Monday, March 7, 2011

Word of Minecraft

I have learned from author Brian Solis, an expert in social media, how word of mouth advertising is the best form of its kind.  If you put out a good product, it's going to get good reviews.  If you get good reviews, it's going to sell more.  There's a snowballing effect.  One good review can lead to a few purchases, a few purchases can lead to a several recommendations, and eventually the whole nation is buzzing about a product.  I know for a fact that if I hear bad things about a product, I don't buy it.  I want to buy things that will make me want to tell other people about how good the product is.  I won't buy a videogame that is released with bad reviews from peers.  I browse discussion forums a lot and the initial reception I hear from others will be the biggest deciding factor in whether I purchase a game or not.  A lot of the excitement I get from games is reading other customers' reviews because I can relate to them in terms of what experience I hope to get from the purchase.  I also enjoy telling others about games I enjoy.  Social media has allowed average people to be unintentional viral marketers.  This is important because better products have a better chance of getting noticed without huge marketing budgets.  Minecraft is an independent creation game made by one man.  It has generated over 1 million sales without any advertising whatsoever.  The whole game has been spread by word of mouth.  People love it and the creator is now a multimillionaire.
The creator of the game held a contest to see who could create the best trailer.  He let the fans do all the advertising for him, because he believed his game deserved it.  Here is one of the hundreds of fan-made trailers for Minecraft.

 Minecraft has been revolutionary because it has proven that truly good games will get noticed because word of mouth, without the backing of a corporation.

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