April 12, 2007

SOE hires IGE, Part II

Cuppycake over at Cuppytalk has a problem with what I had to say about SOE in my previous SOE hires IGE posting. Apparently I am not looking at the situation from a business point of view? I must admit; she caught me red handed. I am not looking at this as a business person, because I'm not.

Don't get me wrong here, I am a firm believer in game developers being a business first and a developer second. The companies that fail to adhere to this principal have fallen by the wayside, a great many vaporware titles being left in their wake. However, believing this principal, and talking about it, does not mean I look at developments within companies with a business eye.

I am a gamer. I am the customer. This is where I draw my opinion from. But, for a moment here, let me turn a more analytical eye to this.

Once again, the main issue, is the fact that SOE already operates Station Exchange servers. They are trying a new business model. Cuppy may applaud them for the effort, but I do not. As I've stated, it legitimizes a practice that directly effects the game and more importantly, it's community. As long as I know that a developer does not support RMT, I can dismiss the actions of the RMT participants. As soon as a developer starts dipping their hand into the RMT cookie jar, I as a paying subscriber, can no longer justify anything I achieve.

The next point of contention is that SOE didn't just hire this guy. They created a position for him! In the business world that usually means they hand picked the person well before the hiring. If that isn't a red flag, then I have a car you might be interested in buying.

The basics of this situation stink, and we all know what they say: if it stinks like fish; it's fish. SOE created a position for a former IGE big-wig. SOE has been exploring RMT business models for their games. If any players want to avoid developer-sanctioned RMT, avoid SOE games at all costs.