November 2010

Classes Trolls Can Be In EQ: Shadowknight, Shaman, Warrior, Patent Lawyer

Eric Heimburg at Elder Game is pissed at SOE. And not for the usual “you broke my SWG” topic.

Are you kidding me, SOE? You guys are a huge bunch of pricks. You patented my technique. I know you guys have a long history of basically using money to destroy competition, because hey, you have money, why not?

Because it’s wrong, and you guys are shit, that’s why.

To be fair, patent trolling is not limited to SOE, but that still doesn’t excuse the practice of predatory legal wrangling. I am reminded of one game industry figure who was inordinately proud of the fact that he was able to file a trademark on “alternate Earth”, thus possibly shutting down, among other things, Harry Turtledove’s entire career.

Second Life To Remove Need For Client, Having Removed Need For Gameplay And Customer Service Long Before

Linden Lab is partnering with Gaikai, a cloud-based client system similar to OnLive, to deliver Second Life in a web browser. The current implementation, which launched today, is fairly beta and difficult to actually launch (no feedback is given for how a client session is ‘approved’ – presumably it involves latency to the Gaikai servers) but it’s an interesting turn. More on this at New World Notes.

In a completely unrelated development, Walletin, a startup founded by Cory Ondrejka (former CTO of Linden Lab) and Bruce Rogers (former CTO of Cryptic) was acquired by Facebook today as well.

Take Two CEO Unaware UO, LOTRO, EQ2, Eve, AC, DAOC, Runescape, Club Penguin, Maple Story, FreeRealms, Wizard 101, Guild Wars, Aion Or CoH Exist

“How many MMOs have ever worked in the U. S. market? Pop quiz… Two. World of Warcraft and Everquest.”

Strauss Zelnick, Take Two CEO, 2010.

“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.”

Strauss Zelnick, Take Two CEO, 2009.

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.

The Long And Strange Tale Of Stargate Worlds Comes To A Close, Maybe

MGM finally pulls the Stargate license from Cheyenne Mountain after a protracted court battle

“They took everything I owned and they took … besides my personal property they took my good name,” he said. “When I watched Iron Man, that was my life right there on the screen because of what these guys did to me.”

Whiting says that an attempt to fire him in February by Cheyenne Mountain’s then-board of directors provided cover for the takeover of assets. He was later reinstated by the court, but by then Dark Comet had possession of the games.

“All I wanted was a fair shake,” he said. “I founded this company. I’m the brains behind this company. I’m the creative guy behind this company.”

He said Stargate Resistance was being run by “promotional idiots” and that he had a plan to get the backing needed to bring the Stargate Worlds to market.

Meanwhile, as noted on Stargate’s Wikipedia entry:

The writers and producers of Stargate view Stargate Worlds as running side by side with the show in complete canon.

Given that Stargate SG-1 went off the air in 2007 that may be a problem.