Signal Static Express

Welcome to another episode of Signal Static express, the place where you get news and opinions later than everyone else cause I can’t be arsed making individual posts.

Godus

The latest overhyped idea from the idiosyncratic mind of Peter Molyneux has of course failed, rather spectacularly to meet most of it’s kickstarter goals and pledge levels. So far it looks like all that will get developed from Godus is the ftp mobile style app, and a rather incomplete vision. A lot that was claimed within the kickstarter, even the higher up tiers will never be completed and well.. the project has pretty much been abandoned now. There was a community update that set the internet on fire for a while, and there are a lot of interviews circulating now about it all of which my favourite was probably from the winner of curiosity and the supposed position of god over Godus.

I’m just saddened by this because it pretty much represents the absolute worse of kickstarter, a model of supporting game ideas that I actually enjoy. What’s more worrying is that it seems to be the more well name names, those with reputation that are using it to get funds they don’t really need to then end up failing on this promise. Due to how high profile these people are, and how widely it gets circulated it is really quite damaging.

Daybreak layoffs

Another week, another controversy within the MMO industry. This time it is the newly acquired and renamed Daybreak Game Company that is back in the news but for rather terrible news. A large number of layoffs occurred of which there aren’t any true numbers yet. I’m guessing a lot of contract based staff but also many quite high profile names like Dave Georgeson, leader of the Everquest Franchise. I believe In An Age covered one of the fuller name lists and it is an extremely extensive list.

There was a lot more talk on twitter from many of the people let go, as well as comments on reddit and a few other places of which Inventory Full did a good job covering. For me, I don’t know what else to say really. I’m rather sad for the loss of jobs but I didn’t have any personal connection to any of the franchises. From my position it always seemed like they were taking on too much, maintaining and developing too many projects at once for it to really be that profitable. You have development teams, customer service people and a lot of overhead for that many projects.

While I understand the worry about some of the projects, especially Everquest next but from what I see this whole layoff thing seems to be more about consolidating resources into the projects that have potential. Planetside 2 was said to only have just become profitable lately which explains a lot of its layoffs, and the Everquest franchise can’t really be pulling in that much money. The there’s landmark as well which seems incredibly weird to me in how they’ve basically only had a one-off fund boost and then been running everything for free for the last 18 months. Just seems like bad business to me regardless of their world building aims.

It doesn’t make sense to get rid of, or stop development of Everquest next either because it would probably have been evaluated as their asset with the greatest value. You don’t just throw away the code for such an asset, unless of course your Blizzard.

Ncsoft Report

The Ncsoft earnings report for the fourth quarter is out now and all I have to say is OUCH for Wildstar. % million this quarter, so soon after its initial release doesn’t bode well. It seems to have only made a 45 million total too which would have to be close to its development and marketing costs.. wasn’t that what rift cost after all, Wildstar couldn’t be that far off from there. It is NCsoft too so I would say now is the time to not get attached to the game.

Generally I did like the idea of Wildstar and the environment design was rather interesting when you got used to it. The Housing was very well designed and allowed a lot of customisation and their costume design for characters was some of, if not the best I’ve seen: realistic design ideals, detailed and just rather amazing looking. It just failed in the usual important aspects of end game ideas and personal goals… and that open world aspect to an extent.

Guild Wars 2 continues its downward trend of profits, still doing reasonably well i would think but for the population of players, and its general popularity I would expect a lot more than that. Definitely the reason behind the upcoming expansion but also a telling case of what happens with btp earnings. They just fail over the longer term unless you can actually support it with a decent cash shop.

Repopulation

Is having a cheap deal for beta access at the moment for 20$. I really enjoyed what I played, warts and all as the game has potential to be the next big sandbox to consume my play time. You can go to the website or even steam to pick it up.

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