As you are more than likely aware, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has recently done some cross-media promotions. Namely, the Great Eight has been featured as a playable character in the immensely popular Massive Multiplayer Online game (MMO), World of Warships. But what exactly is World of Warships? And why should we care about his inclusion? The answers may surprise you.
The first question many will ask is, what is World of Warships? Unfortunately, it isn’t related to World of Warcraft in any way. But World of Warships is indeed a massive multiplayer online video game, and free to play at that. Wherein, players are assigned to a team and given a set of battleships to fight with. The gameplay can be done either independently or in a co-op mode that allows members of the same team to fight alongside each other.
While simple in concept, the game involves a lot of strategy, and even though games that possess a challenge are frequently more played than games that do not, the three-year old title’s popularity has been on decline as of late. World of Warships sees about 75,700 active users per day, but those numbers used to be considerably higher.
World of Warship is available, and free, to play all over the world. But the game is most popular in the North America, Russia, and to a lesser extent, Europe and parts of Asia. Notably, these are areas where hockey is popular as well. With the game’s two biggest areas with active users being North America and Russia, it makes perfect sense for the developers at Wargaming to seek out Oveckin’s help as a last Hail Mary to save the title before its numbers drop to a point of no return. And appealing to the demographics in which “Alex Ovechkin” is a household name makes perfect sense, and could possibly benefit both parties involved.
Ovechkin appears in the game as a commander for both the American and Soviet teams, as he is a native Russian made famous in the United States. So, people who are familiar with hockey, and especially the Capitals, who’ve never played World of Warships, might be enticed to pick up the game and see what all the hype is about. Surely, if Ovechkin’s decided to toss his hat into the ring, it must be something worth checking out! Meanwhile, those dedicated users of the game who don’t follow hockey may be curious to find out about origins of this newly accessible character and could very well find themselves checking out the next Capitals game they can find in an effort to learn more about him.
The Capitals are the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, and even though they’re struggling to string together wins as of late, they’re still on an upward momentum swing from the glory that was the Summer of Champions. This is prime time for new fans to fall in love with the Capitals organization and seek out, what will be for them, their first Stanley Cup win as Caps fans. There is a lot of uncertainty within the fan base about what will happen this season. Is the team feeling the effects of not having Tom Wilson in the lineup? Is Todd Reirden just not cutting it as head coach? Why is the team so sluggish and sloppy on the power play and penalty kill?
Granted, the fans who saw the team hoist the Cup in Las Vegas have good reason to become complacent with the way the team is performing as of now, but for fans who are none the wiser, and just feeling the team out for the first time, they’ll be happy to learn about the greatest sport on the planet, and the score will come second. Fans who’re frustrated with the team need newer fans to remind them why they fell in love with the Capitals in the first place.
So, the way I see it, this partnership between World of Warships and Alex Ovechkin has created a sort of symbiotic relationship between the two. WoWS gets curious new players to keep its brand’s head above the water, and the Capitals may just get a couple of new, enthusiastic fans when they’re needed the most.
What do you think of the partnership? Is it a good idea or a bad one? Am I way off the mark on what this relationship has to offer either party? Sound off in the comments section below, and as always, stay tuned to NoVa Caps for the latest Washington Capitals news.
By: Chris Laroche