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.