September 2011

Mark Jacobs Resurfaces, Pretty Fly For An Old White Guy


Mark Jacobs, Mythic founder, former CEO and person whose picture appears in the dictionary next to the word “irrepressible”, is interviewed by Forbes about his new game company, City State Nation Continent Entertainment.

“I didn’t want this studio to be the old boys’ club,” he said. “I was looking for, and continue to look for, a mix of people that represent a much more diverse segment of the gaming population — whether that’s women, young people, whoever — and, to be very blunt, not just ‘old white guys.’ I want people who can come in and bring in their different perspectives, and their ideas for new games and features.”

In fact, Jacobs said that three of the people on his staff have never played a game before they were hired at City State. “They’ve never played an MMO, and they don’t know hardcore games, but what they do know are the platforms we’re going for,” he said. “They know what they like. They can give us opinions that are much more diverse, and that’s what I want. We have a great bunch of guys and gals who are willing to speak their minds. This is the kind of environment that we had at the beginning at old Mythic, and the kind of place that I always wanted Mythic to be. We have a very collaborative environment; we talk about everything. I’ve got a great mix of people here.”

You might ask what sort of game City State of the Invincible Overlord Entertainment is making, and Mark (via his website) might tell you.

What kind of games do you make?

None; we just started.

Or not. Hey, I bet the press release might say!

City State Entertainment is a brand-focused studio creating intellectual property for the mobile, tablet and social networking spaces.

At any rate, expect many more jokes about the name, because really.

SOE’s John Smedley: Subscription Model Dead

Oh $30 Internet Tank I love you so very much

Given that DC Online (day-job-pimping alert: and City of Heroes!) just went free to play, somewhat relevant!

There’s another large juggernaut coming out soon in Star Wars: The Old Republic from EA/Bioware. That’s a game that I think has a legitimate shot at a 2 million subscription user base and I believe they will stick with the subscription method. In my opinion this is going to be the last large scale MMO to use the traditional subscription business model. Why do I think that? Simply put, the world is moving on from this model and over time people aren’t going to accept this method. I’m sure I’m going to hear a lot about this statement. But I am positive I’m right.

I agree: SWOTR will be the last subscription MMO of consequence. Not having a free-to-play option limits your market too much. As an example: me! I occasionally play LOTRO, and feel no pressure not to come and go as whim strikes – but usually kick in a few bucks when I do. (Usually on a horse, because, hey, horses.) I doubt I would have ever actually bought World of Tanks (because really, it’s got one of the dumbest names in MMOs since the late much-lamented Yogurting) but this morning I just bought the best damn tank the People’s Republic of China has to offer.

Free-to-play works; for players and for developers. Now if we can just figure out how to get you people to stop talking about your genitalia on disposable accounts it’ll be golden.

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose

If nothing else, the images of avatars chilling while complaining about game companies are getting awfully photorealistic.

You have 14 Days. If after that time the Plane is not properly tuned, I am deleting my characters, and cancelling all of my accounts. The rest of my guild will follow suit, as will several other guilds and people that play Everquest.

To be brief, I did not work my ass off, jumping through your idiotic hoops with my friends and guildmates, so I could go to a zone where only groups of 18 could enjoy the content. EVEN if past these initial moronic events I can finally get my entire guild in to raid with me, F__K YOU GUYS. Seriously, F__K YOU.

I cannot believe this… right now I’m just so pissed off. I am sitting here in the Plane of Time, and 3/4 of my guild is just sitting around while a group of 18 is repeatedly trying to beat one of the mini ring encounters. Don’t you people have ANY F__KING DECENCY? SMEDLEY WHY DON’T YOU STOP COUNTING YOUR MONEY AND START ISSUING ORDERS?

The tragic irony of creating the ultimate cockblock encounter in the form of the Rathe which requires 80 people to defeat and then to limit encounters in the Plane of Time to 18.

14 Days…. after that this site will change from the most popular EQ fan site on the internet to the most popular World of Warcraft fan site on the internet. I’m done playing ball with you useless f__kers… it’s my turn.

Alex “Furor Planedefiler” Afrasiabi
Leader of “Fires of Heaven”, Everquest’s most notorious guild
May 9, 2003

…our interactions with CCP’s upper management in the aftermath of the Emergency Summit have shown us that the suits are not treating the needs of the players with the gravity they deserve; our willingness to negotiate in a chill way with the FiS [“Flying in Space”, aka the primary Eve Online game as opposed to “Walking in Stations”] teams (which has met with obvious success) is being misinterpreted as a sign of weakness and compliance by the suits.

So the gloves come off. There’s not much point for Goonswarm striving to ‘fix EVE’ by seizing control of the CSM [Council of Stellar Management, Eve’s player-elected representatives] and negotiating successfully with the FiS devs if the amount of resources allocated to FiS itself dwindles and the game continues to stagnate. In the coming weeks we are going to be making some extremely loud statements regarding the neglect of FiS, the failure of Incarna, and the need for CCP’s management to pull the game out of this stall. We need something new to do, not something new to wear.

This will not take the form of an incoherent threadnaught (though that certainly got results, last time) but we may seize control of the internet’s dynamic media – Slashdot, Digg, Reddit, and the gaming press as a whole for several news cycles.

We will not stand idly by as an alliance while our subscription money goes to waste, watching the game we pay to play spiraling into entropy due to the folly and neglect of CCP’s management. It is not yet time to start a fire, but get your gasoline ready.

Alex “The Mittani” Gianturco
Leader of “Goonswarm Federation”, Eve Online’s most notorious guild
September 3, 2011

So, given history’s inevitable cyclical nature, I suppose we should expect The Mittani to give up his promising career as a corporate attorney for life as a worldbuilder on The Old Republic shortly!