Bless Online cuts back its influencer program following conduct mishaps

Neowiz is on a downsizing streak for its Bless Online emissary program, reducing the number of player ambassadors (read: influencers) for the game as some have violated the studio’s code of conduct. Some players have accused Neowiz of doing this to cull participants who haven’t been overly positive about the MMO.

The full statement from the studio is as follows:

“Due to both outside community feedback and internal observations and issues, we have decided to make some adjustments to our emissary program to ensure that it is the best it can be. Our first step in these adjustments is to reduce our community leaders and content creators to a small group (for the time being) to better ensure close and secure communication. This does NOT mean everyone being removed violated the emissary code of conduct, though some did. This is just the first step towards a better emissary program, and we apologize to those in the program who feel they were unfairly impacted by the shifts. We will adjust our official emissary post on our website to reflect the changes later today. We care deeply about the future of this game and community, and hope that going forward the emissary program can do more in support of Bless.”

Source: Reddit
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Bango on Laurelin

For the life of me I just don’t understand how people got so seriously suckered into the hype for this game.

ultorius
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ultorius

smart move, now only the true shills will remain as emissaries.

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Brother Maynard

The most hilarious example of their ineptitude is their Metacritic page.

It was open very shortly on the release day and then got locked – presumably using the ‘it’s early access’ argument.

So now all they have achieved is having a rock-solid Metacritic score of 2 that will remain there unchanged. I guess that’s why Neowiz then had a new Metacritic page created, titled “Bless” (instead of “Bless online”), which just shows how clueless they are.

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Cypher

I remember the hype for porting this to a western audience over the past few years was insane! This game is turning into one of those situations that validate the old adage; “be careful what you wish for…”

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rafael12104

This is what happens when your “influencers” can’t bail your ass out using their influence.

Or when your influencers realize their rep is on the line if they continue shilling your snake oil disguised as a new and improved Bless Online.

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Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

You mean someone was given a bit of power and it was abused? I’m shocked SHOCKED I tell you…

Sarcasm mode ends..

Seriously though you have to laugh at how the issue here is too much honesty lol

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Shiro Madoushi

Not abused. They got cool shill titles and hyped the game up prior to release. Then they made the mistake of criticizing the game after launch. Neowiz fixed the negativity by sweeping the problem under the virtual rug. Now they can concentrate on not fixing the problems.

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Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

First part about abusing power was just jokey sarcasm it wasn’t a serious comment as no one really believes the emissaries for the most part abused anything but simply gave honest opinions about the games issues.

So was it a mistake to criticize it? Because all I have seen, watched and read so far much of the criticism seems pretty on point and honest.

If neowiz simply wanted yes men/women who would sing it praises despites the facts they probably should have stipulated that before accepting them, not that it would have fooled anyone as folks are generally pretty good at spotting what is good, bad and broken in short order.

Also keep in mind Just because someone says a game is bad or a feature broken etc..does not always mean it is negativity, frequently it is simply honesty.

If Neowiz didn’t like the honesty maybe they should have kept it in beta longer and fixed issues first because they had to realise people were going to tell the truth Emissaries or not.

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Leiloni

If neowiz simply wanted yes men/women who would sing it praises despites the facts they probably should have stipulated that before accepting them

They did. It’s in the terms you need to sign when applying to Emissary.

https://blessonline.net/static/policy.html#emissary

Selected relevant quotes:

IV. ROLES AND ACTIVITIES OF AN EMISSARY & REQUIREMENTS
1. Roles and Activities of an Emissary
If you are appointed as an Emissary (regardless of your assigned position or role in the Emissary Program),
You agree to provide assistance to improve the Bless community, and make it happier and useful for all of Bless’ (potential) players, such as by writing comments; uploading news or opinions favorable to Bless or by giving helpful suggestions to promote and improve Bless

V. PERMITTED AND RESTRICTED ACTIONS
You shall not take any action which is intended, or would reasonably be expected, to harm the reputation of Bless, Neowiz or a third party or which would reasonably be expected to lead to unwanted or unfavorable publicity regarding Bless, Neowiz or a third party.

K38FishTacos
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K38FishTacos

This right here is hilarious: “uploading news or opinions favorable to Bless or by giving helpful suggestions to promote and improve Bless”

You can say anything you want as long as it’s a “helpful suggestion” and can show that such comment would not “reasonably be expected to lead to unfavorable publicity regarding Bless.”

But what would you do if Bless dropped you from the emissary program? Sue for wrongful termination? Hilarious.

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Leiloni

Well I don’t think they can do anything if dropped from the Emissary program, given that’s already covered in the agreement. But yea it sounds like they want them to act like employees of Neowiz – saying good things externally to make everything seem great, but only privately able to give honest feedback.

I think where they went wrong was putting the Content Creators and Community Leaders into the same program. The latter should have been the entirety of the emissary program. I don’t like the “say nice things” PR bit, but whatever I understand it. I do think however that they should have merely had the same type of unofficial streamer/Youtuber program that every other game has, where you give them free stuff to give to their viewers, support them in other easy and minor ways, but where they have no official connection to the company. That makes it easier for both parties to get what they want out of it.

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Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

That is hilarious, they REALLY did !!! wow I am utterly gobsmacked…

That should have been a HUGE red flag to people about the state of the game right out of the gate.

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Weilan

Neowiz is also publishing Black Squad, which is doing a lot better, it has issues, people complain, but nothing like this happened there and I play BS since last summer so I’m pretty informed of the situation. People talk shit and insult all the time in their complaints on the BS forums, sure they get reprimanded and stuff, but they do it and keep doing it, sometimes threads are left ignored by mods.

This is BLESS-specific scandal.

Veldan
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Veldan

You should look up the word “shill”, like in a dictionary, because it doesn’t exactly mean what you think it means.

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Diego Lindenmeyer

aka talked about the reality of game.

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Dug From The Earth

I read this and the first thing that comes to mind is a scene with The Joker making a a comment about never being able to find reliable help for his mischievous deeds.

Veldan
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Patreon Donor
Veldan

I didn’t really follow the game (too many red flags, decided not to play), but got curious and watched this:

It didn’t make me very hopeful for its future…

Loyheta
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Loyheta

I’ve seen some of their emissaries calling their launch out for what it was. I don’t blame them and they were fully aware of the consequences. They did this because their integrity was more important than the position.

Andrew Ross
Staff
Andrew Ross

My question is why the ones at the SF event didn’t do that before people slapped down money for the game. Except for the ones that actually enjoy the game (and at least one of them did), all the emissaries that promoted Bless knowing its issues have no integrity and can be bought with a plane ticket, meal, and hotel room.

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Colin Goodwin

It takes a while to come down after railing lines of pure hype.