Saturday, September 8, 2012

City of Children

So, NCSoft announced that they are shutting down City of Heroes at the end of the year, and the users are holding a mass tantrum right now in the Atlas Park zone.

I always knew that MMORPG players as a group reflected the bell curve, but i never quite realized how low on the emotional and intellectual development curve the hump really is.

NCSoft is a business, they are shutting down CoH for a very simple reason-- it costs more for them to run then it brings in in revenue.  This is not a hard concept. In business: profit good, loss bad.

Clearly the existing CoH community was not spending enough money to allow for a profit. If they want to spend their last time in game listening to each other whine, I'm sure NCsoft is happy to let them do it.  But nothing that doesn't drastically change the finances is going to change the outcome.

Here are a few ideas that COULD actually change things:

(1) Get all these "protestors" to commit to and live up to a dollar figure purchase every month between now and the end of the year  If the game starts making money again, NCSoft will at least think about it more before shutting it down.

(2) En masse petition NCSoft to put BACK a monthly subscription fee, and all sign up for at least 3 months service.  Again, this would change the economics for NCsoft.

(3) Form a non-profit, raise a significant chunk of cash, and offer to buy the rights to run the servers from NCSoft.  You will then need to get them running on a cloud hoster, get volunteer manpower to administrate them, and collect  enough from your community to keep the servers running. (Hint: Charge them a monthly club-dues.  Sound familiar?)

You see the theme here.  All of these solutions cost money. Which is why they could work and why they wont happen. Whining however, costs nothing.  It also does nothing.

Edit A number of commentors have rather colorfully asked how I conclude that there was no profit in the game.  Besides the basic dictates of logic, no game company shuts down a profitable game, here is a cite for how badly it has performed this year:


Baronesa said...

Here is an idea.

Maybe you should do your research first. City of Heroes represented 4% of the TOTAL profit of NCsoft... PROFIT that means AFTER taking out expenses.

Considering it is a niche marklet and of the 3 superhero MMO it is the LARGESt.

Even after 8 years it is still appearing on Top 10 and top 20 lists of best MMO.

It is clear that you didn't researched about the situation.

City of Heroes WAS NOT LOSING MONEY. It was not making incredible amounts but it was NEVER in the red

Duane said...

uhm... COH was not losing money.

Have you ever signed into the game or talked to the community you belittle?

Firemoth said...

Here's another idea:

How about you check and see just how many of us protestors are actual paying customers. We pay our subscription fee each month, and often times spend extra so we can buy specific items from the Paragon Market.

City of Heroes has spawned many forums, programs, and charities, including Real World Hero, which works with MMO players to make the world better for people around us. With NCSoft doing what they're doing, it is hurting other people, including the charities that use City of Heroes as a source of fundraising. (Think walk-a-thons but instead it's people playing the game and raising up their characters for one of our drives)

There is also a large community behind the game, where people have met and are friends now in real life because of meeting through City of Heroes. My husband proposed to me on City of Heroes, and I have made many good friends during my time playing the game.

The game can also help people with reading difficulties, like in the cases of my two children, who both were VERY far behind when they came into my custody. Thanks to the reading they have to do to play the game, they are now reading at their own grade levels!

So in closing...Please do your research before saying all we're doing is throwing a temper tantrum. City of Heroes is more than just a game, it's a community.

Ruby said...

You should do your homework before you go posting things that are not facts. Maybe you should see what the COH Community is willing to do before you go and say that all we do is whine. There is still a large portion of the COH community that continues to pay their monthly fees after the game went F2P. Not saying you have to agree with what we are trying to do, but to post on the internet that we are nothing but a bunch of whiners and maybe we should do something other then that is just distasteful. Learn your facts before you go spewing from your pie hole.

Zach Martin said...

Are you *kidding* me?

How about you take some time to do some research first, as others have said, before you belittle something you know nothing about.

GunSmoke said...

The way you generalize "MMORPG gamers" and belittle them shows how much bias you have against a group you know nothing about. And had you done your research before writing your own anti-MMO tantrum, you would have found out that the CoH community has already approached NCSoft with the very solutions you have proposed. I'll make sure your "blog" doesn't receive any more traffic than it is worth either. Enjoy.

Homospanic said...

#1 No one can buy anything anymore as the store for CoH was shut down the same day it was announced it was closing down CoH itself.

#2 CoH has ALWAYS brought in a profit.

#3 This "rally" was just the first step in our fight to save our city.

Are you that bored that you will blog about everything/anything? You obviously have NO clue about CoH, what is happening with CoH, and what the players are already attempting to do to save the game.

l said...

It doesn't matter if it's the top 20 or even top 10 of the best MMO, Imo the main thing about this is that COH is insignificant in the eye of NCsoft. The Op might be wrong on how COH makes no profit at all, but you still dont have enough manpower to challenge Ncsoft's decision or something to bargain with.

Can you even prove that a large number of COH players pay monthly ?

Mr Jackie Chun said...

Oooh, look at me, I'm a part-time professor, so I can talk out of my ass and people will believe whatever I say! (See how EASY it is to talk badly someone else you don't know based on a single interaction you disagree with?)

And about your 3 suggestions:
1) We already tried that. I'm personally subscribed for a year on my account, was planning to renew a second account for another year after the holidays, and spend an additional $100 on microtransaction points every 6 months. That's $100 on BOTH accounts.
2) We tried that too. As I said, I'm already subscribed for a year--actually, until June 2013, and they're not offering to refund me the difference.
3) Holy shit, can you believe it... we tried THAT, too! NCSoft is keeping quiet about everything. We don't know if they want more money, if they're in talks to sell the rights to other publishers or what.

In closing: I'm not generally an internet troll, but you're a completely self-important douchebag, so, double middle finger salute to you. Next time you decide to post three simple solutions to someone else's problems, check first to see if they've done those already. After all, if you're smart enough to think them up, you can bet that just about anyone else can too.

ArmourGeddon said...

If you don't get it then you never will. This is about a gr4oup of people who share a common love for something, fighting against whatever is thrown at us, desperate to see our hopes stay alive.

By contrast, you belittle our efforts. Bet you thought Churchill was a wussie, or that Mandella complained too much.

Be the change you want to see in the world.
As opposed to the negativity that says "you can't do it, it can't be done" You must have a pretty miserable existence...

Sky said...

I'm one of those who's been paying a subscription even though I don't have to support the game. Many of us do.

Closing down City of Heroes isn't a business decision. It's an act of vandalism.

We need to show the companies that run these games that turning off a world that people have spent years of their lives and hundreds - if not thousands - of dollars in should be the last resort, not the first.

There are people there who have spent thousands of hours in a virtual reality, spent real life money making their characters as good as they can be.

We're the people who stayed with them - we didn't go to their competitors, we didn't ditch the game because it's dated, because the population wasn't as high as it was on other games.

In many cases, we carried on paying a subscription despite the fact we didn't have to, because we wanted to support the people that had given us such a wonderful world to explore and stay with the friends we made there.

We need companies to realise that gamers aren't just a revenue stream - that those monthly subscriptions - whatever game it is - is a kid who's being picked on in school, but in a virtual world, he's a badass almost unbeatable PvP champion.
Or is someone confined to their house because they're ill and it's the only contact they have with an outside world, that it's the army wife looking for a distraction while her husband is off risking his life in a desert somewhere.

We want to show companies that closing a game doesn't HAVE to tear gaming communities in part, that they should work with their players, perhaps give them ownership of the bases and the groups and the characters and the stuff they've poured time, effort, money and tears into. Offer us up for sale, give us the chance to raise the money and run the game ourselves, let us have private servers so we can stay together.

We are protesting, because we wanted closing CoX to be the LAST thing they thought of, not the first. Why not merge some servers together to reduce running costs? Why not look at the pricing, or the subscriptions? If CoX doesn't fit with their 'business model' anymore, why not offer to sell us to another company, one who isn't interested in only pursing fantasy-style games?

I'm not sure where you work, but would your company turn away an almost $10 million yearly profit? Because that's what NC Soft did.

If you're so well placed that you wouldn't notice losing that amount of money, what harm is there in offering us up for sale, or giving us a chance to buy it and walk away with a wedge of money in their back pocket and a delirious player-base?

Please remember, this isn't JUST about City of Heroes, although obviously that's what triggered it. We want to be a model that threatened gaming communities can hold up and say 'look, you don't have to wipe us off the face of the earth. How about doing /this/ instead?"

If you don't like the game, if you never even played it, surely you can support the wider principal of 'don't take our money for years and then close down a profitable, virtual world with a rabid fan base'


Sky said...

moonfyire said...

1st of all that's not why they are closing it (refer to Andy Belfords comment for clarification) but let me humor you for a minute.

1.) NCsoft has closed the stores. At the moment we cannot pay for even one month, how exactly do you propose we pay for 3?

2.) Many of us do pay monthly subscriptions on multiple accounts.

3.) We have sent them letters telling them to go back to pay to play if it will help.

4.) We have offered to donate money to keep the operation going.

5.) Titan is trying to buy the rights so we can host it right now.

You’re entitled to your own opinion but next time please do a little research before you run your mouth.

CoX is a community who donates to charity,and cares for one another. We will fight for our city. We are Heroes, this is what we do.

Mike Allan said...

Its rather cute when idiots who do no research and know nothing about what they are writing about decide to throw up a bunch of drivel like this and waste bandwidth on the internet. Maybe you should learn to read before to try to write, "child".

RockDeadman said...

Oh Wow thank you Mr. Whoeveryouare for opening up my eyes to how childish i'm acting over an online video game....! I shall take your well thought out and collegiality crafted simple ideas and execute them post haste....! Just give me a second to pull a large wad of money out of my butt, transfer it to my Swiss bank account, and pay for a 10billion year subscription for this game.....! Then NCSoft will keep CoH going all thanks to the giant wad of butt money i just gave them.....! Except not.... because they closed the paragon market the same day they announced the closing.....

CyberQat said...

Actually, I am a game developer of 25 years since you ask sp nicely. Among other things I wrote networking for a number pf early online games such as Duke Nukem3D, Total Anihilation and Dark Sun Online. I have manual credit in a number of early Crystal Dynamics games such as The Horde by Toys for Bob.

I have also been CTO of three online game companies: Rebel Monkey, Blue Fang Games, and Entertatinment Games. Oh and I created the technology that was published by Sun Microsystems Laboratories as Project Darkstar and is in use in online games to this day as Red Dwarf.

I find the assertion that CoH was returning any significant profit quite hard to believe given that noone in this industry just walks away from money. If you have actual citations for your assertions, by all means present them!

CyberQat said...

Actually, I am a game developer of 25 years since you ask sp nicely. Among other things I wrote networking for a number pf early online games such as Duke Nukem3D, Total Anihilation and Dark Sun Online. I have manual credit in a number of early Crystal Dynamics games such as The Horde by Toys for Bob.

I have also been CTO of three online game companies: Rebel Monkey, Blue Fang Games, and Entertatinment Games. Oh and I created the technology that was published by Sun Microsystems Laboratories as Project Darkstar and is in use in online games to this day as Red Dwarf.

I find the assertion that CoH was returning any significant profit quite hard to believe given that noone in this industry just walks away from money. If you have actual citations for your assertions, by all means present them!

Kile said...

It is easy to see that the guy that wrote that craptastic blog has no idea what he is talking about. He'd rather jump right out of the gate with an insult because he apparently has a superiority complex. Now that everyone that has replied has made him look even more the fool I have one last suggestion for him. SHUT THE FUCK UP.

CyberQat said...

In hard fact, CoH saw very little revenue this year

". For CoH/V, it earned a total of 2890 million Won (US$2.56m) – a drop that wipes out almost all of the growth seen during the F2P launch of Q4 2011."

Thats a bit over 2 million in revenue over two quarters.... then you start subtracting the expenses. That there are any significant profits is high;y doubtful but again, if you have a reliable source then by all means cite it.

Pastry Invasion said...

Wow, this post was one big sneerfest, huh?

Obviously Cyberqat didn't bother to read up on the full spectrum of actions the City of Heroes community is doing in response to the server shutdown. Too busy thinking his brilliance will "enlighten" the "City of Children" to notice that they're already DOING some of those things.

No, no, we can't have that! Let's pretend that a brief article on Kotaku is the entire story so we can boost our ego and feel justified in belittling thousands of people!

Eric Nelson said...

So what, exactly, WERE their expenses during the two quarters in question? Please, enlighten us. If you have a reliable source then by all means cite it.

All I see from your writing is vitriol and total disregard for others.

charlesborner said...

A...tantrum? The in-game rally was anything but a tantrum.

It wasn't a bunch of people standing around screaming and yelling and cursing NCSoft.

It was a nice, civil demonstration that the players are still here, we still love this game, and we're not going anyplace. We want to stage these events to show NCSoft that there's STILL a market for this game. Either under their control, or via a licensee.

Properties like Everquest (still going strong after 13 YEARS) have shown that MMOs, and the tight communities they spawn do not NEED to die simply because there aren't ten million people (and Chuck Norris) playing.

Let's be frank here. The game itself, while nice and entertaining, and all of that is SECONDARY to the community it has spawned. The players and developers have an open, frank, personal relationship with one another that is almost unique in computer gaming, and much closer to traditional tabletop gaming passtimes.

We're all VERY aware that NCSoft is a business. And yes, decisions like this do happen.
However, please get your facts straight. The game does NOT cost them more to develop, produce and deliver than it bring in. The game has been a cash-positive revenue stream for NCSoft since it was acquired from Cryptic Studios. It's all right there in NCSoft's quarterly earnings (Q2, they pulled in approximately 2.5 million dollars on CoH alone).

And CoH players, for YEARS have been screaming "Shut up and take my money!" for stuff from Paragon and NCSoft. Finally, with the new cash shop, that was becoming a reality.

The reason the game is being shut down is that the company is being taken in a new direction (focusing on it's triple A titles) and CoH, unfortunately, doesn't have a place in those plans.

So, clearly, you have your facts wrong.

All of the plans you talk about ARE being researched (plus a considerable few more).

Nobody here is whining.

We're heroes. That's not what we do.

We're taking action across multiple fronts to overcome this problem. In the end, if it still comes to naught, we'll sleep easy knowing we've done every and anything humanly possible to save this game and the community.

Thank you for your interest in this event, even if some of the conclusions you came away with were skewed.

Ruby said...

Hey Gang, is this guy really worth our effort when we have a bigger fight in front of us? He apparently doesn't realize that our community differs from all other MMO communities out there. We may not be a large community, but that is just fine by me. That is how and why we are the tight nit family that we are. We have become friends, some have even gotten close enough to call family. We have gone through deaths together, births, weddings, engagements and every other real life event. No other MMO community can say that. Let's fight the fight we are meant to fight and leave this DB to his words. Because quite frankly, he isn't worth it.

CyberQat said...

Oh I admit this is a snarky post.

When faced with childishness, snark is fairly appropriate.

But my suggestions are sincere. And, if you can actually manage to orchestrate any of them into existence, they will be much more effective then deciding to DOS a game that the developer doesn't want to run anyway.

CyberQat said...

Oh I admit this is a snarky post.

When faced with childishness, snark is fairly appropriate.

But my suggestions are sincere. And, if you can actually manage to orchestrate any of them into existence, they will be much more effective then deciding to DOS a game that the developer doesn't want to run anyway.

But if you think making running the game even more of a pain in the ass to them then it already is will actually encourage them to keep it running, I bow your total retreat from logic and won't bother you with any more of it.

charlesborner said...


This wasn't an attempt to DOS the game, or Paragon or NCSoft.

You're mis-characterizing what the rally was actually about.

It was a show of support for the game, its developers, the community itself, and the people working furiously behind the scenes to possibly rescue the game from the bit bucket.

Pastry Invasion said...

Newsflash, Cyberqat: The developer, Paragon Studios, was completely laid off on the day NCSoft announced they'd be shutting down City of Heroes.

Statements by the Paragon Studios community management team have said that former employees are in high level talks with NCSoft.

That doesn't sound like "the developer doesn't want to run the game" to me. Rather the opposite! Especially considering that they were on the cusp of rolling out a comprehensive for the game update before their studio was shuttered.

You clearly don't have a clue about the subject you're opining. You are utterly ignorant of the situation City of Heroes and Paragon Studios is facing, other than one Kotaku article and a blog search, yet you think that makes you qualified to pass judgement on the game's player base, whose efforts go beyond a mere in-game rally, as "childish."

I dare say that the more childish party is the one who makes sweeping generalizations and blanket insults without bothering to get more information.

Baronesa said...

Food for thought, Mr.

[Admin] NCsoft_Zwillinger: So I hear I missed quite the crowd earlier.
[Admin] NCsoft_Zwillinger: Well, I'm extremely sorry I missed it and at the same time very humbled you all came out to show your support.
[Admin] NCsoft_Zwillinger: Thank you, all of you. You guys are all amazing :).
[Admin] NCsoft_Zwillinger: No updates to give regarding the current state of things. But I can tell you this;
You're all being heard, loud and clear. Front page on Kotaku is pretty big stuff!
[Admin] NCsoft_Zwillinger: in case you haven't seen it.
[Admin] NCsoft_Zwillinger: I want you all to remember, no matter what happens, no matter the result; You guys are an amazing Community and nothing, absolutely nothing can take that away from you.

Diable said...

So, here we have a blog whose posts have an average of 1,6 comments (based on the first page), which suddenly gets over 20 comments for a post full of stupid thoughts regarding a matter that the writer clearly doesn't know at all.
Hey, its a 25yo developer who looks like a 50yo white collar, but he's not even able to check online what he's saying, otherwise he'd be able at least to understand that CoH was not losing money, and yet we are here playing his game and giving his childish blog where he expresses his thoughts thats no one cares about (1,6 comments per post) the visibility he would never have dreamt of.
The good thing is tomorrow he'll be back where he came from: nowhere.

RockDeadman said...

prove it.........

KaiserSoza said...

The overwhelming amount of whining and tear-jerking going in here is just insane. Just about everything the writer said is true. And the reality is, just like he stated, about profit. If the game made more money than it cost to continue the upkeep, Obviously it would not be shutting down.... Thats it. No more. Complain all you want, unfortunately it won't help.
I do truly feel bad for the active community though. Nothing worse than losing something you care deeply for, and no matter what can't change. I really hope that somehow your protest works, as it could change the background of gaming as we know it.
Good luck comrades!

moonfyire said...

A quote fom andy beford about "why" they are closing and it doesn't mention loss.
"In a realignment of company focus and publishing support, NCsoft has made the decision to close Paragon Studios. Effective immediately, all development on City of Heroes will cease and we will begin preparations to sunset the world’s first, and best, Super Hero MMORPG before the end of the year. " ~Andy Belford, Community Manager

CoH makes more money than GW1. Yet they chose to close CoH. Plus CoH is the only game NC has that isn't the same thing. Makes better business sense to ADVERTISE the unique game to bring in more people.

An article stating numbers of players and profits and how what we are doing is in fact helping paragon studios.

I would say that money aside the reason to get rid of CoX as opposed to one of their other games which aren’t selling so well is the fact the CoX doesn't fit into their little niche. The other NC titles all have the same theme in common. Gear swapping fantasy MMO. In my personal opinion it makes better business sense to choose one of the other titles which aren’t making profits and save CoX. Why? CoX is different. Not everyone likes a gear swapping fantasy game. With a little advertising the game could have been a lot more profitable especially if they advertised the major updates they do every 3-5 months or so. The game was far from dated as you described because they update it with new content regularly. I can't think of another game which updates with the same frequency of major change and listens to its community on what to do next.The constant updates and the ability to completely customize my characters design and powers makes it a completely unique experience every time you play.

moonfyire said...

Sorry, the last thing i was quoting myself from an earlier blog. I forgot to edit out the part about it being dated as he did not mention that as one of his reasons...

moonfyire said...

Also, as for the 6 million they "lost", a lot of that was production costs for the new games Blade and Soul and also Guild Wars 2. Also, they did advertising on both those games which also adds to it. The earnings report was pre GW2 launch and reflects development costs and advertising for the 2 games in production as well as profits for all released games. As shown Aion did not perform to NC's expectations, CoX was NOT the lowest grossing game and by far has not the highest production or running costs.

mekanicx said...

Just because a game makes 4% of a companies profit doesn't mean its profitable. Say, for instance, it takes the same amount of staff to run as a game that makes 20% of its profit. Which is more profitable??? Profit is nothing. Its efficiency. CoH is no longer efficient.

Most likely NCSoft looked at the cost of more servers for GW2. They then realized they would save money by killing CoH and moving the servers over.

DC Scala said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DC Scala said...

Sir, respectfully submitted, CoH/V was -NOT- the lowest grossing title that NCSoft had. That title belongs to Guild Wars, which they did -NOT- cancel... Had you even 1/3 of the "research" cred that you claim, being so "esteemed" with your multiple titles that you were affiliated with, oh, 400 years ago, you would have been able to look and find this simple link, which you can view at your own leisure.

With that said, please, shut up until you learn how to rub 3 braincells together and form a rational thought that is substantiated by facts instead of just TROLLING the internet trying to stir up trouble and gain some publicity/notoriety based upon something you are CLEARLY grossly misinformed about. Really, you remind me of the "Leave Britney Alone" crying video by Chris Crocker... Actually, no, at least he actually cared about what he posted about... You, sir, are just a worthless ignorant waste of labor pains.

5e152f9c-fa33-11e1-ac8b-000bcdcb8a73 said...

I think everyone else has pretty much pointed out the errors and overall lack of research done for your commentary.

I just wanted to plead with you to do more with yourself, be a better person. You cannot just slap down a few generalizations and pretend to be an intellectual. No one should have to tell a businessman to do the work nefore you make claims. This is said because it would have taken you less time to run a search on google(the relavent information is right there under city of heroes) then it took to choose words say from a thesaurus or to even write your blog.

Devilin Dupriest said...

So as everyone else pointed out, your entire position was based on a false premise that had nothing to do with the situation at hand. If you ever do a Kickstarter or any other attempt to prove your 'industry veteran' status again, please link to this blog entry so every going in understands why you're a 'serial startup CTO'. Good job trolling for clicks, though. Thank god I use adblock so I at least I'm not paying pathetic 'bloggers' like you to be uninformed pontificators.

Bad Luck said...

Leaving aside the issue of profit, which you really couldn't possibly have any proof of either way I'm assuming, you do realize you are whining about a group of people you think are whining about a product being discontinued. Do you have some sort of stake in whether this game continues or doesn't? How can this 'whining' as you call it, possibly impact your life in any way? Do you realize that this kind of post only serves to make you look like a troll, a moron, and a fool? Please, when you call a group of people a bunch of children, make sure you clean the breast milk off of your upper lip before you begin.

Lamb Chops said...

A perpetually misinformed blog from JEFF KESSELMAN, 25 YEAR game industry wannabe, cereal slurp-up and janitor at . One part misconstrued industry observation, fun part philosphophist, and one part unfinished and unrealized career. Stroke well, and don't complain if it gets in your hair.

Lamb Chops said...

A perpetually misinformed blog from JEFF KESSELMAN, 25 YEAR game industry wannabe, cereal slurp-up and janitor at . One part misconstrued industry observation, fun part philosphophist, and one part unfinished and unrealized career. Stroke well, and don't complain if it gets in your hair.

Crimson said...

No matter your personal experience in the industry, you still failed to do your research BEFORE writing this unnecessarily judgmental and confrontational article. The suggestions you present are not possible, or had more than been met prior to your writing.

We do not know for certain the reasons for this decision by NCSoft, and neither do you. City of Heroes has not been a major performer in the last five years but it has been steady, and as far as we are informed, always in the black -- even as their labor was divided between the maintenance of City of Heroes and another game entirely. If there was a down-turn in Q2, it was not significant enough to worry those whose jobs depended on those numbers, leading to them being completely blindsided by this sudden Labor Day weekend decision.

There was never warning nor opportunity to meet any demands from NCSoft.

Fan efforts are myriad, in part due the lack of clear communication with NCSoft regarding the situation or available information. The in-game rally was obviously a publicity stunt, but that is not the extent of matter. Some are offering real money (and others relative chump change) toward a collective purchase of the property. Although, as with any group, there are conflicting interests to be found, few seem to expect something for nothing.

Even if you weren't being a snob about this matter for no particular reason (should we speculate?), you point out something in your defense that actually lowers my opinion of you more: anyone who would contribute to trash like Duke Nukem' 3D, in any capacity at any period in their life, is not one to speak about maturity and intellect.

UrielLocke said...

I will give you credit for doing work on all those games. Yet what you don't seem to realize is that the "City of Children" as you called it. Isn't a city full of children at all. We are a family. We have spent every waking moment we can with each other.
This isn't about the money with us. This is about loosing what matters to us.
We have played other MMO's and find them lacking. We don't want another clones, or some game that's is brand new and has amazing graphics that melt your brain.
All we want is our family. We have gone from level one to 50 with these people. We have made friendships that we want to last. Many of which have carried across into the real world. I have friends that ended up getting married because of the game. ( My friend proposed to his girlfriend on the game) Do you really want to take the good memories of those who have played this game and destroy them? All because of the fact that this isn't the new game that NCsoft wants to push?
The fact that I haven't played that long, (only about a year) and I feel welcome here. Until you actually have a real conversation with any of the CoH players, you can't understand what its like. To have something that means so much to you, be tossed into the wind.
We aren't just fighting for Paragon Studios, and City. We are fighting for the kid running around with a sheet tied around his neck and goggles, on pretending he can fly.
We are also fighting for every MMO out there that this can happen to. I can't justify every action of NCsoft, but I can justify mine. I am fighting for that kid, friends, and memories past. For those that have been around and stood fast in the darkness, and those that sadly have fallen. I am standing for them.
Heroes never die, They live on. In our hearts and our memories. This game, isn't just a game. Its a way for us to be who we wish we could of been. We have defended Paragon city for years and we will continue till our dying breath.


Logan_D said...

Sir, you have just had your ass handed to you, categorically, metaphorically, and rhetorically. With factual back-up. With charts. With long paragraphs for detail and with small words so that you can understand them.

Nice shootin' there, Tex. How about you let someone else have that keyboard before you hurt yourself?

Ted said...

Mr. Kesselman,

For something which you thought was a waste of time, you took the time to write about it. The irony there is palpable.

And thanks for doing that. As has been said, "There's no such thing as bad publicity."

Thank you for your help.

And for the free advertising on your blog.

We COH supporters are living rent-free in your head...and I guess also on your blog. ;)

Voodoo Girl said...

As others have stated you obviously didn't do your research which gives me cause to shudder to think you are in a place to teach the minds of the future, especially after your remarks about the intellectual level of MMORPG players, specifically those of us who play City of Heroes. What is laughable is how you displayed your ignorance in your first suggestion.

Honestly, I had typed a longer response but it would be wasted on someone who is evidently so narrow-minded, conceited, and pathetically out of touch. I imagine your 25 years of game experience have been entirely solo and not with a larger community.

Baltimorebiker said...

Cyberqat, I find the claims that you have developed ANY software, much less software that was used by any company to be incredibly hard to believe. Your lack of grammar, spelling and punctuation errors, and overall superior attitude only lead me to believe that you are nothing more than an underachieving troll, still living in mommy's basement while he searches in vain for ways to validate himself online.

Paindancer said...

So much wrong in this blog.

Oh well.

John Swann said...

Wow, just wow. Whining that other people are whining. You win.

As far as COH, yeah, we'll probably lose but it is worth fighting for. PErhaps you have never had something worth fighting for. Critics are like that sometimes.

keralarentia said...

Well played, sir. You've got us, hackles raised and spitting. Even I had quite a lengthy tirade I was going to post. Then I realized that all we’re doing is feeding your unhealthy delusions of grandeur and pitiful attempts to make your blog more popular by posting something negative about a community that is getting more attention than you. You’re sad and lashing out. I feel sorry for you, honestly. You really are pathetic and you should probably seek psychological help.


Stefanie Nicole said...

o_o You mean we're awesome enough to have someone blog about us...and they DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT?! wewt! Our plan is working guys! Let's keep it up! :)

Tony Vazquez said...

Hey, TonyV here, the guy that helped organize this rally. Normally I wouldn't take the time to respond to posts like this, and other players are responding really well, but I wanted you to hear this straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

First, this need to be crystal clear, this was NOT an attempted to DoS the game. I participated in a massive public stress test of the servers in May 2011, and I knew they could hold up to the amount of people logging in. It did crash once before the event, but I've since gotten word that it was while some developers were spawning massive numbers of mobs for players, that it was, in fact, not our fault. I can tell you that at the height of the event, we estimate that there were over 6,000 players concurrently logged in, and the servers never burped.

Second, you seem to have completely missed the point of this rally. If it wasn't to DoS the server, what was it? If you had read our Call to Action post announcing this event, you would know: "something fun that will be a display of unity...that best of all will simultaneously give a shot in the arm of morale to people who probably need it badly and deserve our unwavering support."

The staffers at Paragon Studios understood this. A few of them popped in before, during, and after the rally expressing immense gratitude. The Community Relations Manager said, "I want you all to remember, no matter what happens, no matter the result; You guys are an amazing Community and nothing, absolutely nothing can take that away from you." The Lead Developer later tweeted, You guys amaze me. Unless you believe that the developers and people responsible for the game were happy about us supposedly trying to sabotage the product of over 10 years of their creativity and labor, any claim that we were trying to deny service to the game is absolute nonsense.

As the person who organized this rally, I can tell you in no uncertain terms what its purpose was: First and foremost, as a show of appreciation for the former and few remaining staff of Paragon Studios. Secondly, to generate attention and publicity material to convince NCsoft that it is in their public relations interest to work with us to help save the game. If they do, this could be a positive outcome for everyone involved.

And that is what I want to stress. We are not looking to sink NCsoft. We are grateful for the support they have given our community over the years. If they work with us, it would send a tangible message to all gamers, not just City of Heroes players: If you play an NCsoft game and the time comes when that game no longer fits in NCsoft's future, they are willing to work with the game's community to make sure it continues.

I really am optimistic that these events are being noticed. Stories of our efforts have been picked up by over 100 news web sites, blogs, and video and podcasts. We've gotten support from several notable personalities such as Mercedes Lackey, Tara Platt, Neil Gaiman, Laurel Hamilton, John C. Wright, John Kovalic, and probably others I'm leaving out. This week, we hope to get other notable personalities involved as we prepare to reach out to others in the gaming, comic, and technology industry. The most certain way for our game to die is to stand by and do nothing. To us, that is not an option. We understand that the best way to achieve success is to generate as much positive attention as we can to our cause, and that was the purpose of the Unity Rally on Saturday, a purpose that I believe was wildly successful.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at

Strange Fathers said...

Thanks for your post above Tony.

To the author of this blog: I'm sorry that some people have attacked you here. I feel some of what has been said is harsh. On the other hand I have to be honest with you. I feel your comments are very unprofessional.

There was no attempt to DOS the game. Players were asked to stand in a certain location as part of an event. This is not the first time City of Heroes players have stood in a place. This was also not a mass "tantrum," as you portrayed it. The actual photo on the Kotaku site is not even "real"--it is a composite photo derived from a modded game. The player who made it collected the costume information from players standing in the multiple instances of the zone that spawned, then composited them together. Hundreds of people standing around talking probably has LESS impact on the game than all of them running around fighting things.

You certainly have the right to post whatever you want in your own blog. However, I also think that if you're going to present yourself as an industry professional, that you conduct more research and refrain from name calling.

Anonymous 5 said...

Your post has pretty much been taken apart by now, but I wanted to add my voice to the chorus. In addition to getting your basic facts wrong, You grossly underestimate the financial and technical sophistication of the subscribers who are working hard to influence NCSoft management and otherwise find an acceptable resolution to this problem. You further show a lack of comprehension of and regard for the social role and value of virtual communities.

jgsands said...
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jgsands said...

Being a network code developer for a game does not make you a "game designer", and makes you no more qualified to talk about MMO ecosystems than being an IT systems guy or an electronics engineer. And the idea that "manual credit" counts for anything is almost literally deserving of laughter in response. You worked for companies that produced games. Would we assume that the receptionist at several game companies was qualified to talk about gaming communities?

But thanks for the awesome appeal to authority in an attempt to make your mental diarrhea seem credible.

Oh, and nor, by the way, does being a "part time faculty" (how wonderfully vague) at something like the 60th-rated university in the US make your opinions particularly more credible than those of any other Web 2.0 pundit armed with a blog.

Yes, some players are being foolish. Some are not. Some are being over-emotional. Some are not. Foolishness and emotionality are not somehow behaviors unique to players of MMOs, and your attempt to use the community response to paint them in that light is incredibly ignorant and childish.

The simple fact is that you did no research before acting no better than those you put down by calling them children. You made sweeping generalizations about literally thousands of people, casting aspersions on activities that you clearly know nothing about.

Behaviors I think are awfully childish. And, you know, when faced with childishness, snark is appropriate.

What the on-line activities were about was showing unity, nothing more or less. People showing interest instead of apathy. It wasn't specifically something done to try and get NCSoft to keep CoH running. It was to show that people are paying attention, that they are interested in keeping the game going somehow, perhaps with another publisher, perhaps on a smaller scale, perhaps even just on a community level.

But in your apparently smug ignorance, you decided you knew what it was all about.

Man. Just what everyone needs. Some guy who has delusions that a background that happened to intersect the world of gaming makes your opinion on games that you have nothing to do with worth reading about. I hope you're wiser in how you interact with other human beings outside the medium of this blog. If not, I feel bad for people who have to deal with you.

Guardian Pixie said...

I have been a paying customer for 8 years, two accounts for that length of time and a third account added last year for my oldest child. Everyone I know was a paying customer - some with multiple accounts.

Over the past 8 years, I have lost a father-in-law, a grandmother, 3 aunts, 1 uncle, and a few cousins. The community in COH was more support for me than much of my real life family.

I am a doctoral candidate that also uses the game for relaxation when I need a break from my studies or family demands.

We are a very active community that gets together in real life (when possible) and are fiercely loyal. You may consider us childish, but we're expressing our right to free speech to protest the loss of our community. I'm sorry you haven't enjoyed the same experience as the rest of us.

Jamerson Scanlon said...

simple fact, City was making money, but it wasn't making enough in the eyes of Nexon compared to their Asian/EU markets, so they cut off the only profitable NA game they had

Bill Hartwell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill Hartwell said...

A suggestion for the author of this blog:

You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.