Daily Elysium: Sarcasm, Like Gazpacho, is Best Served Cold
In case you haven’t heard the news yet, I feel like I should be the one to tell you. After all we’ve been tight for, what, three ... four weeks now? We’ve been through a lot, you and I, and I’d rather you heard it from me than from that newb Sway, or on Fox News, or on the ‘street’. It’s a little hard to talk about. I get kinda choked up, so if I start crying, don’t tell my wife. She thinks I’m tough. Ok, she doesn’t but I wish she did. Anyway, here it is.
What the hell are you talking about, you donÃ‚'t know what Sovereign is? ItÃ‚'s that game, by Verant, the persistent world RTS they were developing that no oneÃ‚'s heard about for about a year. It was going to be huge - and by huge I mean only in hard-drive volume. All mah homies were going to play it. Both of them!
What do you mean no one cares? Sovereign was more than just another ill conceived, poorly designed game to take advantage of the bloated persistent world market. It was an ill conceived, poorly designed game from the makers of Everquest, and as we all know, anything from the makers of Everquest is immediate and indefatigable online gold! I mean, whoÃ‚'s more qualified to create a sweeping online RTS than the company that brought us zone shouts, asking for a SoW, and planar raids? Obviously their default success in a completely unrelated genre qualified them to create pretty much any kind of persistent world game, right?
IÃ‚'m sorry if I sound bitter. ItÃ‚'s been rough for me these days. The online gaming market should be a spreading wasteland of increasingly bland, poorly balanced, unstable gaming experiences, and not subject to the same levels of quality we demand from other games. That was the Vision (tm), but companies that seemed only interested in putting a monthly fee on their existing franchises and resting on the brown, often pointy, laurels of their old successes seem to be meeting a tungsten wall of consumer disenchantment. Has the honeymoon ended so suddenly ... and so violently?
Look at The Sims Online. I mean really look at it, sitting there with its scant 100,000 subscribers, an unqualified failure, hugging its knees, rocking gently, a massive four-ton Baby Huey beaten with a sharp stick by a drunken Electronic Arts stepfather for not reaching its Million Sim March in two weeks. Ok, maybe 100,000 shouldnÃ‚'t seem like quite such a failure, but pretty much everyone was under the impression that all anyone need do was create a vapid online landscape with no real goal or gameplay and slap the name The Sims on it to print their own money, which, by no small coincidence, is pretty much what they did. WhereÃ‚'s the money printing press, the money hat, and the money house with money paintings and money swimming pools? Does this all mean weÃ‚'re approaching critical mass? Does this actually mean that consumers, in their irascible need to be "entertained" by "quality" software, are now going to demand an actual game with their online experience? Does this mean that the two or three dozen online titles currently in development will actually be held to a higher standard?
Ok, I know IÃ‚'m reading a lot into the cancellation of Sovereign. ItÃ‚'s just got me so damn hurt. Really, right here (points to heart). I just ... I just need a minute. Dark days of demanded quality may be ahead. Dark days, indeed.
... Puh-lease ...