You may have heard of a series called Mass Effect, a PC, Xbox and PS3 science-fiction third person shooter video game (that’s a mouthful I know) from BioWare. It’s actually quite good, and some people claim it’s the Star Trek of this generation.
The third episode of the trilogy is due to be released Q1 2012, and as you can imagine the hype machine (Electronic Arts, the largest video game editor known to mankind, is the publisher) is already active. The latest marketing scheme to date was to offer two out of the four Mass Effect comics for free, no doubt in hope to sell the other two once the people get hooked up.
Well, that went bad. See, the offer is for a limited time only (24 hours), so when geeks all over the world heard about it, they all went to the comic’s publisher website, Dark Horse Comics. Which, you will have guessed by now, cannot be reached because of the huge load put on it.
Now, I don’t have to tell you how bad this makes a company look. When you try to pull-off a marketing event, which is all fine and dandy, the least you can do is run a performance test on it first. You don’t have to upgrade your infrastructure for this one-time event, either. Just make sure your load balancer (if you don’t have one, get one) can at the very least redirect people to a place holder page indicating that the website is under very load and they should revisit it later. Because if you don’t handle these problems – and if you don’t test, you won’t even know about them until it’s too late – people will think “error” when they think of your company. Quite the opposite of the original intent of the event, don’t you think?
Source: The Escapist