So, hey, about that idea gaming was recession-proof!
Champions Online and Star Trek Online now fully owned by Infogrames (who also own the zombie Atari label).
Cryptic’s titles were going to be published by 2K Games; Ten Ton Hammer got a hold of 2K and got a “Uh… they did what? Uh, we’ll get back to you guys.” comment.
Not too many independent MMO producers left; Cryptic was one of the bigger ones.
More details on Kendricke’s blog.
My thoughts? I’ll be brief. I don’t think this is appropriate for a subscription MMO. If SOE were to take EQ or EQ2 free to play? Sure. But item shops in a subscription-only MMO are… well… they cause Internet explosions. And if I were an EQ player, I’d be pretty horked, too. Especially since EQ is all about PvE progression, which from my brief reading appears to be for sale to the highest bidder now (well, XP-wise anyway – do the XP potions work for earning AA points?).
But they’re not the first, they won’t be the last. Item shops work. Item shops will, I suspect, do very well in Freerealms, SOE’s promising new free-to-play MMO. But retrofitting them to older MMOs? That’s the kicker. It will be interesting to see if the community adopts this or revolts.
(links ganked from Moorgard, because I suspect he came up first in my GoogleReader.)
Paul Barnett’s video response to Friday’s ritual burning of the programming department:
Well, not literally:
Some random points:
- I’m pretty sure this is the first serious MMO bug copped to via Youtube.
- I worked with Colin Shannon when I was at Mythic. He is one of the best programmers out there and Mythic is damned lucky to have him. Internet yutzes who clearly would NEVER leave a bug in an MMO EVER on all the MMOs THEY’VE coded? Kindly STFU, thanks.
- Most of this video was, as usual, funny, in a veddy dry British Paul Barnett(tm) sort of way. This part was not:”Now, code’s general plan has been to blame the designers for this. Now, I’m about to prove, definitively, that this is code’s fault. Watch… and learn.”
Yeeeeeeeah. It wasn’t funny, even if Colin (who in addition to being a great coder is also an almost supernaturally tolerant person) was up for it. You don’t even do that sort of thing in team meetings. Jokes like that break morale like a twig. I’ve seen dark jokes like that (and to be fair, participated in them) from both sides of the fence. As a coder, I had a, let us say, adversarial relationship with one particular designer. When trying to explain to him what was possible and not possible, the response was almost always “But I designed it that way!” Which became such a tag line I finally wrote it on my whiteboard. Note: this was not a healthy relationship. And I guarantee you that there are team members who are not laughing when watching that video. Though they may be writing things on whiteboards.
Note to Mythic: I love you guys, but Designer vs Coder isn’t a valid playstyle.
Mark Jacobs’ response:
Paul and Colin were trying to be funny. That’s Paul’s style and Colin is one of our most trusted, talented and valued guys. If they can poke a little fun at things…
And by the way, Paul also makes fun of himself and doesn’t take himself too seriously (well, most of the time ).
Bugs happen, design errors happen and nobody’s perfect. Well, except for some folks on the Internet who never make mistakes at their jobs and neither should anybody according to their posts.
A sense of humor is a wonderful thing and necessary, especially nowadays.
According to Garthlik at Warhammer Alliance, Warhammer to get official forums for the new year.
There, I said it (again). 🙂
I would rather hear William Shatner and Roseanne Barr singing a duet while having my fingernails pulled out one by one while sitting in a pool of molten lava than have Mythic’s own Official Forums for WAR.
How’s that for clarity?
That would explain why Garthlik’s post was called “The William Shatner and Roseanne Barr Christmas Album”. (Note that this is still classified as rumor until Mythic makes some sort of announcement. Or, failing that, the faint cries of Roseanne Barr’s wassails can be heard in the distance.)
Over the next thirty to forty-five days you might, if you’re one of them Second Life avatar dudes, that likes to go populate islands within Second Life, you will find an Army island in Second Life.
Julian Dibbell writes in Wired on the decline and fall of IGE.
At the same time, the so-called free-to-play model—no subscription fees, revenue derived entirely from direct sales of in-game items—has made inroads in the Asian MMO market and is being embraced by no less a gaming giant than Electronic Arts in the upcoming Battlefield Heroes. But both these models, in their blunt rejection of IGE’s third-party retail model, only underline what Pierce himself implicitly conceded when he sold out to Yantis: There is no future for his once-bright dream except in the dimness of what is plainly now a permanent gray market.