Blizzard Entertainment: Coincidental or Cunning?

Don’t you ever get bored?

Every once in a while I get so bored that I decide to download World of Warcraft so that I can once again escape to an instance or battleground. My friend Tommy also was once the WOW enthusiast and so every time I decide to re-download the game client I send him some screen caps of the download process to remind him of fun times. He has long since canceled his account while I leave mine open as an option.

The morning after I had reinstalled the game, I received a forwarded email that had been sent from Blizzard to Tommy, “reminding” him that he had to hurry, because it was his last chance to play two weeks for free before the offer expired in just a few days. I was tempted to believe that this was just an amazing coincidence but the skeptic inside me wondered whether or not the email was a deliberate attempt to get a former player back paying the monthly subscription.

Ohh Ahhh Must Be Magic

actual photograph of email sent to Tommy from Blizzard Entertainment

Coincidence or Cunning?

There would be nothing magical or coincidental about it. Just some simple database kung fu. My logging in after a long absence could trigger an action where Blizzard could go through my friends list (an in-game instant messenger where one can communicate with others), see which ones had not logged on in a long time or who had canceled accounts, and then automatically send an email telling them to hurry up as their door of opportunity was about to close. So as I sit here I ponder still – was it all just a coincidence or might a company that recorded $4.4 billion in revenues for 2010 put to use some money for serious psychological research for marketing?

Daniel Millsap

One thought on “Blizzard Entertainment: Coincidental or Cunning?

  1. It’s only going to get worse with the way technology is going. I’m taking a database class through Stanford online and we’re learning about this kind of stuff.

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