Funcom’s The Secret World recently had a counter on their website that was meant to be the countdown for the start of beta. Only at the end of the counter the clock ‘broke’ and messages went out that the beta was delayed.
Actually clicking on the broken clock brings up a letter and the start of another alternative reality game (ARG) that probably leads to the beta sign up. Which may or may not be active at this point in time.
Regardless, the story that has gone out is:
- The Secret World Beta Signups Delayed
- The Secret World’s beta signup postponed
- Secret War and Beta Registration Delayed (although they show the letter as well)
Sure, having an ARG to get into TSW beta fits with the theme of the game. But that’s not the story that’s going out. What’s happened here is that the first big news that a lot of players are getting is that Funcom has failed again and can’t even launch a registration page. By trying to be clever, Funcom has managed to tap straight into that meme that says they can’t do anything right, so you can’t trust their games.
On top of that, they’ve also shown the gaming
press release re-publishers journalists up by fooling them. Again, not a good move for a title that has yet to deliver anything.
Sometimes something sounds like a great idea, but really requires a bit of a sit down to think over the larger implications before implementation.