Being a gaming veteran and an interactive professional, this headline grabbed my attention. Now they are set to release a new MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing) based on their theatrical franchise, Pirates of the Carribbean.
In 2003, Disney released Toontown, its first MMORPG, to garner children’s and tweens’ eyeballs, attention, and parental wallets. This is the type of game that invites you to create a character that interacts with hundreds (and thousands) of other computer and human characters in an online environment that is filled with puzzles, challenges, and quests. The more experience you gain, the more you can customize your character, and the more prestige you gain in this online world.
It is completely immersive, and completely addictive. Corporate brands have had a difficult time trying to figure out exactly how to monetize this user experience, but it seems Disney has figured it out.
With this strategy, Disney is not attempting to convert each web user into an immediate web buyer. Rather, this is a play at creating and extending its brands, marketshare, and mindshare. These types of games are constantly being updated and modified to deliver compelling content to game players. I’m sure you can imagine the Disney creatives dropping in hints and suggestions that introduce users to emerging Disney products-of-the-moment.
And think about immersion. Television spots are usually 30 seconds. A YouTube video might be 5 minutes tops. But typical MMORPG gaming sessions are 30 minutes to three hours. Now that’s what I call an impression!