Interesting news this week. Mountain Dew and Doritos have partnered with Activision on a new promotion for "Modern Warfare 3" called "RankUpXP." This promotion will allow gamers who redeem codes from Mountain Dew and Doritos products up to 24 hours of "double XP" gametime (time during which actions in the game result in double the rewards other players get ). This is a brilliant move for both brands. That said, what is Activision thinking?? They've broken one of the most sacrosanct rules for publishers in game advertising: "Don't let an advertiser endanger your bottom line."
One of the challenges brands often face when they look at getting into gaming is cost and time. Concepting a game people will actually play takes a great deal of time and specialized skills. But sometimes, the simplest games can engage thousands of people if the right circumstances come together.
The F2P model relies on providing a large introductory portion of a game to users for free, and assumes that if the game is fun/addicting enough, players will be willing to pay after an initial investment of time. This works on a number of psychological principles related to loss aversion and cognitive dissonance. In short, it's extremely potent and effective.