“In Name Only”: A personal philosophy on the developer/publisher relationship.
If you think I’m doing this to discuss SWTOR, let’s let that one stew for a bit more. Right now feedback is related to restriction shock, and my voice acting comment. Again, I’ll give it a while before discussing it.
No, today, I’m talking about a line that was either ignored, or baffled many a viewer when I stated it in my Special Episodes: Guild Wars 2, and The Secret World.
Why would I place so much emphasis on saying that GW2 was published “in name only” by NCSoft, and TSW published “in name only” by EA?
Because people HATE NCSoft. And people HATE EA… and the worst part, they’re completely unwilling to separate a game from its publisher, even when said publisher has little to no creative control over the product.
In Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet has the helm here. You don’t have to go to the NCSoft website to play the game. You don’t have to download the NCSoft launcher to play Guild Wars 2. It’s all ArenaNet, through and through, so any fault on the game should be aimed at them. I’m going to be straight with you… I don’t like Guild Wars 2 NEARLY as much as I did when I first played it. I liken the game to a fireworks display. Amazing to look at and exciting when you first see it, but as it goes on, it gets tedious, you start getting eaten up by mosquitoes, and you’re tired of sitting on that thin blanket while the rock hard ground makes your ass numb… Where was I going with this?
Ok, what I’m trying to say is the game is flashy as hell, but once that excitement wears off, the game seemingly has no staying power. If you like the game, fine, whatever, but the rampant botting, atrocious camera, and when you get down to it, repetitive gameplay elements, all keep me groaning every time I log back in, and I log out mere minutes afterward. Playing the game socially is fine, but there’s just something about the whole experience that annoys the hell out of me now.
But that out of the way, these faults are NOT NCSoft’s fault. I KNOW NCSoft killed City of Heroes, but ArenaNet didn’t! I know it hurts giving money to a company that so blatantly murdering off a beloved franchise, but did Aion fans blame City of Heroes when that game started to under-perform? Cryptic, an upstart developer, was handed the funds they need by this company to get the game they wanted to create off the ground. The same company that handed funds to ArenaNet to create their games. Two upstart developers in the exact same boat. Why harp on one for accepting that money, while forgiving the other?
Now lets move on to a company that is more despised, despite having less reason to be, EA. The exact same thing is going on with The Secret World. Funcom’s completely at the helm here. You don’t have to go through EA’s website. You don’t have to sign up for EA Origin (like you do with SWTOR). Every decision is made by Funcom Oslo. You want the biggest proof of that. Tell me the number of times you saw a commercial for The Secret World on TV. How about a pointless flash mob scene? Shoehorned appearance on The Big Bang Theory? EA is a hype and marketing JUGGERNAUT, and considering there are many people in this world that don’t even know TSW EXISTS let alone is published by EA should be a big enough clue in the fact they aren’t trying to run that game. I’m just painfully annoyed by TSW being lambasted simply because the EA logo appears when you start up the game. You wanna mock the track record of Funcom and Age of Conan? Fine. It’s probably misinformative, but at least you’ll be targeting the correct people.
This is what I’m getting at. Don’t let the fact the same publisher’s name is stamped on a game as a standard for what all games under it are like. I understand that I’m a bit hypocritical in my disposition of Nexon, but you can EASILY tell when something was the fault of their localization or outright greed (An interesting comment on Suggested MMO List should bring that to light.) but I never outright but “Published by Nexon” in the PASS list of MMO Grinder episodes. Vindictus is a great game. So is DFO, Maple… still blows, but that’s the fault of Maple, not Nexon.
My final point, if you’re going to fanboy rage against something, at least make sure you have the right target. Like me, for saying I don’t care about Guild Wars 2 anymore.
Posted on November 29, 2012, in News and Updates and tagged city of heroes, developer, EA, guild wars 2, guild wars 2 arenanet, publisher, the secret world, update. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.