Author Topic: Planned Boycott  (Read 8490 times)

jacknomind

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Planned Boycott
« on: September 06, 2012, 12:22:27 PM »
Okay, "boycott NCSoft" has been tossed around quite a bit on the official forums, but it's mostly been a (VERY UNDERSTANDABLE) kneejerk reaction.  Usually it means 'blacklist NCSoft,' rather than the more targeted goals a boycott is usually built around.

And as betrayed as I feel in some senses, I don't hate NCSoft (or Nexon) -- they are a business, and they've never pretended to be otherwise.  Similarly, I don't hate the other studios who develop for them, and I have no real desire to hurt them. 

Still... at this stage, we have some specific things we want to accomplish, and voting with our wallets is a good way to send the message that we're serious.  I feel like an actual, organized boycott of both NCSoft and Nexon are simply good business sense. 

Specifically, here's what I'd like to propose: An immediate refusal to purchase any non-CoH or Paragon Studios -related products of NCSoft and Nexon, to continue until next April at the earliest.  This hits both companies in both the best (holiday) and worst (Q1) quarters of the year, weakening a good quarter and worsening a bad one.  This is contingent; what we want is, first, the continuation of CoH, or its sale or release to another entity who has promised to continue development on the game; or second, the re-employment of Paragon Studios employees.  Now we know per Zwill that NCSoft hasn't entirely thrown them to the wolves -- that's good, but it isn't good enough.  The boycott would exclude any companies that employ several... let's say, three or more former Paragon Studios employees, even if the company develops for Nexon or NCSoft.  And of course, if CoH is continued or released, this ends immediately and I personally will order a copy of Guild Wars 2 the same day (I was putting it off for a couple of paychecks when we got the news).

Paula

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 01:31:11 PM »
I haven't gotten involved in any boycott discussions... except around my own circle of friends.  We've applied intense pressure on our holdouts to NOT jump to GW2 or any other NCSoft product (especially since we won't be going) if City of Heroes closes.  They have a history of canning games on the sudden, and we just don't want to set ourselves up again.  One of them used a particularly gruesome analogy that went something like...

It's like, your girlfriend died, and you're ready to move on.  You don't go to the woman you found over your girlfriend's murdered corpse, turning to you with blood still on her hands saying, "I'm available if you want to play!"

...that said, if they do the right thing (to be determined once "things" are "done"), opinions will be re-evaluated with all fairness. :)

jacknomind

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 01:37:16 PM »
Hm, yeah.  Peer pressure and positively promoting pickled p... uh... non-Nexon/NCSoft games is probably a good idea, too.  If you go to CO or DCUO or The Secret World and can convince your friends to, that's that much less interest in purchasing Nexon properties.

ppppppp.

dwturducken

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 03:14:19 PM »
I have to admit to the same jerk of the knee. But then I took a close look at their products and how I game. Aside from a few legacy (read DOS) games that I run on an old Pentium 2 Dell and a couple of team RTSs on Steam, this is the only game I've stuck with. Nothing in their library has held any real appeal for me. I got one character to about level 18, I think, before I got bored with Guild Wars. I signed up for the beta of GW2 mostly because I was interested in what had been done.  When I was declined, I was disappointed, but I had I gotten bored with its predacessor. I will not be boycotting. I just don't have enough interest in any of their other products to devote the kind of time and money that I've put into CoH.
I wouldn't use the word "replace," but there's no word for "take over for you and make everything better almost immediately," so we just say "replace."

SithRose

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 04:08:51 PM »
I will point out that the other small developing studios which are owned by NCSoft will be hurt by this boycott more than NCSoft overall would be. I would also suggest taking a close look at the studio's relationship to NCSoft before boycotting a product made by a small studio which happens to be distributed by NCSoft. Some of these studios are in the same position as Paragon Studios. I think it's pretty safe to say that none of us want what's happened here to happen to another small studio. While we're all angry at NCSoft, the suggested boycott is much like trying to boycott all movies distributed by Warner Brothers because they chose to stop development on a Justice League movie.

Is your anger at the *distributing company* strong enough to take actions which will hurt small developing companies just like Paragon Studios? For my part, I cannot in good conscience advocate a boycott that will hurt smaller studios far more than it hurts NCSoft. This is a personal choice which each person has to make based on their own feelings. I will also note that the Paragon Studios staff have consistently requested that we do not boycott NCSoft for the reasons I've mentioned above. In fact, several of them have already bought GW2 and are enjoying it greatly. (Refer to yesterday's coffee talk. While the chat wasn't recorded, Hit Streak was pretty enthusiastic about the game.)

In the case of ArenaNet specifically, several of the ANet devs are long-time COH players and fans. They have actively incorporated lessons learned from *playing* COH into Guild Wars 2, as well as including several veiled COH in-jokes into the game's story. They are just as unhappy and shocked about COH being shut down as we are. (I am not speculating on this and it is not a rumor.)

It should be noted that I pre-purchased GW2 on the first day pre-purchase opened. It is the only MMO that I've beta tested that was good enough in closed beta to convince me to buy it. If you like fantasy genre, it's an outstanding game with a very good story, challenging and fun playstyle, and a great combination of open sandbox and instancing. It's not COH. It won't replace COH in my heart. It's a completely different genre of game. It's the only NCSoft game other than COH that I have any interest in, so I suppose you could say I'm boycotting the rest of NCSoft's games for lack of interest. If you're on the fence or just don't care for fantasy, you might not be interested in it.

Ultimately, it's a personal choice. I don't think that calling for an active boycott at this point in time would be productive OR in our best interests for trying to save City of Heroes.
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Mold

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 04:26:56 PM »
Boycotts don't work in gaming. Community action does, writing letters, sending cookies or cupcakes, getting the media involved works. No one responds well to threats. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/6187-Why-Boycotts-Fail-Where-Whining-Tantrums-Win Jim speaks to the issue of boycotts better than I can.

BiggerThanToast

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 04:28:10 PM »
I've never really involved myself in the whole "Boycott X" idea. Yes I am upset that my favorite game is being canned, and yes I don't like the fact that NCSoft is the one pulling the plug and putting a bunch of developers out o n the street. But that's the thing, NCSoft is not a developer, they're a publisher and CoH was never really their game to begin with. I'm not going to give up my copy of Guildwars or Guildwars 2 just because Anet happens to be tied to NCSoft as a publisher, and I'm still heavily invested in what Wildstar can turn out to be given the videos that the developers have put out.

To put into context, I don't like Electronic Arts, I've never liked the way that they do business or the fact that they seem to just kill off developers on a whim. However with the amount of the market they control and the companies under their umbrella. It just doesn't make sense to me to try and boycott a publisher by hurting the sales of their other developers. So I know I'll be giving money to NCsoft by playing GW2 and Wildstar, but in spirit I'm not really playing the game for NCSofts sake I'm playing it for the devs who put their heart and soul into the game, not the publisher who paid their paychecks.

Paula

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2012, 04:29:47 PM »
Mold put it rightly!  I'm just choosing not to get myself on the hook for another NCSoft yoinking, I don't personally feel an organized public boycott is for me.

Sophronisba

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2012, 04:40:06 PM »
I was sort of toying with the idea of an anti-boycott -- as in, "I wasn't interested in Guild Wars 2 or Wildstar before, but if we can work things out with City of Heroes I'll give them a shot."

SithRose

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2012, 06:41:44 PM »
I was sort of toying with the idea of an anti-boycott -- as in, "I wasn't interested in Guild Wars 2 or Wildstar before, but if we can work things out with City of Heroes I'll give them a shot."

That may well work better than boycott statements. :) Positive incentive is sometimes an improvement over negative incentive. Any customer service department SHOULD know that 1 positive equals 10 negatives as far as word of mouth goes...
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Aggelakis

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2012, 06:45:38 PM »
I will not participate in a boycott because of two things: 1) I'm going to play GW2, dammit, because it's a nice game and ArenaNet are nice people; and 2) WildStar just looks effing amazing thank you very much. I'm not going to play Aion or L1/2 because I just don't enjoy the games, not because I'm boycotting anything.

I will hold NCsoft responsible for this mess, but I will not hold their other games responsible. That is foolish and hurtful to those other developers. They are doing what they love, just like Paragon Studios was (and is trying to continue, apparently). Shame on you.
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zoser

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2012, 06:58:33 PM »
Since I had no plans to play either GW2 nor Wild Star to begin with, this question never presented itself for me. Strategy-wise it seems IMHO a bit early for this kind of step though as TonyV is currently trying to establish a constructive dialogue with NCSOFT who - as he put it - currently hold all the cards. Could this not harm what he is trying to do right now?

Just asking to see if I missed anything here - believe me, everyone here is as hurt, frustrated and angry as yourself. We just have to make sure that we don't burn bridges too soon ...
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jacknomind

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2012, 09:13:02 PM »
Boycotts don't work in gaming.

Says the man in the faux-USSR ushanka?

His argument was that boycotting Activision wouldn't work because it continues to market "cash cow" FPS and casual games, which will still be bought by audiences unaware of or uninterested in the boycott, and that the only people who would get hurt are the smaller developers it funds.  But that's neither applicable in this case nor really true, for reasons he himself gets into.

What are Nexon and NCSoft's mass-market games in North America and Europe?  Maple Story?  Not for years.  MMOs are really their only market; we do form the core audience for these products and we can influence the entire market, especially in the still-simmering wake of the bad will generated by TR.  Of course we can't hurt them in Asia, but shutting down the audience for everything but Guild Wars 2 (too late for that for us) in an extremely wealthy region of the world would actually get them to notice.

Now for the argument that some smaller developers would get hurt... again, with their existing products, and the short duration I've proposed, I really don't see that as likely.  But let's say it were; what would that accomplish?  Smaller developers being less likely to work with NCSoft/Nexon in the region, the company taking ever fewer risks in the market, and eventually getting eclipsed by another publisher that still can productively work with new companies with novel ideas.

Quote from: zoser
believe me, everyone here is as hurt, frustrated and angry as yourself. We just have to make sure that we don't burn bridges too soon ...

Wait, what?

How on earth would this burn a bridge?  I'm not proposing we mail bombs to NCSoft HQ, or even a series of clever insults.  I'm saying that we should stop buying their stuff, temporarily, to demonstrate what kind of market share they're losing.

You mentioned Tony's dialogue with NCSoft.  This isn't two equals, working out a business arrangement.  This is a supplier meeting with a client.  If the client says, "Well, I wasn't very happy with what you were doing, and I thought you should know, but I'm going to keep buying your stuff anyway," what kind of message are they sending?

Not organizing behind a reasonable boycott would do us more harm.

Quote from: Sophronisba
I was sort of toying with the idea of an anti-boycott -- as in, "I wasn't interested in Guild Wars 2 or Wildstar before, but if we can work things out with City of Heroes I'll give them a shot."

Absolutely.  I wasn't going to try Wildstar, but I definitely will if things work out with CoH.  I'll even load back up Vindictus and Mabinogi, which I stopped playing about a year ago and years ago, respectively.  It's exactly the same kind of market incentive; work with us and we'll do lots of business with you (NCSoft/Nexon).

Codewalker

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2012, 09:20:25 PM »
Absolutely.  I wasn't going to try Wildstar, but I definitely will if things work out with CoH.  I'll even load back up Vindictus and Mabinogi, which I stopped playing about a year ago and years ago, respectively.  It's exactly the same kind of market incentive; work with us and we'll do lots of business with you (NCSoft/Nexon).

The whole situation has created a semi-boycott for some of us.

For instance, when we were looking for possible other games to try if COH shut down, a close friend of mine thought Wildstar looked really interesting. However upon hearing that NCSoft was involved, she immediately vetoed it. Not out of spite at the company, but simply because she "didn't want to go through that again", referring to losing all the characters and things in COH that she still hadn't finished.

If they had announced a year or two of "maintenance mode" with no new content before finally shutting down, things might be different, but they didn't do that...

emu265

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2012, 09:24:00 PM »
The whole situation has created a semi-boycott for some of us.

For instance, when we were looking for possible other games to try if COH shut down, a close friend of mine thought Wildstar looked really interesting. However upon hearing that NCSoft was involved, she immediately vetoed it. Not out of spite at the company, but simply because she "didn't want to go through that again", referring to losing all the characters and things in COH that she still hadn't finished.

If they had announced a year or two of "maintenance mode" with no new content before finally shutting down, things might be different, but they didn't do that...
This is how I am feeling as well.  I understand that shutting down is the ultimate fate of all MMOs, but NCsoft's handling of the issue left many people (myself included) reeling.  That is why I won't invest in another game of theirs.  Although they could definitely change my mind if they can compromise on Cities.

jacknomind

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2012, 09:24:56 PM »
Many of my CoH-playing friends are in the same boat, but I'd like to give Tony something he can bring to the table and say, "you can see we're not happy, but we're perfectly willing to come back to the fold if you play ball with us."

Maybe with fewer analogies.  That's a problem specific to me.

Paula

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2012, 09:35:12 PM »
I'm all about analogies!  And yours are better than mine because they're topical and make sense! :D

WanderingAries

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2012, 09:44:27 PM »
Just something to consider.
Having two camps under the same tent (working to save/rebuild CoX & boycott the evil doers) doesn't quite work nicely together. Infact, I see a boycott as detrimental to any efforts to smoothly keep things afloat and/or rebuild. If it does come to pass that NCSoft simply locks CoX in the dungeon forever, then feel free to sit outside their doors and show them your bits, but keep in mind that anything you do may affect the larger community as a whole whether intended or not.
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laufeyjarson

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2012, 10:11:57 PM »
This is how I am feeling as well.  I understand that shutting down is the ultimate fate of all MMOs, but NCsoft's handling of the issue left many people (myself included) reeling.  That is why I won't invest in another game of theirs.  Although they could definitely change my mind if they can compromise on Cities.

This is where I am too.  I get that nothing lasts forever, but always expected to be able to tell it was coming.  How the Tabula Rasa shutdown went should have warned me, I guess.

I'm not planning a boycott, as I really am not interested in their other stuff right now.  A friend of mine is trying to get me to play GW2.  I've been using the answer, "But I haven't finished City of Heroes yet!" for five years... no reason to change that until at least 30 November.  =)

As a matter of fact, the same friend was horrified that GW2 was an NCsoft produced game.  He's now worried.  He's got nothing to worry about for a long time, though.  GW1 OTOH, might.

emu265

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Re: Planned Boycott
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2012, 10:15:08 PM »
This is where I am too.  I get that nothing lasts forever, but always expected to be able to tell it was coming.  How the Tabula Rasa shutdown went should have warned me, I guess.

I'm not planning a boycott, as I really am not interested in their other stuff right now.  A friend of mine is trying to get me to play GW2.  I've been using the answer, "But I haven't finished City of Heroes yet!" for five years... no reason to change that until at least 30 November.  =)

As a matter of fact, the same friend was horrified that GW2 was an NCsoft produced game.  He's now worried.  He's got nothing to worry about for a long time, though.  GW1 OTOH, might.
He has signed our petition, right?  Right? :)