For a while recently, Discord was running a campaign where if you streamed 15 minutes of Halo Infinite to your friends, you got some sort of special helmet. I say “Was” because apparently the event ended, and they sent me a small survey, asking why I didn’t earn the reward. This is what I put in their survey as a response.
However, this seemed a little rude, so I thought instead of just Tweeting this out at them, I’d talk about it for a moment. So let’s talk about cross-promotional campaigns, and how they feel as a consumer.
First up, let’s think about them in the abstract. I’ve made a handy diagram here to aid the discussion.
Purely from the perspective of a consumer, blue is the sweet spot. If a game I already play is giving me free stuff for doing something I already do/use/purchase, that’s ideal. I make no behavior changes, and I get something extra. This is optimal.
Green is the “Mild Annoyance” location. Games that have fallen into this in the past would include things like Sea of Thieves, and Hunt: Showdown. I like these games. I don’t really like watching Twitch. So when those games offer Twitch promotions, where I can watch Twitch, and get cosmetics, my response is “Urgh.” Whether or not I’m actually going to go through with getting those rewards is dependent on how good the reward is.
Have I done it in the past? Yeah, absolutely. Would I do it again? Depends on how cool the reward is. The important point here that I want to note is this: doing a Twitch campaign for your game in this situation, where I’m in the green zone, is that Twitch is NOT promoting your game. Your game is promoting Twitch.
Now, that’s not to say in the larger structure of this campaign that you, the game developer, are getting nothing out of it. But what you’re getting out of it is delicious metrics for the marketing team, and trying to push yourself up on Twitch’s most viewed metrics. You are rewarding me with in-game items for your game, and because I like your game, I will sometimes do something that is not playing your game, in order to get the items.
This brings me to the red zone. The red zone is when I am already engaged with the product or service being used for the promotion, and not engaged with the game being offered. It’s effectively just a paid advertisement for your game, like you’ve put it up on a billboard.
It’s also where I would like to make an important distinction between my Venn diagram, and this specific situation. If this product being advertised was something I hadn’t heard of, this would be further exposure to it. And maybe that would get me interested.
But as it is, I’ve played 80 hours of Halo:Infinite. I did a whole writeup on the game’s multiplayer. If I wanted to play more, I would. But I really don’t.
So here’s why I didn’t finish this quest: I don’t want play more Halo Infinite. You are trying to bribe me into doing so by rewarding me with an item in a game I have no desire to play.
If you really wanted me to play more Halo, you should have offered a month of Nitro or something. Give me something for the service I am already using.
Instead, you offered a free terrarium decoration with purchase of tarantula to an arachnophobe. I’m not sure why you think that’s an appealing offer.