Tobold's Blog
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Which one is the fake?

I received the following letter from Atari today:

New York, NY (January 21, 2010) Atari, Inc., one of the world’s most recognized videogame publishers, and Del Taco, the nation’s No. 2 Mexican quick serve chain, announced today a special promotion allowing eager fans early access to the highly anticipated MMO, Star Trek Online. Created by acclaimed developers Cryptic Studios™, Star Trek Online for PC is set to release on February 2, 2010 in North America.

Customers who purchase a Macho-sized drink at Del Taco will receive a free limited edition Star Trek collector’s cup and a free trial of the Star Trek Online while supplies last. Each collector’s cup will have an individual peel code that can be redeemed for a 48-hour free trial of Star Trek Online at Customers can redeem up to four codes and receive 48-hours of gameplay with each code. As an added bonus, customers that redeem the maximum four codes will receive an extra 48-hours of access to the game for a total of 10 full days.

Additionally, if consumers choose to purchase the game after their free trial, they will receive a free Type-8 Shuttle "pet" add-on for their Starship, available exclusively from Del Taco.

“Early response to Star Trek Online has been tremendous,” said Jim Wilson, CEO and President, Atari, Inc. “Our partnership with Del Taco brings this unique sci-fi massively open online game to an even broader mainstream audience as well as avid Star Trek fans.”

“We’re excited to be partnering with Atari and the Star Trek franchise,” said John Cappasola, vice president of marketing at Del Taco. “We think our customers are going to enjoy the collectible cups as well as the opportunity to get a free trial of the Star Trek Online game.
And now the quiz: I posted two letters from two different game companies today, both looking rather suspicious. But only ONE of them is a fake. The other, as unlikely as it may look, is real. But which one is it? You decide!
The "letter" from the previous post had "fake" written all over it. A quick web search reveals that this one is actually real.
Definitely the Del Taco letter is the real one.
Please please tell me that the Blizzard one is a fake! Nothing in that letter sounded genuine. Rise of the Leet King - sheesh.

I thought everything Blizzard did was behind closed doors, at least up until the last.

As for the Trecky email, Del Taco wins, Atari wins, for no expense to either of them. Sounds like typical marketing stuff.
Hehe, the valid link kind of gives it away doesn't it?
The Blizzard one is the fake.

a) The Del-Taco/STO offer has more of a stench of corporate language.

b) Blizz has been working on the New MMO for over a year. I assume that have already delved deep into the fundamental design decisions that the letter alludes to. Also, they wouldn't provide that information to the public, where they would be immediately ripped apart for admitting that they're dumbing down the game.


Therefore: I may have seen the most bizarre advertisement campaign of my life to date.
Tobold you're a silly =P
I was actually pretty surprised when I first learned of the Del Taco event reading the STO forums, not so much about any particular part of the event, but just the fact that an MMO that isn't WoW was having a restaurant event.
Honestly - the whole Taco tie in with STO - it's not that far fetched. I mean, you've had Microsoft tying in Windows 7 with the '7-pattie burger king burger', and Age of Conan with McDonalds (At least in the UK, anyway)...
Del Tacos have signs up and they have been making announcements via their newsletter concerning a Star Trek Online promotion.
I like this actually (the Del Taco promotion). It is not often you see a new mmorpg make a genuine effort to reach out to potential new customers outside of the existing base of mmorpg players.

A lot has already been said about new games getting a big influx of bored WOW players initially but faiing to hold onto them after a month or so. I think that unless new games start to make genuine efforts to attract brand new mmorpgers - people who have never heard of WoW then they are resigned to such a fate.

You cannot just keep cannibalising the same bunch of players over and over again. You have to genuinely grow the market.
Clearly, the STO one is fake. No marketing department in their right mind would advertise themselves as No. 2 :D.
I've never even heard of Del Taco... but seeing as the Leet King one was definitely unreal, I'm guessing this is actually true.
I think it's clearly the Star Trek letter. I mean, 'Rise of the leet king'? That sounds so absurd it can't be real.
Well, this sort of gives it away:
but mismatched promotions like these are common (in the US at least).
We have a number 2 Mexican quick serve chain called Del Taco? I would have guessed Baja Fresh, Chipotle, or Qdoba.

The actual gaming promo is in no way suspicious in the context of things that have actually happened in MMORPG promotion of late (oh hai Mountain Dew).
You are so not American Tobold. This sort of advertising scheme is so prolific it seems funny you would insinuate it could be fake.
Atari & Del Taco Star Trek Online is the real deal. The Rise of the Leet King is not (with a title like that I can't believe there were people who still weren't sure).
I think this one is the real deal.
The "Blizzard" letter has a lot of grammer mistakes, and no website to look at for verification. Not to mention that what they were asking was completely stupid.

Del Taco doing a promo is strange, but the link is genuine.

Taco Bell did a similar promo with Star Trek (the movies) back in the 80's. They had (glass) cups with different characters and ships from the movies, so it makes sence.
Made spelling error, sorry.. *sense
taco taco burrito!!

too bad i dont care star trek online.
The Blizzard one is fake. The Star Trek one sounds like it came from the producers of STO. A ham fisted attempt at product tie-in if i've ever seen one. It's like tieing Addidas sneakers to Star Wars. Not at all the same, yet interesting enough to make me want a pair.
This one.
I said "this one" in my last comment, I meant to continue with "is real".

The WoW one is fake, but I can totally see del taco star trek.
Well I hope they get the customers they deserve.
I think I should just stop reading about new mmo's and stick with Blizzard. They seem to be the only competent mmo developer on this planet currently.
Sadly, I know this is the true one. I was reading some article (which I have now totally lost) about how Atari was putting lots and lots of effort into marketing STO.

But however daft this is, sometimes they just can't win for trying. If the games aren't marketed then we complain that they didn't even try to reach non-gamers.
Type-8 Shuttle "pet" add-on for their Starship

So starships have starship pets. Sounds very reasonable considering that pets is WoW are a huuuuge success.
Brilliant innovation!

.. This can't be real *crying*.
Well you would indeed call yourself number two if you knew for sure that being called number two maximized your position. Del Taco cannot call themselves number one no matter how much they'd like to, but people will readily believe them if they say they are number two regardless of if they are or not. Being number two is probably the highest their market testing shows people will believe them at.
Not sure what's supposed to be unusual or objectionable about the Star Trek one. Looks like a perfectly normal promotion to me. Any reason why people who eat at Taco chains shouldn't be encouraged to play MMOs?

The Blizzard one might have passed muster as a fake scam email, but the idea that it could have been produced by Blizzard is laughable.

Leaving aside the content, which is ludicrous, the sentence structure is peculiar throughout, the tone is completely off-register and there is no sense of an American idiomatic voice.

It's clearly written by someone for whom English is not a first language. Any TEFL teacher is going to spot a number of standard classroom errors there.

These are the kind of cues that most people receiving scam emails pick up on immediately. They ring like alarms. There's a lot of bad things you can say about the marketing departments of large companies, but generally they do insist on employing people who can write good, idiomatic prose in the given language of the market in question.
There's a lot of bad things you can say about the marketing departments of large companies, but generally they do insist on employing people who can write good, idiomatic prose in the given language of the market in question.

You mean like for example the following genuine prose from that letter from the marketing people of Funcom about Age of Conan?

"As part of our maintenance your account is now flagged to have your characters below level 20 deleted as part of maintenance."
Haha I've just read the comments, and am gobsmacked by your readers' inability to get irony or parody!!! They've all taken this so seriously! Oh dear! Maybe it's just the fact that I'm British, and ironic humour comes naturally to me, but where's the spirit of laughter these features deserved! I personally found them hilarious, getting me laughing whilst also getting me thinking (the litmus test for a good parody)
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