Cultural Differences: Sometimes we don’t all want to be treated the same

If you are a regular reader, you will be used to hearing me complain that EU players are often pressured to play on EU servers and treated differently from US players. It might mean less access to developers (as in WoW), being delayed on patches, having our issues ignored by devs, or even being run by a completely different organisation.

But this week, I was reminded that sometimes having separate regional organisations can be a good thing.

Last week, I had an email from Codemasters with details of a sale on the LOTRO EU shop. Nothing special there, we expect them to do regular sales, it’s part of the F2P strategy. But this one was a special Bonfire Night Sale, and I was amused that two of the items on sale were the potion that gives fire resistance and the firebreath emote (I assume this makes your character breathe fire). Bonfire Night is a very British custom, and yes, I was amused by the appropriately themed sale. Anyone else would have been puzzled, I think.

And this week, LOTRO US has a veterans day promotion. If they tried that here, there would be some resistance because we don’t have sales on remembrance day.  We wear (the inevitable and unavoidable) poppies, and have 2 minutes silence at 11am. Anything commercial to do with that is something that we’d probably find quite disrespectful. Or at least, really really weird.

I’m going to be curious to keep track of the two item shops now for comparison, but hats’ off to Turbine and Codies for making a virtue out of a necessity.

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8 thoughts on “Cultural Differences: Sometimes we don’t all want to be treated the same

  1. with the advent of V for Vendetta, I think more people know about Bonfire night than they did beforehand.

    Besides, we’ve had to put up with American Independence Day celebrations in games for decades, and I’m sure Americans would be more willing to get behind blowing up parliament than most brits would get behind losing a war to the collonials :D

  2. > But this week, I was reminded that sometimes having separate regional
    > organisations can be a good thing.

    So, yes, now you’re just on the other side. You’re now in a tier-1 country but it leaves enough “second class citizen” in other countries. :)

  3. Codemasters do actually have a sale today, but it seems a bit last minute dash, like they are having it on maintenance day so it’s really a half day sale, and they’ve only announced a few of the items that the US have, so far no half price expansions yet. On second thoughts the fact that the sale won’t happen til after the occasion has been marked could be seen favourably, but doubt that was how it was considered.

  4. One of the reasons I really appreciated our German licensees for M59 was because they could do things that made sense for their local fans beyond providing support in German. They held big get-togethers for M59 fans, usually renting out a hostel in an old castle. I attended a few of those and they were definitely the highpoint of me running M59. It’s also something I couldn’t have done as easily not knowing hardly anything about Germany before working with the company.

    You get the good with the bad, as with everything.

  5. Minor point, but I’ve enjoyed speaking French in UO and raiding with Aussies in WoW (Proudmoore was, at least for a while, nearly 50/50, which made early morning play for me a ton of fun). The eGeoSegregation must go!

    But yeah, a bonfire sale still sounds kewl. ;^)

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