The Secret World - Founding Cabal
The Secret World was launched by Funcom in late 2012. One of the things Funcom is known for is taking care of its supporters. From a huge launch party in Oslo, Norway for the Age of Conan launch to Founding Cabal status for TSW, Funcom had its head on straight when it came to recognizing the importance of the community.
The Founding Cabal strategy was a very good one too. The principle was simple: Find the most active groups (or better yet, let them find you by applying for the status and then you can weed through those apps to find the ones you have the most confidence in). Then, offer them a reserved name in game (which everyone loves) but more importantly, give the leaders of those guilds a lifetime account. That costs Funcom an imperceptible amount of money but keeps hundreds of entities within the game for a longer period of time. Even if it is only a month longer, the 'cost' of the Guildmaster account is more than compensated for by the money made from all of the members. GMs quititng a game is one of the top reasons that guild's implode and a guild implosion is the top reason players quit a game.
In The Syndicate's case, we have had a long standing, positive relationship with Funcom. As such, they approached us and asked us if we would like to be given Founding Cabal status. Of course we would! The game has a neat premise. We had a number of members interested in playing it. And the 'cost' was right. So, Thank you Funcom for thinking of us. But more importantly, I think your model for taking care of your community is one that other companies could and should take note of. Communities are one of the key pillars to a game's success.