Last week saw the conclusion of SOE's ConnecDING promotion, designed to harvest Twitter followers and Facebook Fans for its EverQuest, EverQuest II, and Free Realms titles. While both EverQuest and Free Realms passed only the first of the three ConnecDING milestones, the EverQuest II community managed to surpass all three. In the last 12 hours of the promotion, EverQuest II fans mobilized to add the final 1000 followers needed to earn 500 Station Cash, the Cloak of Pie promotional virtual item, and the special EverQuest II Community Cushion item that will allow EQII players to hold pillow fights in their homes.
While SOE representatives stated on VGN that EverQuest and Free Realms would also need to amass 15000 Twitter followers and Facebook fans to get all of their awards, the official promotion page now states that only Facebook fans were required to get the rewards. Even with more lax requirements, both games failed to reach even the second reward tier. This is somewhat understandable for EverQuest, which is over ten years old, but feels surprising for Free Realms, a new game with over 8 million registered users.
Free Realms is targeted at a much younger demographic than what SOE typically publishes, usually hardcore subscription MMOs like EverQuest II. It seems possible that a majority of Free Realms players might have lacked access to Facebook or Twitter accounts, or might have actually been too young to participate in the promotion (which required that users be at least 13). This might be something other publishers of child-oriented virtual worlds and online games want to keep in mind when it comes to promoting their products through social media.
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