Well, It’s Nice To Know…

…that ANYTHING involving massive, multiplayer experiences ends up with a press release saying “whoa, didn’t see THAT coming.” My only complaint is this: How far up your ass does your head have to be before you don’t see holiday surges/first day releases coming down the tracks?

Some years ago, I wrote a rant about how only a moron plays any kind of MMO during the first two weeks of release, or over winter school breaks. I have changed my mind, mainly because I was wrong. Only a moron played a release or a winter break back in 1999. Our expectations were lower, then. I know mine were. You should have seen what I thought was acceptable in boyfriends, housing, and video games. Now that we as an industry are grownups (and therefore focusing on the kid market), it’s time to expect our toys to work when we plug them in. Also, we are not allowed any longer to spend a year or more hyping our product and then act shocked when people actually buy it.

Gotta give MS their due – the handing out of free stuff is the only apology that matters, and they get it.



  1. January 4, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Having playing XBox games over the holidays, there were a few nights, maybe two, that I couldn’t connect. Other than that it was on par with what one would expect during a rush in sales. I think part of this is just marketing at work – “Oh my, we have so many people the servers couldn’t handle it!!! Everyone in the world is playing this thing!!! (So why aren’t you?). BTW, since we know your running to the store now to buy your very own, we’ll let you know that we fixed everything – overnight (no, we didn’t plan this, why do you ask?) and we’re really sorry to let people done on the GREATEST GAME IN HISTORY!!!! Hey you! Put down that Wii!!!!”

  2. Georgia said,

    January 4, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    I gave Maurice a 360 for Christmas this year. We got home, plugged it in, and spent a good full day examining our network to figure out why we couldn’t stay connected to XBox Live. Argh! At least they’re giving something back to the players… though I wish I could have gotten Puzzle Quest for free rather than paying for it now 😦

  3. Scott Jennings said,

    January 5, 2008 at 12:46 am

    I was playing Rock Band at a New Years party (yes, I’m a geek, whatever) and we noticed some lag on uploading band stats. I chalked it up to us surprisingly not being the only people at a party on 12/31.

  4. Simon said,

    January 5, 2008 at 2:06 am

    LoL Scott, did you have the one drunken friend who insisted that every third song be Dead or Alive and that he was the most qualified to ‘sing’ it too, or was that just my New Years Party?

    Merry new year to all.

  5. Eric the Grey said,

    January 5, 2008 at 2:16 am

    It shouldn’t be “don’t play an MMO during the winter break” but rather, “don’t play a NEW MMO during winter break”

    I’m currently playing WoW, having reactivated my account at the end of last term and will probably continue until the end of the month, when classes start up again. I’ve not noticed any difference in server load.


  6. Lee Quillen said,

    January 5, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    “My only complaint is this: How far up your ass does your head have to be before you don’t see holiday surges/first day releases coming down the tracks?”

    Hold on, let me ask all the people shocked about queues showing up this past month in WoW again.

    (PS- Of course not every server is experiencing queues, but if they run there own personal census I’ll bet a 6 pack they will see server load has actually gone up.)

  7. DragonPup said,

    January 6, 2008 at 4:14 am

    I met up with some friends in my WoW guild and we played Rock Band on New Year’s Eve. To my surprise the main tank who is best known for shouting “Heal me” followed by a string of obscenities is a rather decent signer.

  8. January 6, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    […] Sanya Weathers’ blog about running communities for MMO games, and in her latest post, she makes a great point about stability and expecting it from the games we […]

  9. 1338 said,

    January 17, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    I don’t think Microsoft is stupid, and it’s more than likely this was intentional. I suspect it came from either:
    A) Marketing; as someone mentioned – it’s cool to be cool. Saying that ‘everyone’ is playing it really helps towards making that true.
    B) They’re cheap. Someone ran the numbers, and it’s kinda like the old saying ‘easier to ask forgiveness than permission’ – it worked out cheaper to let the servers lag down and give out some free stuff (most people got what they were going to buy over christmas anyway, so whatever they download they likely wouldn’t have paid for) than to upgrade.

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