I still don’t know how to think of Massively’s closing. I am actually more upset at Joystiq’s closing because that feels like an institution going down the drain. Massively’s closing feels like… well that caravan of gypsies will find a new home. Massively never felt like it owed allegiance to anybody, and except for their snide remarks at AOL’s stinginess, it appeared independently run. Syp writes a Goodbye from his close perspective.
I’ve always had a spot for Massively. Two good friends started there (they are now at ArenaNet). I really liked when years ago they were plugging MMO bloggers. That apparently turned to some MMO blogger material theft, which left a sour taste in Keen and Syncaine’s mouths.
The most interesting response was Lewis Burnell’s post at the Guild Wars 2 Reddit. It was very honest and open. I’ve really liked what Ten Ton Hammer has become in the past few years. Anyway he really hits home at how hard funding a site like that is. Even mega-sites like Kotaku and Penny Arcade have had their issues with getting funded from advertisement.
That’s why I just write. I think that’s what all good MMO bloggers do. Just. Write. We’re cowboys though. We’re not trying to make a living out of crafting nerd words to digital paper. My heart goes out to the professionals that do.
The other big thing is SOE’s “purchase”. I don’t have much hope for anything now. I felt Everquest:Next was the next possible iteration in MMO PvE, and now it might never see the light of day. I am hoping that the Everquest brand is strong enough that when SOE starts being sold off in pieces… somehow EQ is maintained.
I feel anymore when an independent studio is sold to a conglomerate bad things happen. Well bad things for the remainder. The studio heads make out like bandits and head to Bermuda. At least, Warner for example was a content-producing company when it bought Turbine. SOE was bought by an investment firm that cares about as much about gamers as McDonald’s cares about the health of its patrons.
Anyway, there are nice points of light to look forward to. Guild Wars 2’s first expansion pack is fresh on my mind. Two other great PvP MMO’s are on the horizon (Camelot Unchained) or just beyond (Crowfall). Even Elder Scrolls Online going buy-to-play has me interested.