Fortnite is shut down!
Oh no! What are the kids going to do in their free time now?
Following an in-game event that ended in a universal catastrophe, namely the entire world exploding, Epic Games shut down their award winning game Fortnite.
The map is gone. The login servers aren’t working. Everything -- gone.
Players are left staring at a black hole. Literally.
But is Epic games really living up to the Season’s name “This is the End” and ending things *for real*?
No doubt .Fortnite servers are down right now (as of writing). But could this really be the end? Is Fortnite officially over?
“This is the end” was what Epic Games said in a Tweet after the conclusion of the game’s season in-game apocalypse, along with an in-game message that thanked players for their patronage upon trying to login.
This was followed by a livestream of a dark hole graphic.
Millions of people tuned in, watching, waiting, hoping for some sort of announcement, for some sort of redemption of their beloved game, or just some sort of answer to satisfy their curiosity and see what all the huff was about.
But no. The only graphic that ever entered the screen was the same exact dark hole graphic with a swiling animation, they showed at the very beginning of the stream.
Nothing changed, and this lasted several hours. One long stream of a dark hole for hours. That’s it..
With hundreds of thousands oh did I mention, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of viewers??
Look this is nothing but a lazy, yet charmingly clever and effective marketing campaign to get viewers and ATTENTION. Attention is valuable. The guys at Epic Games know this and man are they pulling in some major attention right now.
And the craziest part is...
Yes. It’s working. It’s actually working.
See, it’s one of the easiest campaigns to actually implement. Streaming a graphic of a dark hole then announcing that for Fortnite it’s “the end”. Not that hard. And definitely not expensive or time consuming.
It’s cheap and requires very little effort to actually do.
This is actually similar to the stunt they pulled last season where they streamed a graphic of a meteor inching closer and closer over the span of hours. And in the same vein, people tuned in.
It doesn’t take much work to animate a meteor or dark hole for that matter. That could get done in less than a full time work shift by one employee and they had a whole team.
But here’s the thing despite being really not that much to look at: it’s creating “buzz” and getting people to talk about their brand.
Everybody is talking about it. The news, social media, everybody and their mothers are talking about how Fortnite is shutting down.
Heck, I’m even talking about it and I am by no means an avid Fortnite player. Just not my cup of tea.
But what I can tell you as a lazy dude who makes a living from the couch doing things in the easiest way possible, it is that it’s my speculation that Fortnite ain’t going no where.
Wait, that’s a double negative. Allow me to clarify: Fortnite is here to stay.
Despite the universe of Fortnite exploding and all.
They just designed an inexpensive marketing campaign to raise brand awareness, as if there are people who haven’t heard of Fortnite by now, c’mon. But to be fair, I’m sure the game has been off the radar for a lot of people, besides the die hard fans and active player base.
It was off my radar to be honest. I mean I knew it was still around, but it wasn’t at the top of my mind.
But here it is: Fortnite...at the top of everybody’s minds right now.
Anyway, like any massive online game, especially on the scale as this one, Fortnite requires some “down time” and server maintenance.
What they did here, the team at Epic Games, is they basically transformed this uneventful down time into one of the most lazy genius promotional campaigns ever!
Now that’s something at-home entrepreneurs and online marketers alike can respect and look up to.
Awhile ago, I actually used a similiar tactic and told people I was done writing this blog for good. I can tell you from a personal standpoint that was one of my most read and clicked newsletters. It's great to see bigger guys using the lazy tactics I talk about in "the real world" and making it a success.
Without further ado, let’s take a deep look at why this actually NOT “the end” of the competitive first person shooter and how it makes for a great (and procrastin8r approved) marketing gimmick...
1. They wanted to take a break
While I have no evidence to confirm this, I bet they’re sitting there in the Epic Games headquarters like:
“Yo man, we’re making billions.. Profits are off the charts. We deserve a break. We should just have a day or two where we just come in and eat pizza and drink beer all day”
“That sounds awesome, but how are we going to pull that off? We have to start a brand new season and right now, we have to focus on getting public attention. Plus there’s server maintenance to do.
“I got it! We end the whole season with a black hole. Then shut down the servers. We’ll convince people that we’re gone for good and get them talking about us while we enjoy beer n’ pizza in the mean time.”
“Sounds like a plan. And how ‘bout we stream a black hole just for added intrigue”
“I like it! Let’s do it. And by do it I mean let’s take a long ass break”
Epic Games hasn’t released any official statement regarding the next season (as of writing) and the only thing we have so far is that they Tweeted “This is the End.” (but we know it’s not!)
(update: they announced a "Chapter 2" with a whole new world)
Whenever a big company like this stays silent to questions or remains vague in answering them, we (as a society) like to assume people are “working hard” to “prepare” for the “next course of ACTION and that they’re hiding a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.
While the latter might be true and they may have a big announcement that they’re keeping behind the curtain, this tactic is nothing but a psychological manipulation. Manipulation by the way is not necessarily a bad thing, but it comes down to how you use it. Of course marketers want to manipulate you into buying (or at least thinking about) their product.
They’re just playing on human psychology and the natural desire to satisfy curiosity and intrigue.
And they aren’t necessarily working hard right now. Heck, the work could already be done or if there is any left, there probably isn’t much to do. They are Procrastinating with Purpose!
In this specific case, sure, there’s a brand new season around the corner (although not officially announced yet as of writing) and sure, there’s some development work to get done before the big (re) launch.
But goddamnit, if they really were focused on “working hard” and “getting it done now” they wouldn’t even have this whole “wait a minute take a break” thing. They wouldn’t shut down the servers and seemingly “disappear” off the face of the planet. No.
You know what they’d do if their goal was to work hard instead of ya know, actually take a goddamn break for once?
Share their plans with the public, in detail. Write developer blogs. Share concept art. Make “behind the scenes” videos, including interviews with artists, developers, and managers.
They’re not doing that. They’re not doing any of that shit.
They are relaxing and enjoying their time off.
They put up a goddamn screensaver and called it a day!
I’m telling you, there is probably beer and pizza in that office, but I don’t want to throw accusations. I’m just saying. IF I were them, it would happen.
It’s like as a society, we can’t accept people actually sitting on their asses and enjoying their lazy leisure. Leisure is seen as such an immoral thing, like the worst thing ever.
(Billionaires hoard billions to offshore accounts and dodge taxes.
But I’m the evil one for suggesting that grinding our asses off for 40+ years of our lives just to put food on the table is unfair. I’m a lazy deadbeat. Go figure.)
If you tell people you’re going on vacation and where you’re going, what do they ask at that point?
“How long are you going for?”
Know what I say to that? As long as I fucking want.
What they’re really (subconsciously) asking is “When are you getting back to WORK?”
People get so focused on keeping up with work that they leisure as an interruption, not vice versa.
On the contrary...
Work is an interruption to leisure!
Enjoy your time off and let Epic Games (or anyone else for that matter) do so without any rude judgement.
If you can’t let people relax (or relax yourself) then you need to take the stick outta your ass. Seriously.
Epic Games wanted to take a break. That’s it. It’s no big deal.
Taking a break is an okay thing to do. Sometimes ya gotta be like “ya know what? Enough is enough. I’m logging out….for now”
Too much hard work leads to fatigue. Fatigue leads to depression and depression, well, doesn’t usually end too well.
They wanted to take a break and make everyone miss them in the meantime. And boy, do people miss Fortnite (or at the very least, notice that it’s gone).
Advertising can get costly
I mean the average SuperBowl ad is around $5 million..
Facebook is a multi-billion dollar company that literally just sells ads.
This just shows the sheer amount of dough people are willing to put down for advertising.
Advertising is basically just “paying to get attention”
And getting attention is mad expensive.
See, the average person will see a brand name at least three times before choosing to interact with said brand. Interaction is the only thing that can lead to sales. You can’t make sales if people aren’t interacting with you or your brand.
Putting your brand name out there and capturing the attention is the first step in attaining that interaction, and hopefully sale later down the line.
And that’s why there’s such a pretty price on attention...because it’s the first step to gaining profits.
It’s more like an investment, if you think about it. You have to spend money to get money.
...Or do you?
Because, I don’t know about you, but if I can skip the first step of “Spend money to get money” and just go right to “get money”, then you know damn straight I will!
Epic Games found a way to skip over the whole part where they pay advertising costs to a network or ad agency and dived straight into the part where they got the attention of hundreds of thousands of people.
They created the “OMG” factor and got people talking, got them curious. I’m sure not all of those hundreds of thousands of viewers were active players. Some of them were likely non-players (maybe even non-gamers) who were curious just to see what the fuck was happening, like “How in the hell can it *really* be over? Or better stated: “OMG it’s gone!”(SPOILER ALERT: It’s not!)
While you’re building your own business, from the comforts of the couch, and you’d rather order more pizza or buy more beer than pay for a goddamn ad, just remember...
Put the wallet away and instead ask...
How can I shock people or piss ‘em off?
You'll stir up a conversation and make people aware of your brand (and what it's about).
That’s the cheap and lazy way to advertise and lure in potential leads!
Of course getting them to spread the OMG emoji everywhere isn’t enough.
Not only do you want your brand to gain attention, you want to be remembered
It doesn’t matter if you get their attention if they won’t remember you anyway.
There are dozens of Superbowl ads (the ones they paid millions of dollars for) that I laughed at, but can’t remember the brand name or what they were trying to sell.
That’s why it’s so vital to not just do something over-the-top to get attention but to also be able to *relate it back* to the product, service, message, or idea you are trying to promote.
Don’t get attention just for the sake of getting attention. Don’t be a marketing attention whore.
You want attention either to make a sale right away or be remembered for the next time (that person needs/wants something from the product/service category you’re selling from)
Just because you get a girl to say hi doesn’t mean you’ll get her number and just because you got her number doesn’t mean she’ll remember who you are.
You must create a memorable experience and it must relate back to your brand and who you are.
People still remember Fortnite’s last stunt, with the giant meteor and still talk about it to this day. They will likewise probably remember the deep dark hole of despair and “the end”.
Because having an in-game event where the universe explodes then streaming a black hole really does make it seem like “the end”
Again, it relates back to the product, message, or idea they are trying to promote, which makes people remember it.
Plus, when Fortnite does actually come back, they’ll be able to swing the story and OMG factor of “OMG it’s back!” and that’ll give them the opportunity to make something like the “After Life” or open up an entirely new dimension/universe Epic basically set themselves up to “start from scratch” and have it follow their marketing campaign and branding. (which, update by the way, they actually did now in a brand new chapter).
They are using the power of buzz marketing, word of mouth.
Word of Mouth is one of the cheapest, laziest, yet most effective marketing strategies. It’s basically like “how can I get people talking about this shit aaaand make it memorable?”
One person tells two or three of his friends then another tells three or four of hers and then. BOOM!
Like goddamn Pay it Forward, it’s a national sensation.
While as a ProcrastiN8r, Drama should be avoided in your personal life, but when it comes to marketing, people love to talk, so make some juicy ass gossip and get people talking.
Word will spread quickly if your brand is doing something just crazy enough.
Advertising is not so much about how much money you’ll spend but at how effective you are at getting other people to talk about your brand.
In doing this, you save yourself money in advertising cost, time in trying to pitch the sale yourself, and energy in running around making phone calls, sending e-mails, and handing out fliers. Money, time, and energy - the three things I’m too lazy to spend much of in the first place.
Basically, with Word of Mouth marketing, other people do the work for you, and that’s the only way a procrastin8r gets any work done, by getting other people to do it.
If you get other people talking, the marketing does itself.
Epic made an Epic example of how buzz marketing should be done.
3. They’re already running a lucrative game and don't need to do much more
They raked in $3 billion profits last year.
That’s over $8 million a DAY.
A company kneading that much dough DAILY isn’t going anywhere any time soon. I mean most companies are literally shooting for an ANNUAL gross income of what these guys are making in a single day, from a single game (product) they have.
And I’d say definitely enough to call it a day.
Look, sometimes there’s really no need to push any further or take it to the next step or believe for a second that you should “shoot for the stars” because the sky is NOT the limit.
Sometimes the sky is the limit.
I don’t mean in a negative way like “I just suck. I can’t do it”
You shouldn’t limit yourself to the point of complete self debt and self loathing.
Remember, the sloth is our spirit animal and the sloth climbs upwards, very, very slowly, but eventually gets to the top of that tree. The sloth doesn’t give up just to give up. It moves. Just really slowly.
But sometimes, it’s enough to call it a day and for at least a second, take that break, and appreciate how far you have come and look at how far you can go.
Sometimes, ya gotta stop climbing that tree to eat some leaves, man, as the spiritual sloth.
It’s okay to be just “good enough”. There’s no reason to excel if you’re already happy with what you have.
I’m not saying settle for less than you want or less than you deserve. I’m saying aim to have “enough” to be happy, no more and no less.
You can say “that’s enough for now. I did good enough”
“Not just good. Good enough.”
Now to be fair I’d reckon a ten figure profit margin is a little wee bit more than “good enough” but you get the idea, don’t strive for more if it’s not necessary. Don't wear yourself thin just to excel.
Overachievers burn out.
ProcrastiN8rs get there eventually.
When building your business from the warm comforts of your bed or couch, don’t worry about building the perfect marketing campaign or spending an arm and a leg on your budget in advertsing.
Be that cheap, lazy bastard you are
Also, take a break once in a while and don’t work too hard. Work just enough to achieve happiness.
Make that break a promotional tool when you can too.
I’m on a constant break, a permanent vacation if you will and literally made that the ProcrastiN8r brand.
Take it easy,
Update: by the time I finished writing this, Epic Games has already announced a new "chapter", complete with 13 new levels, including "water" combat mechanics (fishing, swimming and motorboats) -- basically an entirely new game with brand spanking new features.
Called it! I knew this whole "shutting down" thing was just a way to promote their game.
But now I'm sort of posting this in "the after math".
Ah, the gripes of getting things done last minute