First off I have to say that Massively has really been impressing me lately. First they listened to the community and moved a ton of their Second Life stories to their own section, and generally reduced the SL clutter that was dominating the front page. While the land of flying penises surely has it’s place, it should not be every other story on an otherwise quality MMO site. And now, they post this story, which will no doubt upset a few high-ups over at SOE, possibly costing them future exclusives. Job well done guys, and keep it up. We have enough trash ‘news’ sites like IGN already giving us ‘exclusive’ fluff piece previews.
On to the story itself; for anyone who has been following MMOs since the UO/EQ1 days, news that SOE abuses their players should not come as a surprise to people. A quick Google search will bring up countless examples of shady dealings, yet for a bit it seemed that SOE was trying to turn its image around and actually respect the players that made them who they are today. I guess not…
While any corporation as big as Sony will have its skeletons, it’s borderline amazing that SOE has had as many scandals as they have had, especially in a market as dependent on its player community as the MMO space. Since the release of WoW, and the massive disappointment that was EQ2 at launch (and perhaps even now), SOE no longer holds the top spot in the MMO world, and as such can not afford to ignore the smaller, more vocal minority while catering to the massive ‘don’t care casual’ community like Blizzard does.
Now is the Massively piece the be-all-end-all of the story? Of course not, it’s only one side. But odds are good that’s the only side we will ever hear, as it is unlikely that SOE will even acknowledge the story, hoping instead that it will just fade away like so many previous PR disasters. Luckily for MMO fans, and unfortunately for SOE, Google makes that ‘fade away’ process rather difficult.
update: Very likely just a coincidence, but I do find it funny that of all days, today is the day that SOE announces a ‘Treasure Chest’ of information based on the official forums. From the announcment:
With so much information being posted in the EQII Official Forums at all times, it can be very hard to keep up with it and very easy to miss some real gems and opportunities to share. Have no fear though; the Treasure Chest is here to highlight interesting, unusual, and humorous posts, as well as opportunities to help your fellow player with a question or two!
Wonder if any of the ‘treasure’ will be how to get your duped character from test to live…