MMO Business Roundup: Richard Garriott, Square-Enix’s charity, Stadia, and Team Fortress’ racist bots

    
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Welcome back to another quick roundup of video games business and industry news relevant for the MMO genre.

Richard Garriott: Apparently, the former icon of Ultima Online and former boss of Shroud of the Avatar is following up his trip to space and trip to the North Pole with a… trip to the bottom of the sea. No news on his trip to actually finish SOTA or compensate backers.

Team Fortress 2: Valve’s shooter was overrun by racist bots for months, and now the company is finally going to do something about it, specifically in the form of blocking some new accounts from using chat in matchmaking modes. “Work is ongoing to mitigate the use of new and free accounts for abusive purposes,” the most recent patch notes say. Of course, whether this is effective long-term or not is up in the air, as the new measures are apparently causing problems for legitimate players and being circumvented by the worst of the bots. (h/t GIBiz, Kotaku)

COVID-19: Square-Enix announced today that its Stay Home & Play campaign has pulled in over $2.4M for charities “working to address a variety of needs from food insecurity to homelessness” induced by the novel coronavirus across North America and Europe.

Stadia: Yes, Stadia still exists – in fact, Elder Scrolls Online just launched on it. This week, Google dropped the price to $100 for the Premiere Edition bundle, down from $130, although that’s apparently just to make up for the fact that no longer includes the Pro trial, which is now free anyway.

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Bryan Correll

“When will man learn that all races are equally inferior to robots?”

– Bender B. Rodriguez

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Dankey Kang

Robo-supremecist…

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Mr.McSleaz

Garriot made a good game a looooooooooooooooooong time ago, He is now nothing more than a Scammer but people still idolize the tool for some reason.

Why give a scammer any press?
Just pretend he doesn’t exist and let him fade away into the obscurity he deserves. I bet nothing in this world could pain this man more than for society to stop giving him attention and forget him.

Relmharver
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Relmharver

It’s uncomfortable for me because I was a big fan of his from the old Origin games like Ultima 4 and 5 and Autoduel, but I have to agree at this point. The blatant money grubbing nature of SotA ruined my perception of him, probably permanently. I don’t understand how he could not see or care about what damage would be done to his reputation. Maybe he saw it as one last money grab at the end of his career. Whatever the reason, it’s sad for me to see someone I once saw almost as a hero in this new light.

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Tee Parsley

Garriott’s just a terrible businessman. And also a poor project manager, like some others from Origin Systems. Starr Long was the person who was supposed to ride herd on the practicality of things.

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Tom Thumb

Starr Long did a great job with SotA! He rode it straight into the ground. Actually I don’t think it ever got off the ground.

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hooby _

Actually…

Garriot designed a large number of Ultima games – but Ultima online is NOT one of those. It was for the most part made by a different team, while Garriot and his main team were working on a singleplayer Ultima title.

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Bruno Brito

Team Fortress 2: Valve’s shooter was overrun by racist bots for months, and now the company is finally going to do something about it, specifically in the form of blocking some new accounts from using chat in matchmaking modes. “Work is ongoing to mitigate the use of new and free accounts for abusive purposes,” the most recent patch notes say. Of course, whether this is effective long-term or not is up in the air, as the new measures are apparently causing problems for legitimate players and being circumvented by the worst of the bots. (h/t GIBiz, Kotaku)

It isn’t and it’s par for the course. TF2 takes YEARS to get major updates, and Valve all but abandoned the game, tossing them a bone once in a while.

The game is rampant with bots, cheats, dupers, exploiters, and several of the richest ( by account value ) accounts in the game got there by scamming and exploiting.

Of course they’re going with an half-assed decision. They’ve been half-assing the game for a while now.

Relmharver
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Relmharver

“No news on his trip to actually finish SOTA or compensate backers.”

Garriott dumped SotA as fast as he could when it became obvious there was no saving it. It was a slap in the face to all of his fans and backers. The funny thing is, many SotA loyalists still believe that he will be active in the game in more than a superficial capacity. That is, once he finally gets a good internet connection at his house, which is extremely difficult to do in 2020.

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Bruno Brito

Oh, i get it now.

The deep sea diving is just the world’s most deep faceplanting to avoid criticism.