So if you’re a long time player of Wizard101 just like me, then I’m sure this post is about to bring on some deep nostalgia. Most of you probably remember a time when you were sitting at home watching cartoons or whatever you’re favorite kids TV show was. Then, it would switch to commercials, and these would come on…
How I Got Started
Now, I didn’t start playing the game when it first released in 2008. Instead, I started playing in 2011, right before Wintertusk was released. I’m sure you’re not going to ask, but I’ll tell you. How did I get into the game? Well, just as I mentioned in the beginning, I was sitting at home watching TV and it switched to commercials. The video above came on and from there, I was hooked. As a kid, I was already fascinated with everything magical so seeing that commercial drew me right in. I begged my grandmother to buy me a membership. After two days of pleading and crying, she caved and bought me a six month membership.
The first wizard I made was a fire wizard named Zachary FireFlame. Why am I talking about this? Well, I’ll tell you.
Bring Back: Commercials!
I’ll cut to the chase. KingsIsle entertainment not only needs to bring back these older commercials, they need to start making NEW ones.
How many of you have been playing Wizard101 since before the release of Khrysalis? And how many actually got started after seeing a commercial on TV? (I can’t see who all is agreeing so I’m going to assume it’s a lot of you.)
Who remembers when Celestia and Zafaria were released? This was really the first introduction we had to the new antagonist of the 2nd story arc, Morganthe. (Minor spoiler alert for those who haven’t quested through the entire game.)
It was basically getting a little taste of the game without actually having to go into the game itself. You would see new spells, new worlds, and just get a sense of the game’s dynamic in 30 seconds. These commercials were a big part of the game all the way up to 2014. You couldn’t turn on any kids television channel without seeing them and it was a big part in bringing in more players.
How would you have ever known about the introduction of PVP tournaments without this amazing 30 seconds of video?
From the commercials promoting the Malistaire storyline, to the release of tournaments, to teasing Morganthe’s storyline, these commercials helped usher in an entire community of people who, as of the recent updates to the game, have slowly been returning. I know a very good number of people who are playing Wizard101 right now that have recently returned from an extended break from the game. By “extended break”, I mean they stopped playing the game a long time ago and recently decided to come back, either due to renewed curiosity or awareness about recent updates.
Considering the quality of the latest updates of the game, especially the graphics update, commercials can now be taken to an entirely new level! Think of how many more players would come back and how many new players you could reach!
What Would They Do?
What are commercials meant to do: to promote and spread awareness.
Yes, this is a MMORPG game. And yes, the main focus is being a student of magic going on magical adventures and saving an entire universe. However, it’s more than just that.
Not only has Wizard101 gone through a massive change with the recent updates to Wizard city, but KingsIsle also added many new fun features and mini games as well. In the way that the introduction of PVP Tournaments helped Wizard101 out immensely, a lot of the new features and games they’ve been adding definitely have been moving the game in a more positive direction. There’s no sign of these updates stopping, either, with updates to other worlds, graphical or otherwise, planned for the future. (I even wrote a whole article on Wizard101’s future! Read it here!)
So, not only is it good to promote the addition of new worlds, storylines and new spells, it’s also good to promote new features and add ons to the game that make it even more special than it already is.
How Would They Do That?
If people who had played the game a long time ago decided on their own to come back after seeing or hearing about the new updates, imagine how many would come back if they saw it on TV. Wizard101 isn’t limited to television anymore either. Modern media channels have opened up a whole new world of possibilities for the promotion of the game. For example, what about one of those non-skippable ads on YouTube? (Yes I know they’re annoying but in this case they would be good!)
During the time when Wizard101 was first released- when I was a kid -it was very much frowned upon for anyone to spend hours upon hours sitting at a computer desk playing a game. The same was said for console games such as Xbox or Playstation, but the stigma wasn’t quite as bad as it was for PC games.
In today’s world, PC gaming has almost become normalized. It’s very much an on-going trend with today’s youth and some have managed to turn it into a career.
Imagine how many kids seeing these commercials online would be signing up for a membership…or at least asking their parents to let them sign up for one.
Many games these days have been focusing on creating a realistic world where players don’t just feel like they’re playing the game, but are living it. KingsIsle did just that with the original version of Wizard City and the recent graphical update is a testament to that original design. Now they have the power to do the same thing they did to Wizard City to Krokotopia, Marleybone, Celestia, Dragonspyre, Grizzleheim and more.
Wizard101 has definitely has seen a rise in players since the release of the first graphical update and I’m sure the numbers continue to steadily rise. However, one thing is missing from all these new features and add ons to the game. Something I experienced, but most kids today never have: seeing those commercials for Wizard101 playing on whatever television network they were watching when they got home from school.
I often talk with my Wizard101 friends about what it was like growing up on Wizard and seeing those commercials. They were a big part of the game for a long time and to see all these new features coming to the game and no promotion for it, outside of Tweets on Twitter, blows my mind. Wizard101 commercials not only need to come back, but new ones need to be made as well.
If Wizard101 had followed the trend of promoting each storyline with a commercial (Malistaire, Morganthe), think about what the commercials for Polaris, Mirage, and Empyrea, centered around Grandfather Spider and Grandmother Raven, would have looked like!