will be making a return to the game I've come to offer my version of how to return a player base, keeping in mind the list will be short and I will accept further contact on more 'ways' to increase population!
How am I qualified? Pfft, Technically i'm not, yet I've learned a lot in the past 7 years of my working life, I've seen companies on the brink of bankruptcy turn it about with excellent marketing ideas, although I've worked for only 'small' companies, To which is my own choice as I like to have the 'input' that you cannot get on a larger corporation, and yes, i've seen companies go from small homegrown businesses to now making a million per year,
Enough about the boring old stuff, lets hear it!
Google Ad words;
Puzzle pirates has been buried entirely by google, to a point where if you search 'online pirate games' you wont find puzzle pirates amidst a crowd of browser based online games from online gaming websites and companies,
The best thing about google-ad words is;
Search 'Online Pirate Games' - If you have these tagged, you are although not guaranteed to be at the very top of the pile you may find yourself first paging -alot- more regularly, 'Puzzle games' 'Pirate MMO's' you may find yourself listing a heck of a lot of tags!
The cons of this however;
It costs per click,
Revamping the website;
The game was founded in 2003, and by the looks of the website it -clearly- shows, it also shows neglect, and it shows it has not kept up to date with the times, yes you can portray this as 'One mans opinion' yet as a gamer the first thing you look at on -any- game is the 'front-page', E.G. if you're playing on steam, you're enticed by a game almost automatically by the screenshots, or well the first picture, the tags, the video, which draws you in -Further- onto the page to the description of the game,
This goes doubly for the website of a game, you'll want to present eye-candy for the potential new player, get them interested to a point where that potential turns into a 'paying customer', to this end; Graphics, a short but sweet post on the first page to which a viewer would read, you want it to become attractive to them, perhaps even play on the elder generations love of tetris as well as casual 'fun to play' games whilst at work (we've all done it before! lets not lie! ) and the younger generations love of colours and graphics, even sand boxed games, Make it clear that this is their world, they can truly be anything from a humble salesman, a master fencer, a sailor for the navy, or even a fearsome pirate!
personally I do not see any cons for this, it's cheap and effective, you can have a -excellent- web page designed for two hundred GBP ( or at the time of this post, almost 250 dollars. ) with a retainer for a hosts ongoing services to keep it up and running -Not- to say you're to go onto a cheap, 'brand-name' host, Support small buisnesses folks!
Look at, and learn from other MMO's, For example;
World of Warcraft, it is widely considered the 'best Massive Multiplayer online game' out there, but how?
Great Marketing, Accessibility, and their play on their populaces love for Lore, PvP, and the ability to switch between casual gamer, and avid hardcore gamer within seconds, it truly built on a successful franchise, as well as it offered a 'peek' into the subscriber only game by ( at the time ) offering a twelve day free trial, Now with the latter i'm not saying that a F2P game should turn into a Subscription based game, but lure people in, offer them twelve days free subscription, much like netflix did it's 30 day free trial to a single card. you could limit this by simply going by card details.
ALTHOUGH, well and truly you can click 'Do not subscribe to newsletters' on other games, they will still send you notifications when it sees automatically that you haven't been on for a while, this may be a 'Whats new in the world of ----' Although not typically in a newsletter format it will offer a quick sum of the more... Loved features in the game to which are new since they where last online. don't send a message out -every- month because that is truly breaching something, simply monitor games coming out, play on peoples boredom so when they are waiting on a new game, playing all their other 'boring' games ( let us face it, this generation has a lack of attention span and that is what has made the industry boom! ) lure them in, get them to see that one page on their email and think 'Ooh! Puzzle pirates! it's been -Ages- Since i've played this!'
This may or may not be cost effective given what the present program for notifications as well as newsletters are.
I remember hearing 'Steam is the future of PC gaming!' although I tend to agree simply because I enjoy digitalised copies of games it may or may not be true, yet much like updating the website, playing on the potential consumers short attention span you -really- need to focus on the 'First view', working with steam offering 'Starter' packs may or may not be a risk, yet given that if you scroll down the pages and pages of games you'll indefinitely see "Super Extreme awesome commander starter pack!" I -know- many like myself have clicked these £9.99 'packs' either by accident or purpose and decided; "eh I dont like pay to play but this, looks pretty good.."
you're advertising your 'weaker' content whilst -still- drawing more focus to new players being able to start the game quickly through means of paying more money, and yes this may seen 'pay to play!' ( we've all experienced how terrible this can be. ) but I remember a friend quote to me once, and this is a thought of many players 'Listen! If I can pay to get ahead in the game then I will!' whilst on the other side of the spectrum you wont be giving them an advantage over any other, because puzzle pirates is about wits, it's about skill, not just about having 'Epic loot!' sure your sword can provide an advantage, but -Only- if used correctly.
Now I do apologise if this seems like a mess, yet it only scratches a the tip of the iceburg of ideas to which a bloke fixated upon PR and Marketing would offer such a loving yet slowly decaying community, we've all lost much loved friends upon our servers be it through ocean merges creating hate for the game, or just people no longer wishing to play it, We've all been effected and we all wish to see the game return to its glory much as it was in the space of 2007 - 2012.
If you'd like to help with the ongoing Grey Havens task of trying to gain more of a populace I implore you, do as -Much- as you can to help! Share and support his page, Livestream with your friends and buddies via twitch, Post you tube videos, heck! even make a machima! your creativity will truly help bring a game back to life, and please don't forget about us poor subscribers over on Cerulean! doubloons aren't for us, yet we love the game as much as you lot!
although you are only a doughty crew kept around to preserve the games of TRD's it is time to get you guys paid eh'? remember how much Three rings where making back when they had a population? These are very basic concepts of the marketing world, yet with this i'd be willing to offer more insight and offer as much help as possible!
I'd love to see the game return to it's proper place, rather then see it go to history, however Grey haven have been neglecting the game to a large preportion almost as if they wish the game to die, They're not ones for updates on what is going on, nor are they ones for social media and the likes! They need to hire a PR guy, seriously
-IF- you guys are on the Cerulean Ocean, Hit me up! Herius!
I will be glad to speak to a member of the Gray Havens team offering insight and knowledge, simply contact me via forums ( more specifically this page ) and we may organise something, yet I do not count on it! Free advice is free advice eh'?
[Edit 5 times, last edit by benpowell987 at Nov 22, 2016 9:40:58 AM]
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