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July 4th, 2011, 13:51
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
Didn't Hellgate fail because it sucked? (At least at launch.)
I think that's pretty subjective. Lots of people seem to think it sucked.

The launch sucked hard, that's for sure - but I loved the actual game from the moment go.

As for the handling of PR and Hellgate in general, FSS arguably sucked hard as well - though I personally see it somewhat differently. They over-extended themselves A LOT by trying to please too many people at the same time, without the resources or business-savvy necessary for such a thing.

Is that sucky? Yeah, I suppose - but they were also very unlucky in some ways. One of the biggest complaints at launch were from people who got charged multiple times for a single subscription month, which is fatal for a business trying to establish a reputation within the market. Turns out it was the credit-company handling transactions that messed up.

Something I never personally understood, was the reaction to the pricing model of the game itself. FSS clearly said from the beginning that they wanted to give players a continuous stream of content - rather than 1-2 expansions spread out over 2-3 years. So they made an OPTIONAL subscription model which was 50% cheaper than other MMOs - for people willing to support such a thing.

The entire full game was free and playable online without it, but they did place certain restrictions on the online features for non-subscribers. People were incredibly pissed off by this, for some reason - but I think it was quite reasonable.

Afterall, putting into place the server-infrastructure needed for online play is not a cheap endeavour - and just because Blizzard did it with Battlenet, it doesn't mean it's something you can reasonably expect from a company with limited funds.

In any case, I was very supportive of the idea of the 3-month content cycles - even though they didn't quite make it. But what they did manage to release, was pretty solid and meaty.

But there's little doubt the technical state of the game upon release was horrid. If only they'd had 2-3 more months and a better way of communicating with the audience - it could have been thriving today.

The core gameplay and mechanics are unrivaled in the genre - in my opinion. The story was crap and the quests likewise. But it wouldn't have taken much to make it all work.
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