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“Shouldn’t Customer Loyalty Warrant Beta Spots?” or “Wisdom From Milamber”

May 8, 2010 6 comments

A close friend of mine recently got invited to the StarCraft II Beta. He is a Blizzard fan to an extent, but does not hold the developer in a particularly high regard or another. He believes they make good video games, and enjoys their work as much as the next guy. He used to play World of Warcraft up until 2005, and it is currently the only game he own on his Battle.Net account.

Let me rephrase. A guy who has owned only one of Blizzard’s many fine products, which he last subscribed to five years ago, got a beta invite to StarCraft II.

I know players, including myself, who have played WoW for nearly six years now, paid our dues, and bought out every game and expansion pack Blizzard has released since Orcs & Humans. Yet none of us have ever received a beta invite, and then there is this guy, no interest in anything Blizzard currently has to offer, and he gets to boast about his shiny new StarCraft II Beta invite key.

Milamber, a guildmate of almost 6 years, also remarked on the trend. He has been playing WoW, without taking a break in subscription, since November 2004. It is now May 2010. He has yet to get into a Blizzard beta. I understand his exasperation, and quite frankly I sympathize with it. It is utterly ridiculous that some who has paid $50 for the original game, than $40 each for the two subsequent expansions, and then yet another $15 x 65 months, for a whopping total of $1,105 can’t even get a beta key thrown in his general direction.

The way I feel, if you have had a continuous subscription for over 5 years of WoW, you should get some sort of incentive for being such a loyal customer. Not too mention if they have also purchased SC1 (and will buy SC2), Diablo 1 and 2, and regular Warcraft.

I really like when companies give stuff to older customer, like in TF2 I have a platinum medal for preordering and playing from the start. It doesn’t give me an unfair advantage, it’s just there to show how long I’ve played.

And shouldn’t those who have been around the longest play beta? I more than anyone know how this game functions and I think I’d be a very helpful tester.

- Milamber

His opinion on the subject has a lot of merit, not only from the point of view of incentivizing games for loyal customers, but also in that players who have been playing your games the longest are likely to be their best critics. Why Blizzard doesn’t have a policy in place for giving betas to their oldest, most loyal customers, is quite franly beyond me.

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