Wednesday, September 23, 2009

NCSoft Fusion Tour?

Anybody whose read this blog, even a micro-bit, knows I'm a fan of City of Heroes. I like the game. I like the way the development is going. What I don't like is that is that all of the game's special community events... only occur on the west coast. So unless I've got the money together to go out and hit Comic-Con or Hero Con, I can just forget about the special goodies at the special events. So far, as best as I can research, under Cryptic / NCSoft, and now just NCSoft, City of Heroes hasn't even shown up at established east-coast cons, like Dragon-Con.

In the past, the lack of any east-coast, or midlands, events was a bit confusing, as NCSoft was primarily based in Texas. Granted, the CoH developers were I think based in Los Gatos, California, and have remained in Northern California since being rescued from Cryptic. As a Publisher, NCSoft's lack of nation-wide promotional events was a bit confusing. As a developer, there were and are some financial issues with setting up an east-coast or midlands event, not to mention managing developers flying away for a weekend or so for the event... rather than working on the game.

While bouncing points back and forth on BattleClinic, I had an idea that might work. It's based on Nintendo's Fusion Tour.

Basically, NCSoft hooks up with a couple of bands for a tour concert. On Battleclinic I suggested a couple of band, SuperChick, Pillar, and Thousand Foot Krutch. Now, I specified these bands for a couple of reasons. For starters, their music is something most parents don't mind their kids listening to, after all, Nintendo found success with bands like Evanescence and Relient K. Second, some of their music crosses over well with the superhero theme of City of Heroes.

Then, hook up with a hardware manufacturer sponsor like Sapphire, Asus, or AMD and show off the games running on whatever the latest generation hardware. Case in point for AMD, they just launched the RadeonHD 5x00. Showing off CoH being playable on 6-different computer monitors in that really high resolution would do a lot for both the game, and for AMD's hardware sales.

A close-up concert tour / game demo would probably be more effective at not only selling the game to new players, but also bringing in potential customers from outside the gaming realm. Nintendo used that to great effect on the Fusion Tour stops.

Paragon Studios could also take the concept further for a Concert based Hero-Con. Plan a couple of events ahead of time, like allowing people to sign up for Task Force's held on the Test server. Lets say two teams go after Master of Statesman's Task Force on the test Server. The team that succeeds meets the bands behind the scenes. On top of that, people there for the concet get to see high level players going at it, which again, might help more people get interested in the game.

It'd be a bonus if developers were actually able to attend, so here's another suggestion. Video Conference. During an interlude or break for the participating bands, set-up a video screen and let the audience ask questions back to the game developers. Sure, it's not the same as Mr. Miller actually showing up in person... but it's a solution to getting the developers involved.
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