Star Wars: The Old Republic is going to be huge. I unequivocally guarantee it*. EA are playing a strategy so perfect it would make a Russian chess master blush. Everything from the design of the game and its IP to their business model and hype tactics is utterly flawless. If SW:TOR doesn’t crack at least a million subscribers and manage to to gain a foothold against WoW, I don’t think anything ever will.
Archive for 2011
So I started another blog. A work one, this time, related to the web industry and the Internet, written by myself and my two colleagues, in a – hopefully – appealing and enjoyable fashion, not dissimilar to my style and take on things here. In fact, this blog was a huge motivator for me wanting to start a work related one because I knew, right from day one, that I wanted our company to have a voice in the industry, to comment on activities and trends and to be able to express our own opinion on the matters that affect our livelihood. We always wanted to stray away from the rather dull corporate blogs that every business now seems to feel obliged to launch these days so we branded and styled ours with personality, humour and a little bit of sass calling it (my esoteric choice of blog names continues) the 8 Gram Gorilla. Yeah, we really do like our monkeys.
By now you’ve probably all read about the real reason for Star Wars Galaxies’ closure. Turns out it had nothing to do with profitability (well, OK, not strictly true but, even if SWG wasn’t making huge profits, we can assume that it wasn’t making a loss), developer motivation or lack of fan devotion but rather because SOE’s license ran out on the Star Wars IP. Yep, it was only a five year deal. Gee, kinda short sighted don’tcha think?
OK, OK, I’m sure SOE had the option to renew the license should they have wanted to and, in reality, the decision was theirs to shut down SWG rather than George Lucas’ due to a combination of lack of high profitability and the impending sense of doom that Star Wars: The Old Republic filled their increasingly stained pants with. Bottom line, if SOE had wanted to save SWG and renew the license, they could have regardless of how economically insane the decision might have been (I’m guessing a five year Star Wars license costs somewhere in the realm of five to ten gazillion dollars – I know, I missed a career in finance, right?).
Yes, I’m perhaps a little too excited by the news that the next Everquest 2 expansion will feature the Beastlord, one of my favourite classes from the original game. Of course, this fantastic news comes after years of SOE saying that they have no plans at all to add the class. Goes to show not only how easily companies give in to public demand (especially when faced with faltering popularity) but also how what they often say is never actual, unequivocal and permanent fact (and exactly why I think Titan is actually World of Starcraft… but that’s another blog post).
Now I haven’t played EQ2 in quite some time not only due to burning myself out after a solid three year stint when it was first released but also because SOE’s F2P model annoyed me somewhat. Still, I’m willing to let bygones be bygones and give EQ2 another shot just so I can get my hands on the beloved Beastlord. Oh fickle thy name is Gordon.
As much as we try to deny it there are striking similarities between MMOs and the work place, especially when it comes to the relationships we have with the people we encounter within the virtual walls. Guild leaders are like your bosses, guildies and friends are like your work colleagues and PUG members are like people you meet at random, nightmarish networking events. Although money never (or very rarely) changes hands, whittling away a few hours running dungeons or raids with your online companions is really no different from spending some time working on a company project or participating on a team building exercise (although, I suppose, participation is more likely to be voluntary and eager).
So apparently the free-2-play version of Age of Conan arrives tomorrow and is called, wittily enough, Unchained. Get it? No chains… free… Nope? Never mind. Anyway, call me a sucker for soft metal music, dramatic voice overs and well edited and cut together footage but the launch trailer is rather impressive. As can be seen below.
Y’know, all of the fuss that’s being caused by EVE’s ridiculously over priced in-game NEX store has tickled me a little. Not because I find the idea of charging $68 for a monocle humorous but rather because, regardless of how old, wise, intelligent, grown-up or otherwise sophisticated and cool we become, we’re still just kids who like to play dress up with our dolls.