“We haven’t announced any MMOs. Competing in that market in the U.S. is a real risk. It requires a huge upfront investment. It requires a big marketing push. And there are only two successful MMOs that matter in the U.S. It’s very hard to do.”
Full disclosure: I was one of the heads of an Austin studio that a subsidiary of Take Two funded to provide the company with a team with knowledge of and experience in the MMO market. They later decided that this experience and knowledge was not needed.
Other sites have brought you the shattering news that you will soon be able to join, and I quote,
an immersive virtual space themed after iconic visuals drawn from Michael’s music, his life and the global issues that concerned him. Entire continents will be created that will celebrate Michael’s unique genius in a way that underscores his place as the greatest artist of all time. Michael’s longtime fans will feel at home as they find themselves in places that seem familiar and yet unknown at the same time, and new generations will discover and experience Michael’s life in a way never before imagined. At its core, Planet Michael is a massive social gaming experience that will allow everyone, from the hardcore fan to the novice, to connect and engage in collaborative in-game activities with people worldwide.
Other MMO websites, shattered by the implications of Michael Jackson’s genius, stopped there. I didn’t. I went behind the headlines to bring you the true story – the world that you, YES YOU, will join in Planet Michael. A world without pity. A world that cannot be stopped.
A world where there is only war.
Players will command the struggle of the mighty Legions of the Rhythm Nation over the shards of Neo Vegas, site of the last concert given by Tom Jones IV in 2095, before the Motown Alliance reduced Earth to nuclear fire. YOU will fight in the never ending Funk War.
And you will command the ultimate weapon in the Funk War, the Mecha Jackson.
Until Planet Michael launches, nay, emerges from its cocoon, awake and in search of dark plunder, you will have to content yourself with this video preview, which you can only see on this website (and also YouTube) of the level 12 raid content soon to come in Planet Michael.
Planet Michael: EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW
(note: I am still trying to confirm that Planet Michael will launch with open PVP.)
We’ve been constantly monitoring the feedback you’ve given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we’ve decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums.
Blizzard taught us how to come together as a community to slay internet dragons. Sometimes, Blizzard doesn’t like what internet dragons we choose to slay.
Yes, this blog has been all WoW RealID all the time the past few days. I think it’s justified. This has been a pretty big deal. World of Warcraft is, by most metrics, one of the if not the largest MMO in the world, and has the most active community. When Blizzard decides to change the paradigm of how people play its games, from avatar to actual (which I still believe the primary goal of the RealID push to be), it’s a big deal.
The debate by those in favor of Blizzard’s actions have been largely to the degree of “well, I don’t mind if my real name is out there, so what’s the big deal?” As noted by the fact that these blog posts are authored by Scott Jennings and not Lum the Gnome Warlock, I don’t particularly mind, either. However, I made that choice. One should not deny others the ability to make choices regarding their privacy simply because you did not find them necessary.
One undercurrent that has been unspoken by many of us, and commented on by the mass media, is that the reason this is such a problem is that gamer culture in general is a mean, ugly, misogynist cesspool. Removing anonymity won’t fix this. Honestly, I’m not sure what would. Consequences for one’s actions? Self-awareness within a tighter, smaller community? Giving me a shotgun? I’m not sure which solution would work but the fallout from this week shows one is definitely needed. To quote Simond from F13:
We won. For now. And all it took was threadnoughts on the official forums, every single mmo blog bar about two saying “This is a fucking terrible idea”, the mass media, a Penny Arcade comic, and the destruction of one CS minion’s life.
I was a fool for mentioning video games in the first place. I would never express an opinion on a movie I hadn’t seen. Yet I declared as an axiom that video games can never be Art. I still believe this, but I should never have said so. Some opinions are best kept to yourself.