Developer Notes #4
In this Developer Notes article, we would like to share some information to address issues raised by some of our participants regarding MindArk’s recent and upcoming marketing efforts.
Much of this information was shared with the Entropia Universe community at the beginning of the year in the State of the Universe Address, but it appears that many participants either missed that announcement, or have forgotten about MindArk’s marketing plans for 2012.
Several months ago, MindArk began an online ad campaign to promote Entropia Universe. In parallel, AR Universe began a campaign to promote Planet Calypso. The initial stages of the campaigns were fairly limited in scope and daily budget, in order to accumulate useful ad targeting and performance data in terms of the effectiveness of these ads in generating new accounts.
In late July, MindArk and Planet Arkadia also launched a campaign for Planet Arkadia, orchestrated by MindArk. These campaigns are an ongoing effort, and budgets are gradually being increased as the targeting effectiveness and account conversion rate improves.
Marketing & New Player Experience
One major factor in MindArk's marketing budget decision-making process has been the implementation of an improved New Player Experience (NPE). It seemed prudent to limit our marketing spending during the early part of 2012 until the improved NPE was implemented and refined. Much of our marketing efforts thus far in 2012 have had the primary goal of gathering data, measuring effectiveness and refining our marketing strategy. Now that the NPE has been implemented into Entropia Universe, we have solid plans to increase our online ad campaign budget throughout the rest of 2012 and beyond.
MindArk has commissioned a professionally produced promotional video that is currently in production. Work on the video is progressing well, and two versions are planned - a short version that can be used as an online video advertisement, along with a longer version that gives a more detailed overview of Entropia Universe and which can be used on official EU websites and at gaming conventions. Both versions will feature a professional actress taking up the role of Sayah King (famous from the original Project Entropia promotional video). The videos will also feature footage from the new avatar system that the MindArk development team is currently hard at work completing, and which has an ETA of early November.
Calypso Land Deed Proceeds
Some of the feedback we have received indicates a (mistaken) belief that the entirety of the proceeds from the Calypso Land Deed sales would be used exclusively for marketing. This belief is inaccurate. What MindArk stated regarding how the CLD proceeds would be used is the following, explained in an earlier Buzz article with detailed information about Calypso Land Deeds-
- Q. How will the proceeds of the Land Lot deeds be used by MindArk?
- A. The proceeds from the Land Lot deeds will help to finance a substantial Entropia Universe marketing campaign, along with further development of Entropia Universe and Planet Calypso.
Note that this statement also includes ‘further development of Entropia Universe and Planet Calypso’. It is also important to realize that development and marketing go hand-in-hand. As we described above, improving our New Player Experience was as much an investment in our marketing strategy as anything else.
MindArk is in the early stages of designing a comprehensive affiliate program that will allow existing EU participants to get rewarded for helping to expand the Entropia Universe user base. We hope to launch that program in the first quarter of 2013. More details will be shared once the initial design of the affiliate program becomes more certain.
New Planet Calypso Website
A brand new Planet Calypso website has been in development for several months, and is expected to be launched by the end of this month. The new website will help MindArk and Planet Calypso leverage the most value from their marketing spending, and will provide a much enhanced user experience for new visitors and existing participants alike.
We hope that the efforts in progress and plans for future marketing efforts that we have shared in this Developer Notes article provide our paricipants with a more positive outlook for the future health and growth of Entropia Universe, and help to dispel some of the misunderstandings that have arisen of late.
As always, we appreciate your passion for and support of Entropia Universe.