Leaderboard: Does an MMORPG’s publisher factor into whether you’ll play it?

    
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I was genuinely surprised to see so many people flip out over August’s reveal that Ashes of Creation will be using My.com as its European publisher. Given that games like Crowfall and Shroud of the Avatar have also opted to go with overseas publishers for tricky foreign markets, it just wasn’t a shock to see another indie MMORPG studio do exactly the same thing, nor was it a shock that Intrepid picked one of the bigger and bolder ones – baggage or not.

Nevertheless, I saw some folks overseas saying they wouldn’t play the game at all now, or would find a way to play on servers controlled by Intrepid itself rather than deal with My.com. I saw some folks say similar things when Daybreak took over publishing Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online too (which might just by why Daybreak has been mum on its real stake in Standing Stone). I would sooner abandon a game over its studio’s antics than over its publisher, but maybe I’m in the minority there because of where I live. Let’s find out.

Multiple responses are allowed, since there’s a bit of overlap here!

Does an MMORPG's publisher influence whether you'll play it?

  • I don't care at all about an MMO's publisher. It doesn't influence what I buy and play. (5%, 18 Votes)
  • I educate myself on publisher shenanigans, but I don't generally avoid whole publishers. (14%, 50 Votes)
  • I'm stuck with the game I love and a publisher won't change that because sometimes publishers change. (4%, 14 Votes)
  • I take a wait-and-see approach on every game whose publisher has a bad rep. (15%, 52 Votes)
  • A publisher is part of my understanding of the studio, and whom the studio chooses to work with can push me over the line on studios that already make me wary. (13%, 45 Votes)
  • I'll avoid certain publishers based on a history of poor service to my region, which will make the game much harder to play. (17%, 62 Votes)
  • I'd mentally blacklist a publisher, but only if the history is really, truly awful. (10%, 35 Votes)
  • There are some publishers whose games I will never, ever play, even if I love the individual games and studios. (13%, 47 Votes)
  • There are some publishers with such great reps that I will consider playing anything from any studio whose games they publish. (4%, 15 Votes)
  • Something else (1%, 5 Votes)
  • No response / just view tally / elf butts (3%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 223

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jay

I won’t touch anything made by EA, Ubisoft, or PWE. I don’t even care what it is, I won’t buy it. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. But these guys keep pulling the same crap over and over, so it would be more like fool the players 100’s of times.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

I really don’t like Ubisoft and some of the stuff they pull. And yet they keep releasing some of the best games out there – and I don’t want to miss out on those games. I am not someone who feels it’s okay to pirate anymore (or any less! Nah j/k), so if I want to play a game I have to buy it. Because of that I keep shoveling Ubisoft my money as I bend over and spread my cheeks for them.

I will buy single games despite publisher shenanigans, but it does affect my extra spending on things in online games with cash shops.

I will totally stop spending and become a free player if a company irks me enough. I won’t go away and deprive myself of a fun experience for a while, but I will stop giving them any money and just become a leech on their system and resources.

Though I realize just being there makes the game popular and keeps other players around and spending who wouldn’t otherwise if the population died, but as I said if I’m having a fun experience I’m not going to deprive myself of it, I just won’t pay into it anymore.

Though this is sort of down a different path, it does seem that right now for PC DLC stuff is just out of hand. It’s been out of hand a few years, but is even worse lately. I’d love to stand up to it somehow, though I feel not enough of us do for it to matter. Since so many of us who would like to stand up to it keep thinking that, we just give in and exasperate the problem rather than getting companies to stop doing it.

DLC isn’t even that bad of a shenanigan compared to other things that are pulled, but it’s still something I’d love to get together and stand up against somehow – and yet I want that content! :P

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Schmidt.Capela

In my case there are certain nuances:

– If I currently hold a grudge against the publisher, dev, or store, I’ll not purchase anything from it, regardless of how good the game is or how much I want to play it; if push came to shove I would rather pirate a game from them than purchase it, though it’s been many years since I last pirated a PC game. I currently hold grudges against Frontier (for the whole ED offline imbroglio) and Origin (for using the name of a formerly great studio EA acquired and mercilessly butchered).

– I take into account previous behavior. For example, I expect every single publisher that uses or used lootboxes to go for the most exploitative business model possible, so I take extra care scrutinizing their offers thoroughly before I spend any money on one of their games.

– I never trust a publisher so thoroughly that I’m willing to purchase any games from it without asking questions first. I can achieve that level of trust with specific studios, though, where I will purchase all games from it after just a cursory glance to ascertain it’s in a genre I enjoy playing and there are no red flags; this has previously happened once with a MMO, as back when WoW was released I trusted Blizzard enough I immediately started playing WoW as soon as my last remaining red flag was removed (to wit, the fact characters couldn’t be respecced on command; as soon as respeccing for gold was added I got a copy of the game and started playing).

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Anthony Clark

EA = Automatic No
John Smedley = Automatic No
Brad Mcquaid = Automatic No

Mewmew
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Mewmew

I get that people have reasons for disliking various EA business practices, but they simply release too many cool games for me to skip having that awesome experience just because they’re the publisher.

I applaud you for being able to take a stand. You are stronger than I in that regard.

If I see a game that looks like something I’d play through and experience a really good time or story, I need to get it and play it. I simply can’t deny myself a great experience or story just because EA is the publisher. I wish I could. I also wish I could pirate and feel justified, but I can’t.

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Schmidt.Capela

I also wish I could pirate and feel justified, but I can’t.

For me it’s not about feeling justified, but rather about not feeling guilty. Among the things that might remove any feeling of guilty I might have about pirating a game you have:

– Obnoxious practices by the dev or publisher. This includes excessive DRM, untruthful advertisement, forced online login for playing single-player or local multiplayer games, too aggressive protection of IP (such as Bethesda suing the Minecraft studio over the use of the word “Scrolls”), implying everyone who pirates a game is a thief, etc.

– The game not being lawfully available anymore. If I want to play a game and there is no lawful way to obtain a new copy I will pirate it without a qualm.

I haven’t done that in a long time, though. No sense in pirating a game when your backlog of legally purchased games is a three digits figure. Which, BTW, is part of the reason I don’t have any issues avoiding specific publishers or devs; I have so many other games to play that choosing to avoid a specific company doesn’t even put a dent on my options.

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Fervor Bliss

When a studio stops updating a game so they can launch 2.0 for a money grab. Never will I trust them again.

quark1020
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quark1020

I always take a wait and see stance when it comes to games in general. I’m not concerned about catching up to anyone and every publisher, good or bad, could end up doing something silly at a later point.

For better or worse, though, most publishers never change.

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Jack Pipsam

I avoid NCSoft games like the plague. A few years ago they did this whole account migration, I wasn’t aware of it so when I returned I found that my old account had been entirely deleted with no way to recovering anything. Characters, friends, guilds, collector’s editions. All down the drain.
Anything they touch might as well be lava to me, that includes Guild Wars 2.

Aside from that, I’m pretty much open to try any publisher. Some treat Australia better than others.

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Bryan Correll

Some treat Australia better than others.

Executive A: Where do you think we should have the Oceanic servers physically located?
Executive B: Eh, Toronto is close enough to the ocean to do.

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Jack Pipsam

So many MMOs used to do that XD
They’d call them Oceanic and host them in the same place as the NA servers, such a lie.

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Dystopiq

NCSoft doesn’t publish GW2. ArenaNet does.

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Bryan Correll

Two things:
1) ArenaNet is the developer of GW2. NCSoft is the publisher.
2) ArenaNet is a wholly owned subsidiary of NCSoft. So anything ArenaNet does is therefore being done by NCSoft.

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Jack Pipsam

They can say that all they like, but the fact remains that Guild Wars 2 appears in NCSoft’s investor calls, ArenaNet remains a solely owned company of NCSoft and all launch material of GW2 had NCSoft’s name proudly on display.

Just because they scrubbed it off the launcher due to the bad look and cry semantics, doesn’t change the fact that Guild Wars 2 is an NCSoft product.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

A great many companies do account migrations. If you have given them your correct email and it’s up to date – they give you plenty of warning about it in emails and in news on their pages. While they *could* (and should) do an auto transfer and let people still come in to claim stuff for years to come, it can be our own fault if we miss account migrations and lose things.

I get that it’s upsetting to come back one day and see all your old stuff is gone, but we need to keep our emails updated for accounts places and check those emails every few months at least!

miskav
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miskav

Shame its using my.com, never heard anything positive about them, plus I have an inherent distrust of any russian companies.

Guess that’s one game I won’t be playing. Shame, shame.

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Grave Knight

What’s funny is that Sky Pirates, the airship game set in the Allods’ world, looked to be pretty cool. But for some reason they decided to cancel it. My guess is they decided to use the resources on the battle royale mode for Skyfai–er–Skyforge. Between Twitch and Youtube, as of writing this, there are only 20 viewers. Yeah, that probably doesn’t tell me how well it plays, but I view battle royale as a spectator sport and if it’s not fun to watch than I’m not interested in it in the slightest.

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Sray

If it were realistically possible to avoid AAA publishers that use loot boxes, I would; unfortunately, unless I want to play nothing but Nintendo Switch games, that’s not possible. Thus, I can’t say that I completely avoid any publisher, but I do try to avoid games that have loot boxes in them.

There are also some publishers whose games I’m unlikely to buy based more on that company’s “house style” of game, or their library holding no appeal to me. For instance, Ubisoft games generally don’t appeal to me, so I don’t usually pay them much attention, but I have purchased their games in the past. Likewise, I don’t touch any Paradox Interactive games, but that is simply due to having zero interest in any of their titles: despite quite enjoying Civilization, RTS/4X games don’t interest me. Neither case really has anything to do with the company’s practices or history.

If I was aware of a company that was caught doing something flat out illegal, or grossly unethical, I’d definitely avoid their products, at least until there was a complete turnover in ownership and/or upper management. I’m just not presently aware of a company in such a position.

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nobleeinherjar

I won’t say an MMO’s publisher 100% influences my decision to play it or not, but there are definitely a handful of publishers I’m wary of. Most have already been mentioned in other comments. Snail Games, My.com, and PWE are the three biggest names that give me pause, followed by Daybreak, Trion, and Kakao. And that’s just in the MMO sphere. There are very few publishers overall that I actually like.