Well, there has been quite a flurry of news in the past few days. So, I guess I need to address it if I want to stay topical. It’s too bad though, I’m working on an awesome Star Wars post that’s going to be such a complete and total display of nerd power I may blow up the internet. I can’t even describe it. It’s going to be so awesome.
But enough of that for now. Onto recent events. For those who haven’t heard yet, Icon has been re-released from the Titan Network as Icon 1.2. What new features are in 2.0? The ability to load up a new character and costume and launch into one of 6 game maps from the game. You get your choices of Mercy Island, Atlas Park, the Breakout map, Nova Praetoria, Imperial City, and I think Pocket D with the Ski Chalet, not sure on that last one. The maps are completely devoid of people or things or anything but they are a great nostaglia trip if you’re feeling it and want to see some of the old city again.
Second is this article that was posted to a couple of different news sites. There’s a link to the Titan Network discussion on it here. In short, NCSoft has announced that instead of cancelling and shutting down Guild Wars 1, they are going to automate the scheduled events that the small dev team was running, end all new development of the game, and run the servers forever in maintenance mode. To a lot of City of Heroes players, this news is bittersweet.
While it’s certainly a great thing for the Guild Wars 1 community, it’s frustrating as a CoH fan for NCSoft to do this now. There have been several reasons cited for why NCSoft did this. One of the likely reasons is that Arenanet, the makers of Guild Wars 1 and 2 may have a better contract with NCSoft then Paragon Studios did. This contract may give them certain rights and rules about what NCSoft can do when they want to shut down the game. The leverage they get with being the developer of their biggest hit to date, doesn’t hurt either. Both of those things are something Paragon Studios didn’t have. Another possible reason for this swing has to do with how rewards in GW1 are able to be crossed over into GW2, so as long as GW2 is going strong, there’s incentive to keep GW1 around. Even if it is just in maintenance mode.
Whatever the reasons, it’s good for the gaming community that this has happened. I’d like to think that the Save Paragon City movement had some influence on this decision as well, but I won’t deny that is probably a bit of ego on my part. NCSoft would never admit to it, and to claim victory reeks of gloating, so let’s not dwell on this.
But as I tool around the Internet I see a lot of people dogging on the Save PC movement these days. Lots of cries of get over it, it’s just a game, move on already. And other things like, it was a business decision, stop being spoiled brats, stop being so angry. Some of it is just insensitive people being jerks. To me at least, it seems that the people complaining about the Save PC movement these days are more negative then the movement itself. But some people are making legitimate arguments too and they deserve a response. Do people in the Save PC movement have a right to be angry anymore? It was just a business decision after all. These things happen every day. Why can’t we just move on with our lives and find other games?
While I can’t speak for others, for me the issue is less about anger and more about fairness. I spoke to this some in my Death of the Gaming Industry blog post as well. When a company that you give your money does things that you think are unfair, then you have a right not to support that company with your money. And if you want to go on blogs and websites and forums and yell loudly about how poorly you were treated by that company, then you have a right to do that too. An argument could even be made that you have a responsibility to disclose how poorly the company treated you. Some might argue that dwelling on the events just make you bitter and angry and that is a possible risk. But I don’t believe that you have to succumb to cynicism while fighting for fairness.
One of the best things about the Save PC movement is how positive the movement stays even in the knowledge that we have failed. Right now in that thread I linked to, there’s talk of congratulating the players of GW1, and Arenanet, and NCSoft on the Titan Forums for this new found interest in gamer good will. This is the first time we’ve EVER seen NCSoft behaving in a way that would appear friendly to the gaming communities they build. And it is a step in the right direction for that game, the company, and the industry.
But forgetting what brought us to this point is a dangerous and foolish path to take. Saying move on, is the equivalent to saying just forget it happened. And that simply invites more abuse. Personally, I will keep harping on the mistakes NCSoft has made and I will hope that they continue to try and correct and improve on them. And I will laud them when they make the right decisions as I am now. Who knows, if they keep this up, I might rescind my current gag order on their games and recommend a few that I see live now and coming down the pipe. Not that my recommendations matter in any way. I think I’ve well established my official status as a nobody, yes? Good. Glad we covered that. So that’s why I keep harping on it. I hope it’s a little more clear.
Time now to move on to other, more fun things though. Next post? More nerdery then the internet can hold. Stay tuned.