Thursday dawns. It dawned a while ago here and is yet to dawn in the US. The thread on the EQ2 forums is now 192 pages long and “and rising” as they say in Hitchikers Guide. From Sony 3 or 4 very small pieces of fluff only in response – amounting to “hi guys” from someone that moved/joined … whatever… and “it will be ok, promise.”
At the same time Everquest Online Adventures is closing. I’m inclining more these days to the view that there’s some financial problem happening in thar somewhere, and SOE needs a rapid cash injection. Mind you I’m also inclining to the view that their hold on reality is dangerously tenuous. If they were my next door neighbours I’d be calling the white van and checking the trash for needles. A Station Cash sale that amounts to an extra 20% (One Day Only! Buy Buy Buy!) scaling to 40% seems to have nothing much to do with anything much either. Even if they were in everyone’s good books it wouldn’t be tempting.
The sad thing is, had they taken the trouble to be open, and built a reputation for fairness, their very loyal veteran playerbase would have been behind them and helping out.
Ducking, diving, weaving, wheeling, dealing and grabbing quick-cash-then-run requires mobility. MMO’s are soooo not mobile! Grab quick cash and still be there tomorrow doesn’t work – ooops. It takes time to build a playerbase. MMOs do better by building good relations, doing right by people – being seen as FAIR. A sizeable section of humanity is only capable of short-termism however, and this is the fruits. If such people later need help, its not much use turning to the people that they have left feeling cheated, betrayed, left in the dark. Oh dear, oh dear.
Lastly – this sense of ownership. by Eula! by Tos! by the Gods of … MMO! we are bludgeoned to think we are only guests in these things. But a lot of people don’t feel that way – really they don’t. I object to SWG being lost to humanity as a whole (plus I never got to play it). Time and effort put into any game I play makes it feel like I’m part of it. Being part of something runs near to feeling it’s part of me too.
It will be interesting if it ever occurs to anyone to formalise this (naughty! you’re just a guest!) sense we have that we do, in fact, in some sense, own some tiny part of the games we play. Share ownership by players? That’d be a good way to raise cash, with the added bonus that the shareholders are likely to protect the game from all sorts of baaaaaad stuff. But if you’re too busy grabbing evrithing for meeeee, sharing just isn’t on the radar I guess – like fairness isn’t up there with the desirable stuff, or openness, or heck, even honesty. If you can get away with a lie it’s ok?
S’pose so…. so long Sony … yeah I’ll drop by and say hello to EQ2…. um……sometime.