Just a few hours ago Earth2 released Israel - without any real announcement. This was almost a déjà vu of the accidental release of 5 countries that Earth2 had made some months ago. But whilst that release was because of a mistake, the Israel release was probably intentional. Apparently, there was a hint via a riddle tweet from Shane, immediately after which users supposedly were able to buy land in Israel.
A Random Reward?
Many interpret this as a random reward to users. However maybe a random reward should have -
a) A random chance
b) All users should have at least some chance.
However the said hint wasn't in advance, so people from all time-zones did not have any opportunity to get any low cost tiles, neither there was any time to plan as people were able to for releases with a countdown. Additionally, not all Earth2 users are on Twitter and many would have got access to the riddle much later. These 2 factors don't make this an equal opportunity
Is there a better way?
Some users argue that a Dubai (UAE) like announcement followed by a countdown would have only led to the same troubles everyone experienced back then. However, we all saw how EPL cooldowns worked so well in distributing the opportunity to a wider base. I am not sure what prevented Earth2 from using a similar mechanism. Having an advance announcement and adding a cooldown between purchases gives a fair opportunity to everyone - which I believe is the intention behind these rewards? Now before we judge, I would like to disclose that I have already benefited some from the accidental 5 country release as fortunately I was online at that time; and for the Israel release I had the fortune to know a friend who was kind enough to let me in on this one, who shared his exploits with me. So while I'm grateful for my good stars, I think these kind of opportunities can be exploited better by Earth2.
An opportunity lost!
Israel is a prominent country, and even if the anticipation wasn't as high as for UAE, Earth2 could have tactically used this as an opportunity to attract new users. This could have been achieved by announcing the release in advance to an already heated Metaverse community. It would have been great timing given 'Metaverse' has been the hottest thing past few weeks riding on the Facebook re-branding event. Combined with a cooldown mechanism this approach could have generated far greater dividends I feel. Coming to the argument that this a reward to existing users - there are several other ways to achieve this and even more equitably e.g.:- Higher one-time LIT or an Essence Bonus. However, a prominent country release like Israel could have been better used to generate a lot of conversation outside and attract new players to the platform. A growing user-base helps everyone and its benefits are persistent and long term.
Will Israel be the lucky country for resources?
Earlier Earth2 has hinted that they may release resources in just 1 country to test it out before releasing across the map (Read: https://www.e2.news/post/luckycountry). Many users are speculating that Israel will be that lucky country and whether this ties in to Shane's tweet referring to something happening at the end of November - will Earth2 be releasing resources near end of this month. However, I'm not sure if the point about the lucky country is relevant anymore since as per Earth2 holo-buildings would already have started accruing resources, therefore I'm not sure how this all comes together.
The road ahead:
Frankly, the Israel land release will relatively be a non-event in hindsight - especially if Earth2 makes any major announcements this month as they have hinted. Also it will be interesting to see what is the 'Big Reward' for existing properties - which as Shane indicates could be revealed by end of November.
I'm more excited about these things and whether we will have an insightful roadmap (bigger picture) soon. The other important thing to watch for is whether they tell us how much progress Earth2 has made in its blockchain plans/ execution and whether Earth2 will have its own crypto or not.
Still cautiously optimistic...