Massively OP’s Best of 2015 Awards: Biggest MMO Blunder of the Year

    
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Massively OP’s end-of-the-year awards continue today with our pick for biggest MMO blunder of the year.

Last year, we called developer hubris and obstinance the biggest blunder of the year, as we criticized game development and business model decisions in WildStar, Destiny, The Elder Scrolls Online, and ArcheAge. This isn’t an award we particularly enjoy giving, but I think it’s a fitting complement to praising trends and big stories: We must consider the mistakes of the year so we don’t make them again.

All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.

The Massively OP staff pick for biggest MMO blunder of 2015 is…

The Star Citizen melodrama

blunder

Brendan Drain (@nyphur): Derek Smart & The Escapist vs Star Citizen. The drama between Derek Smart and Chris Roberts regarding Star Citizen was a complete mess on all levels. Smart has been relentlessly slinging mud at Star Citizen all year, and it all came to a head this year when Smart began sending letters to Roberts threatening legal action and demanding that the company refund all Kickstarter backers. There were suggestions that the FTC was be investigating RSI’s financials and frequent accusations that the whole thing had been a scam. The story reached boiling point when The Escapist ran a hit piece on Star Citizen citing quotes from anonymous sources who claimed that the company was running out of money and personally accused Sandi Gardiner of using racist hiring policies. Evidence surfaced that the anonymous sources were likely ex-employees with an axe to grind, and Chris Roberts threatened legal action if the article wasn’t withdrawn. In the end, we were left with a lot of frayed nerves on the Star Citizen dev team and none of the threats made by any involved party have been taken to court.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): Definitely the (ongoing) Star Citizen drama spurred on by everyone’s favorite Internet Warlord, the grotesque allegations levied by The Escapist at Cloud Imperium, and the return fire from Roberts himself… yeah, I kinda wish none of that had ever happened. No one comes out of that looking good.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): The war of words between Chris Roberts and Derek Smart. Boy, there ain’t nothing to like here. Two veteran developers in a verbal slapfight that makes neither of them look good and poisons the water for any actual constructive discourse? Ouch.

Jef Reahard (@jefreahard): Can we give multiple awards to Derek Smart, The Escapist, and Star Citizen trolls all over the internet? You guys have been awful quiet lately!

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): Guild Wars 2’s expansion pre-order. ArenaNet fans are likely to riot at practically anything, but the timing and nature of the expansion pre-order announcement was ill-executed and lacked important information. There was a noticeable scramble on behalf of the studio to correct it. Also ArcheAge anything .It’s not a month if ArcheAge isn’t messing up royally or inciting its community to take up pitchforks and march on Trion. It’s not a week, even.

Matt Daniel (@Matt_DanielMVOP): I’ll vote again for Pathfinder Online’s running out of money. Maybe I’m the only one who didn’t see the proverbial writing on the wall, but I was at least cautiously optimistic about Pathfinder Online. Alas, it seems like my hopes are going to be dashed once again.

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): I think Daybreak letting Dave Georgeson go was the biggest blunder; that seemed to be a nail in the coffin of hope for EverQuest Next.

Tina Lauro (@purpletinabeans): The biggest blunder award should go to a fellow news site rather than a studio this year, I say! I still haven’t quite gotten over IGN accidentally spoiling all of ArenaNet’s PAX reveals! Urgh, if I had pushed the button early on something so big, I would just curl into a ball in the corner and let the world pass me by! I felt so bad for the hardworking PR team that put so much work into PAX prep, only to have the magic ruined by a single, hastily corrected missclick. The gang responded with a fantastically tongue in cheek image of a Skritt in an IGN shirt, so I’m sure they bear no grudges.

Star Citizen’s melodrama won our award for biggest MMO mistake of 2015. What’s your pick?

What was the biggest MMO mistake of 2015?

  • Star Citizen, Derek Smart, and Escapist melodrama (25%, 232 Votes)
  • Guild Wars 2's expansion preorder debacle (11%, 98 Votes)
  • Pathfinder Online's money fiasco (5%, 48 Votes)
  • ArcheAge. Just ArcheAge. (30%, 277 Votes)
  • Daybreak layoffs including Dave Georgeson (18%, 166 Votes)
  • Guild Wars 2's PAX reveal spoil (2%, 17 Votes)
  • Smed's Lizard Squad drama (4%, 36 Votes)
  • Something else. Lay them on us in the comments. (4%, 36 Votes)

Total Voters: 910

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ALL OUR 2015 AWARDS (SO FAR)

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pepinocantador
Guest
pepinocantador

Yeah, I think I’m with MJ on this one. I’ve said before that Georgeson’s enthusiasm is really what fueled my own for EQN, but if the flame of my enthusiasm were like that from a Zippo, than Georgeson being laid off was like putting that Zippo at the base of the Hoover Dam and then bringing the dam down with explosives.

That said, I would be totally fine with Star Citizen, EQN… Or really any other MMO coming along and sweeping up some of my friends, so I can finally escape the prison of Azeroth.

Carthoris
Guest
Carthoris

rioinsignia Yeah, maybe I didn’t pay attention enough but it didn’t strike me as a blunder or a mistake. Derek Smart was doing exactly what he meant to do, and he’d do it again. Maybe Chris Roberts didn’t respond as professionally as he should (I honestly don’t know what he said in response), but there’s a certain balance of aggressive, public accusations that businesses just *have* to deal with and Derek is perfect at generating just enough controversy that he can’t be ignored – and the right kind of controversy that responding makes you look at least a little bad.

TiaNadiezja
Guest
TiaNadiezja

Anyone listening to Derek Smart. Ever. Because he is always wrong.

rioinsignia
Guest
rioinsignia

SC/DS a “Blunder”?  Nah.  “Ridiculous Incident Of The Year” more like.

Scarecrowe
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Scarecrowe

@Matt Daniel
You keep saying you might be the only one who didn’t see the writing on the wall… yes, I think you would be correct. Within 10 minutes of in-game test time, I knew this game was going to flop. It would have needed a complete re-write (scorched earth) to become a fun game much less anything resembling the p&p Pathfinder. Most small studios can’t afford that so it was no surprise to me when they shut this down. Actually, I was quite relieved. A released game like that would be hard to live down and might impact new player interest in the p&p game.

Scendera
Guest
Scendera

CoH still gone.

MatthewYetter
Guest
MatthewYetter

Honestly, I don’t think that the Star Citizen stuff can be called a blunder.  Not when the game just hit $100 million in crowdfunding.  And if any blunder was involved, it wasn’t by the studio.  It was by an outsider.  So I couldn’t vote for that one and instead went with Archeage.

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

fastcart breetoplay SallyBowls1 Veldan Tithian Yeah, I don’t really blame him. I would have been livid and wanting to lash right back at a serial harasser too. Probably would have been wiser to just let the attorneys handle shitty libeling press, though.

ManastuUtakata
Guest
ManastuUtakata

Veldan ManastuUtakata SallyBowls1 Ironwu d0ub1ep1u5g00d 
Not even close. I have replied less than 4 posts per contention, 4 being my limit. And you must be fairly new here. o.O

Tongle
Guest
Tongle

Archage and the whole labor point thing. Just weird.