Posted in Star Trek Online, Warhammer Online

Monday’s Good, Bad and Ugly

good_bad_uglyThe Good: BioWare has responded to (reasonable) player concerns about the Warden’s Keep DLC in Dragon Age being a monetary barrier between players and a storage chest by providing a new patch that gives every player a chest in their camp.

The Bad: Both Gamasutra and Kotaku have reported that EA just cut 1,500 jobs and the closure of several facilities as part of a cost reduction plan.  We do know at this point that Mythic was hit with 80 layoffs as part of this.  It’s a mind-blowing number of layoffs for this mega-publisher, and if you’re a Mythic — or even a BioWare — fan, it might not be unreasonable to worry about your product when this publisher continues to cut away staff positions like this.

The Ugly: Star Trek Online has officially announced their launch as the beginning of February 2010.  Why is this ugly?  Because I’m getting bad vibes from it: there’s been lackluster marketing, underwhelming interviews and in-game footage, the beta just started up a couple weeks ago, and Champions’ launch has shown us that Cryptic is more concerned with getting their products out there quickly than having them 100% ready.  Still, hands-on impressions of the game have been more or less positive, and Champions is far from a total wash, so ugly it shall be until it proves otherwise.  But I really feel as if this is too soon for the game.

8 thoughts on “Monday’s Good, Bad and Ugly

  1. Good: Probably a few weeks until I see this change. Downside of playing on a console with this type of game. I’m glad to see it is going into the base game though. I already run around with probably 60 items at all times as I don’t want to get rid of all the crafting mats I have accumulated until I actually figure out a good use for them.

    Bad: I feel bad for Mythic and the Warhammer community. This cannot be a good thing for them overall. I wonder if this kills off the thought that Mythic had of any extra work on DAoC. There was a post from a Mythic employee a few months back about possibly updating or working on DAoC 2.

  2. I really wonder if Cryptic is making the opposite of everlasting MMOs… like making MMOs that pay off dev costs, make the investors some money, and go for the next game. Seriously.

  3. Games in general outside the MMO space have been doing that for years. With the plethora of WoW tourists out there, why does a MMO necessarily have to be different?

  4. Hi Syp. Thanks for the notice of the Storage chest addon for Dragon Age.

    Is it a Bioware made patch, or a modification made by a toolset user?

    Have you used it? Am reluctant to try it out because of any possible interference that may result, such as losing my blood dragon armor or some such.

  5. EA just bought Playfish to get into the Social Networking Gaming sphere. I’m sure with that and their fiscal year end coming they needed to “clear” the books.

    Many times after companies get into their next year … they will sometimes bring folks back. Hope so for those who lost their jobs.

    From a WAR perspective they will be launching in Asia soon. The game’s a lot different now than at launch and they’ll be treated to a much different game. So … we’ll have to wait and see.

  6. @Ravious, personally I would be all for it. I dont’ want to play the same game forever for the rest of my life but I do enjoy playing with other people. I would be very happy with a game that offered 100 hours of so of top quality entertainment in a multi-player setting and the let you move on.

    I also think that this would be healthier for the gaming industry as a whole because the “World of Warcraft” model where the majority of gamers play one game exclusively for several years stifles variety and creativity.

    Sadly economics mitigate against this becoming widespread. The lure of ongoing revenues from either monthly subscriptions or an item shop is too strong for game developers to ignore.

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