Rock, the consumer brand owned by the Stone Group, is to abandon ‘bloatware’ and bundle a free subscription to a popular online game. The move is a reaction to consumer rejection of bundled applications and the increasing importance of online gaming to the PC retailer.
Announcing Rock’s partnership with CCP, the developers of EVE Online, mobile technical director Nick Boardman said that the market has changed and, by reacting first, Rock hopes to attract new swathes of business.
“People are fed up with buying PCs which bundle software they do not need,” he explained. “The logic was that consumers might be tempted to buy the full version of the application, and the vendor would get a commission. But all they did was annoy their customers.”
Boardman said PC vendors must cure their habit of supplying machines that fail to make life easier for the customer. His rationale is to give customers a machine that works straight out of the box, without them having to change everything from the screen size to the paper size for the printer. “The default setting for most PCs always seems to be inconvenience,” he joked.
Rock is to offer customers the option of an entirely clean install –with no ancilliary software – and with the settings optimised for the purpose they intend to use the machine for. Which, said Boardman, is often gaming these days.
As a result, Rock will give its notebook customers an exclusive, 30-day free trial of MMO EVE Online. The software for this multi-player online amusement comes pre-installed on Rock notebooks sold in February and March 2009, with all the crucial settings – such as screen resolution and graphics – optimised for the ‘serious gamer’.
Set in space, tens of thousands of years in the future, the persistent universe of EVE Online features explosive warfare, a fully-fledged economy and a complex society with a class system and its own representative democracy, explained Magnus Bergsson, games developer CCP’s vice president of sales.
“Rock’s customers can run EVE Online with our graphics turned all the way up, enabling them to experience the gameplay and art of EVE as it was meant to be,” said Bergsson.
Matthew Polly says Crowdstrike is looking to branch out from the UK and into mainland Europe
Southampton-based VAR states that further acquisitions are in the pipeline
With UKFast launching a public cloud consultancy, Tom Wright asks if this is the way forward for all local hosting providers
Reseller joins HP and Cisco in pledging to boost the tech sector's diversity