Valve's successful Compendium Campaign
Posted 2013-05-22 Iyonic
On the 6th of May this year, Valve introduced the Interactive Compendium to the Dota 2 Fans around the world. For $10 fans can purchase the compendium and at the same time contribute to the prize pool of The International 2013. The Dota 2 publisher and host of The International adds 25% of the revenue to the Prize Pool of the greatest Dota 2 Tournament.
Thus far, more than 500,000 US Dollars have been added. Already, this is the highest Prize Pool in the history of eSports and there are still a few months to go before the main tournament starts in Seattle.
The Compendium is not only a magazine filled with information about Players and teams, but the fans who bought one, can actively take part in the process of the Qualifiers and the actual Tournament.
It comes with a lot of nice features for Dota 2 fanatics. Yet one might ask himself whether he needs it, considering the broad coverage of the event by several news pages.
Firstly, besides the great statistics and information about players, teams, picks, and games, the Compendium bares the opportunity to compete with other fans around the world and win nice prizes. For the East and West Qualifier, the buyer can make predictions on picks/bans, winners/losers and other facts such as the number of greater than 60 minute games. For some lucky fans, this also means that if they have a good knowledge of the scene and the game, they might win in-game items and other prizes. And just as with the pennants during last year’s International, viewers of the game via Dota TV, get random rewards if they witness mega kills or other in-game situations.
Further, as this is not enough already, Valve created a special courier for the holders of an interactive Compendium, as well as a 125% battle point bonus until the end of TI3. Holders of the Compendium can be identified by the golden frame around their avatar. So you can message them and discuss the latest games and what they predicted.
In order to make the Compendium attractive, Valve had the great idea to establish certain goals that if they are achieved, the buyers will get some reward for their effort.
They started off with 3 Goals in the form of increasing the Prizepool. At the $1.6 Million mark, Compendium Owners got 125% Battle point booster. $1.8 Million meant that the courier gained additional stages and finally at the $2.6 Million mark, compendium owners will receive a newly created immortal item.
Due to the fact that Valve realised, these goals will be achieved faster than expected, they added a few more stretched goals. Now for example at the $2 Million mark the owners will get a special HUD.
At the $3,2 Million US Dollars mark, Valve added a very special goal. The owners of the Compendium can vote on the next hero which Valve will add to the pool. And as we all know, Techies are loved by some and hated by the others. The fact that Valve added the stretched goals, shows that they didn’t anticipate so many fans to get their own Compendium.
“[..]probably they didn’t realize that this Compendium can be sold in these numbers, as the new stretch goals seem like they weren’t really planned[...]” - Andreja Mahovic.
Moreover if you buy a Compendium, you directly contribute to the Prize Money of the International. Currently it is at $2,114,647, which means if you do the maths, that more than 205,000 enthusiastic fans bought Valve´s Interactive Compendium. And it is only May, which means fans still have about 3 months to buy a copy if they wish to. Probably right before the International the number of buyers will increase once more rapidly.
Ten Dollars is not cheap, if you consider that it is only an online document. You aren’t able to hold it in your hand and after the tournament put it on a shelf.
Naturally, the online version has the advantage that it is always up to date and you can vote on stuff. Yet are the $10 justified?
" [...]to support Dota, to support the competitive scene and I appreciate everyone doing so." - H4nni
"You can pretty much follow everything already, but I imagine Valve are going to be including exclusive stuff[...]" - Soaz
So is it worth buying a Compendium or can I just look up the information at some News-Page online? Are the Goals even realistic or were they created to lure the buyers?
First of all, from my point of view, the goals seem to be kind of unrealistic, especially cracking the 3,2 Million mark, and our General Manager, Elroy Pinto agrees on this
“I think Valve didn't think it would have succeeded to the extent that it has and that's why the last set of stretch goals they added aren't up to the mark in my opinion.” - Elroy Pinto
Though there needs to be an appeal for potential purchasers. The point of the goals is not to lure the fans into getting a Compendium, but it is simple marketing and advertising as we experience every day. The Goals are advertising the Compendium and the Compendium is something like a sales brochure for the International. Once again the International Valves PR Campaign to promote their MOBA Title.
“I am always weary of such initiatives that are amazing, and in general blindly loved by many people. Of course it makes sense from a business point of view for Valve [...].” - Elroy Pinto
Now, of course if I want to know what n0tail´s signature hero is, I can just look him up in one of the team pages. Today the coverage of the events are flawless. Statistics, bans, picks, fun facts and everything is easy to collect for fans. One can argue that fans don’t need an interactive Compendium for $10, in order to know everything about their favourite player. Partly this is true, but as already mentioned the Compendium not only offers information, but also a sweet courier and the possibility to vote on for instance an Allstar Team. Soaz, who will play in the League of Legends Allstar Team, said following about the necessity of the Compendium:
“I think for a lot of people it isn't really needed... You can pretty much follow everything already, but I imagine Valve are going to be including exclusive stuff in that nobody else gets to see before.” - Soaz.
Finally there is the fact that you pay ten bucks for something you will only use once, you can’t put on your shelf and from which 7,5 dollars go directly to Valve.
To be honest, I don’t get the problem. Surely $10 is not cheap, but there are a lot of facts to consider. Nobody is forced to buy it. If we want to, and have the time, we can easily look up all the information on the internet.
Yet at the same time most of us are probably playing Dota 2 for about 80 hours per month, if not more. And we are not paying for it. Valve is working hard on Dota, organising the International for its fans, patching the game every week, hosting a good server network so everybody can play with a good ping and at the same time keep the game free to play. (For now, the game is still in the Beta stage, but I think there is nobody without a beta key, yet.)
I am sure the developers around IceFrog appreciate a “Thank you” and a “good work”, but unfortunately a like on Facebook or some good works in the forums doesn’t pay for the bills.
The game is financed by the Ingame shop, enabling you to buy sets, announcers or couriers. But the Interactive Compendium gives the fans the opportunity to show their appreciation and at the same time support the game they are all loving and playing.
“I purchased this simply because I love Dota and I love eSports, and even by giving my share of money, the small amount of $2,50, I felt like I am contributing to the community I love and want to grow.” - Andreja Mahovic
Therefore, in my humble opinion the 10 Dollars are more than justified, simply due to the fact that we are not forced to buy it, but if we do, we get a nice piece of work, with information and the ability to chip in to the game and its premier tournament. Even the people who are in the compendium, such as H4nni think it is a great way to support the scene:
“The many reason for me to get the compendium is to support Dota, to support the competitive scene and I appreciate everyone doing so.” - Kai Hanbückers
All in all, Valve’s Interactive Compendium is a great idea to advertise the International 2013. Holders get a broad spectrum of information, are able to give some aspects of the Tournament a direction, such as the Allstar Match and contribute to the game. Even if it is a simple PR Campaign, if you are a real fan, there is no harm in buying a copy.