Change is in the Air

It’s interesting to me, that of all the people in our little community who write prediction posts or talk about things that they would like to see in the coming year, didn’t see any of this coming.

This isn’t secret information. At this point, if you are interested in gaming and have an internet connection, you’ve already heard the news. There are four stories I’m going to talk about today, and I’m only touching upon them because they all surround things that have interested me, currently or otherwise. I’m late to the party, but I figured that I would give my two cents anyway. I went and said that I wasn’t going to, but here’s me doing it anyway.

So Joystiq, the all-inclusive gaming website that also played host to Massively, is owned by AOL. A huge douche-nozzle of a company, prone to buying companies and then shutting them down, as corporations are wont to do. It’s business, and it’s numbers, we all get it. There are a bunch of other bloggers who wrote more thought-provoking posts about this topic than I care to. In the end, I was mostly concerned for Syp and the other writers who were going to be out of work. It was announced that Joystiq and its sister sites would be shut down, and we all wondered where we’d find another reliable source for MMO news and otherwise. Of course, there were naysayers, happy to see the site get shuttered. There was backlash at that post and I’m sure there were others like it with even more backlash. These things happen on the Internet. As much as Keen is entitled to his opinion, you are entitled to disagree. There were recommendations for people to get their news at sites like Polygon, PCGamer, Rock, Paper, Shotgun, etc. You can find those sites on my sidebar as well, I check them all regularly. However, I do believe that our blogging community (and subsequently on Twitter) keeps me better informed than most sites. It can go either way, and I hear the news from one or the other, but I love the unflinching honesty of enthusiast bloggers, something that won’t be replicated on corporate sites.

Thankfully, Massively is going “indie,” by getting the gang together on their own website. I assume this means quality news, but maybe will give us some of that honesty that they weren’t able to before. I love a random “fuck” thrown into a well-written article. It feels more authentic that way. So the new site is called Massively Overpowered, and though it isn’t up just yet, you’ll be able to follow that link sooner than later. You can also follow them over on Twitter. I have updated the link on my sidebar, just a day after having removed the old one.

In related news, I also followed Joystiq for my console news, mainly for Playstation stuff, but there’s more on offer if you happen to enjoy a different console. They have been picked up by Engadget, and have a working name of “Joystiq X Engadget” (or Joystiq X e). This appears to be business as usual for the site, so aside from a further name change, it’s not going anywhere for the time being. Their Twitter account hasn’t changed for now, and I have also updated the link on the sidebar as well.

Next up, the big news from SOE that Sony sold them off to a company called Columbus Nova. This includes a name change, where SOE will now be known as “Daybreak Games.” This was a shocker I don’t think anyone saw coming. Some people will claim that they saw indicators, but I call bullshit. It’s been business as usual for SOE for years now, despite having put out new games (Early Access or otherwise) and keeping up on old titles. Yeah, they have had some free to play conversions, they also shuttered some under-performers, but that’s been the story for every MMO company for the last few years. Honestly, I don’t understand the hate people have for SOE, save for the people who are still holding grudges about Star Wars Galaxies and/or Vanguard. For me, SWG seemed like a shitty game and I don’t think that’s due to SOE’s influence. Vanguard also seemed like trash before it released, and SOE saved it from going into the trash bin, so yeah, who’s the villain there? Everquest 1 and 2 are still two of my favorite MMOs of all time, and that’s after having played most AAA titles from the past decade plus. Their upcoming titles (which are in early access) seem like they’re going to be great games when they’re done, and we all know EQN will be a thing. It might not come when you want it, but it will draw fans of the IP regardless.

SOE has done some things that are ridiculous, stupid, and backwards. But their transparency throughout has always been refreshing and a part of what makes them a great company. Eri said it best on our H1Z1 show, in that SOE is the little hero company that you’re supposed to like, and you hate to see them do stupid shit, but you still love them anyway. Something to that effect. I can’t say that I’ve approved of it all, but I don’t want to see them go under. They make it sound like they’re going to be an indie company now, and will have the ability to make games for other platforms and might be able to get away from things their parent company made them do. However, they are still under the umbrella of a corporation, so we’ll see how it goes. I’m rooting for them.  Their Twitter has been updated, so you can follow them for further updates.

Last story, was another that I didn’t think I’d see happen. For the past decade give or take, The Pirate Bay has been a torrent seekers dream. Anything you needed to get ahold of was available, and being based on servers in a country where it’s harder to prosecute, they kept pirates happy. I plead the 5th on my involvement, but we’ll just say that I was disappointed to learn it was shut down earlier this year. It didn’t take long for it to rise again though, like a phoenix from the ashes. Who knows how long this incarnation will last, but it’s good to see freedom ring clear on the Internet once again.

So, companies, websites, games, pirates. They rise and fall, come and go, but in the end, we find new versions, new fixes, and soldier on. The world we live in might be a big ol’ bitch, but sometimes she’s beautiful. That’s all for today.

#massivelyop #daybreakgames #joystiqxe #thepiratebay