Regular readers will probably note that I haven’t been posting as much as usual. Long-time (and I mean years) followers will have noticed a pattern — when real life gets busy, I tend to slack on my blog. It’s been gradual. Last month I was slacking at the beginning of each week but making up for it towards the weekend. This month I started with every other day, and have taken most of this week off. It’s not as if I hadn’t been reading other people’s posts, keeping up with some of the bigger news stories (be it industry or community related), and having my own thoughts and opinions about those topics. I’ve just been apathetic towards writing things down. I wish I could say that it was because I was playing more video games than normal, and spending less time writing about them, but that’s not the truth. The truth is, I’ve spent time away from home, have been busy running errands, doing classes, and in some cases have been utterly lazy.
Like a Wallflower, I’ve had thoughts about these stories, but so many people had already covered them I felt content sitting on the sidelines. This post is me throwing out a few tidbits, and not really going too in-depth because I don’t want to repeat the same shit someone else already said, but I feel like I should say something. Picking up where I left off last week in my “Change is in the Air” post, many of the stories I touched on there have had updates. First off, Daybreak Games, the company formerly known as SOE, was bought by an investment company, and within a week had layoffs of some prominent figures. Heartfelt posts were made by a few, including Syp, Aywren and Keen, while Roger takes a measured look at the company who owns them, and their reasoning for it. I had some back and forth commentary on an earlier post with someone who really wished Smedley would get the ax, and he seems to be safe for now. I personally don’t mind Smed, and I have always been one of SOE’s faithful, and continue to be for now, but mirror Keen’s expression of feeling lost. I had a conversation with my Dad, a long-time Everquest player and fan of the company for the most part, where I expressed believing that the spirit of SOE would live on through this acquisition and that Everquest would never truly die, but he felt like an investment company would run Daybreak into the ground. I see both sides of this argument as equally valid, because there is still hope that current games will live on and future ones will still be developed, but there is the possibility that the company (or certain products) will cease to exist. Part of me believes that even if Daybreak were to go under, former employees would start up a new company, or somehow the Everquest franchise would be kept alive. I hope to see Everquest Next, but there are no guarantees in the gaming industry.
Massively Overpowered has gone live, and their Kickstarter campaign was heavily supported. I think the site is better looking and user friendly. I haven’t read too many articles but it seems to be at bare minimum the news aggregator we all know and love (or not, whatever). While it was briefly offline (from the time Massively was done for and the new site popped up) there was a conversation about whether or not the blogging community could step in to fill the shoes of professional journalists. While I think it could be done, I believe that most people would like to be getting a piece of the pie so to speak, and unless you are willing to conform to certain guidelines, you might not be able to collect. I know I’d love to get paid — and would put a hell of a lot more effort out if I was — for doing the blog/podcast bit, but I’m not sure I’d want to submit to some of those standards. Either way, Roger once again made some good points in this article, and points to some other articles that bring the topic together nicely.
Lastly, and I’m super late for this, Eri wrote a series of posts on “Free to Play Fuckery,” in which she shreds the notion that free to play is good for gaming, and has some counter points brought up by other bloggers. This is the last post in the series (as of this writing), and I trust you can navigate your way further into the discussion if you so wish. I have to say that a couple of years ago, I was really for the free to play conversions and was loving the plethora of free to play gaming options. I love League of Legends to this day, and I feel like their model is fair, and I’ve spent more money with Riot Points than I would have if I could have everything included in a box price. Honestly, if you were to get most of the content included in a subscription price I’d be saving money. I guess that becomes the point of the argument against F2P. What I loved was being able to try MMOs that I never wanted to pay the box price + sub for, and then seeing the reasons why they weren’t worth sub prices in the first place. However, I do see the flip side of the coin where it’s obvious that our greed for “MOAR STUFF FOAR FREE” has created this monster model. At the end of the day, I believe that the core problem isn’t subscription costs or cash shop woes. The core problem is a lack of innovation and/or putting out shitty games. You can only force feed someone the same shit for so long before they want a different flavor of shit. Eventually they learn that it’s all shit and move onto something else altogether. For now, I’m just rolling with the punches, picking and choosing from the lot.