Wednesday afternoon I started feeling a little sick. By the time I got home from work I was feeling a lot sick. I went to bed and stayed there essentially until this morning. So I was off the social networks for about 36 hours.
When I got back online, everyone I know (not literally) was playing Rift again, or getting ready to play Rift again.
I have to tell you, that was freakin’ surreal. Made me feel like I’d been offline for 36 days, not 36 hours!!
As best I can figure it there were two factors leading to this sudden (and I expect, brief) resurgence of interest in Trion’s flagship MMO:
First, an expansion was announced and second, Raptr was giving away copies of the game to certain users.
Oddly everyone who went to PAX East got a copy of Rift but that didn’t seem to lead to anything, so I’m guessing it was the expansion news more than anything that has re-kindled player interest.
Being one of the flock, now I’m interested too. One of the reasons I grew tired of Rift was that the player population left me in the dust and so the mid-levels found me wandering the world with no one to take on rifts with. I’d be in zones with literally 3-4 people. The new expansion is supposed to add a huge amount of content; I sure hope it can also pull in player population to fill that content.
I have to wonder what MMO marketing people think about the viral-ness of an MMO’s waxing and waning. If a marketing person could figure out how to motivate the flock to come back to a game…well it seems to me they could write their own paycheck.