A couple times a year a friend and I drive through Kalamazoo on our way to our clan's LAN event in Wisconsin. We spend most of the trip chatting about HoN and we always look forward to seeing what billboard you have up on I-94 as it changes fairly regularly.
We were at the LAN over the weekend when you all announced prizepools for HonTour and all of us were disappointed. The vast majority are barely Bronze level players who don't mind winning gold coins, but we realized that without a real prizepool to incentivize high tier players to dedicate the time and energy needed to compete, the competitive scene as we now know it with breakthrough teams like vdT and iG will cease to exist.
My friend and I made the drive back this afternoon and a large portion of what we talked about was how to keep our competitive scene alive. As a small indie gaming company it's obvious to everyone that you don't have thousands of dollars to give out to the player base, so the solution had to be one that wouldn't add excess expenses to the budget.
We think we found one.
Get rid of your god damn billboard.
We did a quick search and renting a billboard space approximately the size of the one you have now ranges from $750-$2,000 per four week period. That's $9,000-$24,000 spent yearly on billboard rental fees. To break even with the lowest possible rental cost, 1 in 20 people living in the city of Kalamazoo would have to spend at least $2.50 in coins. This is highly unrealistic given that 3,700 people would be about 4% of the online playerbase during NA primetime, and if such a small investment could lead to such an increase in players we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.
Why is this re-appropriation of money an important move? Because the investment will yield you a much bigger return in the long run. In addition to not making your competitive players switch to other games (more sub-account/gold coin revenue), this will help make sure your competitive scene exists at all.
"But we're $2, make bank ALL DAY SMALLSONS!"
No, no, no. That's what got you into this mess in the first place. I'm sure HoN is currently a fairly profitable game and Maliken is drowning in ***** and expensive cars, but effectively destroying your competitive scene has long term consequences. We all know S2's marketing is small/non-existent, so the competitive scene is one of the only sources of advertising you have. If the competitive scene goes away, sponsor money and promotions (=advertising) goes away. If the competitive scene goes away, top tier streamers go away (No more Moon Army invading other streams and people from other games trying out HoN because they saw Moon dancing to NEVA EVA).
But most importantly, if the competitive scene goes away, HYPE goes away. The competitive scene is from where we players draw inspiration. There will be no more "Is X dominant team better than fnatic?" There will be no more "OMG DID YOU SEE PEWE HAVE ALMOST 1000 GPM?!" If the competitive scene goes away HoN will be the Super Smash Bros of MOBAs. It'll still be a great game. I'll still love to play it with friends. But there's no way any of us will take it seriously anymore if the best players are getting paid in Monopoly money.
Don't walk into the Tempest ult, S2. Get rid of your god damn billboard.
As an Asian Studies major I know I'm more than qualified to be a financial advisor at S2.
It doesn't take a marketing major to realize that one billboard in the middle of an interstate costing a minimum of $9,000 isn't going to pull in $9,000 worth of players.
bump; approve of message.
[11:04:47 PM] Rene: but i just calculate people
[11:04:50 PM] Rene: when i meet them
[11:04:57 PM] Rene: and then pretty much know how to manipulate them
[11:05:01 PM] Rene: except for my friends ofc
[11:05:01 PM] Alex "sender" Wieker: dam you calculated me?
[11:05:08 PM] Rene: u count as a friend
[11:05:13 PM] Alex "sender" Wieker: yesss
Follow me facebook.com/senderhon and on twitter @SenderHoN
This has nothing to do with the hontour prize pool and it comes from very different budgets. Maliken is incredibly proud of being from Kalamazoo, MI and does a lot to support the local community. These billboards are more than just advertising for HoN, but for our company in general. Since we've put these up we've seen a major spike in resumes and interest.
I don't want to sound rude or anything, what follows is just my opinion and hope for the future;
Considering S2, like you said, is working on multiple projects, is there any chance you're gonna have a partnership for the INT client (like you did with SEA and Garena.)?
It's pretty depressing to see such a wonderful game falling apart.
You are all I long for, all I worship and adore.
Yes they probably have money which they don't want to gift to comp players out of their pockets. The problem is that HTS1 was really good and even an average finals event would have generated enough buzz and hype and sponsors etc. It was a good idea to kind of throw all your eggs on this one basket since the event as a whole worked well and S2 can't single handedly fund every HoN tourny in the future. So they took a big bulk of their cash and put it into HTS1 hoping it would generate enough buzz to allow them to get help from outside sources.
My guess would be atm they're putting in all the cash they can afford into HTS2, trying to repair the damage done from previous season and hopefully do this season what they couldn't do last season but with a smaller budget. That and focusing on SEA regions since it yields better results. They could possibly pump a bit more money in, but I think its probably better for them to not go all-in on international HoN for a second time.
*Image has been removed for being inappropriate*
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5oJXgBlCKUIf the competitive scene goes away HoN will be the Super Smash Bros of MOBAs.
Smash is an extremely competetive game and one of the most skillcapped singleplayer games in the world. x)
On topic though, HoN as a game needs a competetive scene. It's essential for the survival of the game.
S2 Really needs to start producing hype for the game and advertise it in the same manner as Garena does for the game in SEA.
a billboard?! UNACCEPTABLE..........what