Guild Wars: Episodic and Online Delivery – So Not Compatible With Xbox Live

so, this whole jeff strain complaining about how the business model for guild wars isn’t compatible with xbox live — absolutely for the birds.  who the hell lets this guy do interviews?

his points:

  1. delivering via xbox live wouldn’t allow ncsoft to have a ‘deep and meaningful’ relationship with the gamer.
  2. the episodic content model of guild wars wouldn’t fit with xbox live.
  3. i, jeff strain, am from another universe — called bizzarro world.

some stuff i wrote about it over on joystiq.

that has to be the dumbest argument i’ve ever heard.

you don’t think bungie has a deep relationship with their customers? how many halo players say “microsoft makes halo” vs. how many say “bungie makes halo?”

you would think the dork would be excited about xbl hosting an mmo like guild wars. it fits perfectly within their episodic-content business model.

hell. they’d even get to lift the infrastructure burden a bit as they leaned on xbox live.

this just sounds like the whining of a loser getting soundly thrashed by blizzard.

guess what jeff. you’re not ‘making it up in volume.’ subscription fees don’t seem to be an impediment to sales. your low margin/high sales tactic just isn’t working.

some advice: it’d work if you targeted casual gamers for your mmo — not the hardcore. hardcores don’t care about monthly fees. maybe, just maybe it’s about accessibility, not short-circuiting user base growth issues by dropping subscription fees.

followed up with this:

…the guild wars episodic business model is a perfect fit with xbox live but he’s saying no. for example this doozy of a quote:

“Xbox Live, for example, their whole goal is to encourage people to go and buy games on the shelf, then there’s an online component for it. But for us, when you buy it on the shelf, that’s just the beginning of our relationship with you – and we want a direct connection with our customer so that we’re always giving you new content, always supporting you directly.”

[scribbling notes]

let’s see….

xbox live: buy game on the shelf.
ncsoft: buy game on the shelf.

yep. check.

xbox live: an online relationship starts with an ongoing pipe of fresh content.
ncsoft: an online relationship starts with an ongoing pipe of fresh content.

yep. check.

xbox live: perfect for episodic content.
ncsoft: business model is about episodic content.

yep. check.

xbox live: offers best of breed server architecture for developers.
ncsoft: subsidize the hard cost of server architecture themselves.

yep. check.

[nodding prophetically]

um. last time i checked, that’s what xbox live does — constantly feed you new content. buying the game off the shelf is just the begining for microsoft too. maybe he’s just afraid the easy nature of spending points (they’re only points! not real money! woot!) will lead to some buyers remorse? i dunno.

if you ask me, looks like they are perfect. so, i have no idea what he’s talking about and it sure as hell sounds like he doesn’t either.

as to the whining, did you read the whole interview?

it basically equates to: my silly contradicting business model isn’t working so i’m going to take my ball and go home.

sounds like the whining of someone who got their ass handed to them to me.

really dude.  all you had to say is ‘i’m sony’s bitch and i don’t like microsoft because they are evil, so no guild wars property will ever come to xbox live.’

at least then we’d have some shred of respect for your cognitive abilities.  lord.  that or maybe you are just prone to mental hiccups.

sorry, man, but you’re just coming off ignorant.



3 comments so far

  1. Isaac on


    Sorry, had to do it. Nobody has ever done that in your website. Now you have brag rights about having retarded messages. Oh, and yeah, I just woke up and it’s sunday, so I’m pretty much wasting some time before I go.

  2. Oncnawan on


    I’m with you. I had the same reaction upon reading his interview. Bungie is the best example thus far of how a developer and Microsoft can work together to create a near-seamless experience for online gaming. I think neighbor Jeff is just afraid of losing control by moving from the computer to the console. The only reason he is pointing to Xbox Live, is that Microsoft is the only company with a current unified online service. Curious how the other consoles are moving in the same direction. It is time to read the writing on the wall. Jeff seems afraid of trying something new. Then again, maybe, just maybe, Sony’s KK police got to him first.

    Now, in his defense, Jeff did say that he wanted to be able to have a direct relationship and deliver content to the gamers directly. Directly. That is the key. I might be a wee bit hesitant to submit all of my episodic content to Microsoft for approval before it can go to my customers. Other developers are doing it right now, but I am sure that giving up that DIRECT access is a painful prospect to PC game developers.

  3. Starwood on

    NCSoft, ArenaNet and Jeff Strain are not only a bunch of complainers, but they are also a bunch of liars. I participated in Guild Wars alpha many months before it was released and saw how they lied through their teeth to sell their game. I actually I hope they go destroy the Sony Playstation with their garbage games and leave both XBox and PC gaming alone. Guild Wars was a terrible game that got WAY to much attention because it was marketed as a competitive free MMO when it was nothing of the sort. I’m happy if Microsoft isn’t giving them the freedom to continue their dishonest practices. The only reason Jeff Strain wants to have a “direct relationship” with gamers is so he can make up rediculous reasons to charge his exisiting player base for things like “additional character slots,” “unlocked skills,” and “extra levels/expansions” whenever his company feels the need to squeeze out more money from their existing player base. Microsoft is a much smarter than most companies out there and I’m sure they know exactly what they are doing by being the middle man between gamers and the likes of NCSoft and ArenaNet.

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