FE is an unintentional experiment of which is more powerful: marketing/advertising vs. word of mouth.
In the age of the internet, a well provoked community makes the most effective marketing team. Aventurine used a great model with the launch of Darkfall, rewarding members with royalties on each game they sold by granting every registered user a unique link to use when attempting to attract new players. The community marketing that evolves naturally as a result of quality service will always be innately more powerful than advertising (not to mention cheaper, so more resources can be directed towards quality products). This is especially true in the games industry, where players have just as much incentive as designers to increase the size of their community.
Edit: I should add that this does not negate the need for intelligent branding and marketing, as even quality products must be advertised in the right way and to the right people in order to sell at all.