Author Topic: Aeria Games  (Read 23407 times)

Aviticus Gladius

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2014, 03:50:21 PM »
Yea I'm sure those developers weren't a part of it, because if they were they would just not have commented on it at all. I'm hopefully waiting, and expecting to hear something in 2015 at the earliest.

Drauger9

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2014, 04:08:48 PM »
Wasn't Positron over seeing acouple of game's before the end? Maybe he was one of the few involved in CoH2 (if it was being made) so maybe most of the original devs. Didn't know anything about it? Since I'd imagine having one dev team keep a game up to date and create a whole other one. Would be a huge task, maybe the majority was keeping CoH running. While a different dev team was making CoH 2, just having Posi and a few others over seeing it. To make sure it stayed true to the CoH spirit?

Quote
Keeping it a secret for more than a year is also a very dumb way to go about it

Well if what I'm assuming from Aviticus's insinuations is true. I can see why they'd keep it secret for a year and maybe alittle more. Atleast until they can figure out a way to bring it back with out looking suspicious. The only thing is, the longer they silently wait. The more discontent grows and who knows. Two years, three years from now, if they brought CoH back the community might be so bitter. They might not ever return. That's why I find it odd, they haven't leaked anything, if the rumors are true. Like I said, they wouldn't have to leak much for this community to figure it out.

Aviticus Gladius

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2014, 05:49:53 PM »
Yea Drauger, they wouldn't just drop a title while it was in it's publication cycle just to start a team on another title. Not to mention there would have been 5-6 more years of development left for the new iteration. To be accurate, the entire time one game would be in development, another team would have to be working on the sequel, for potential over half a decade. The average MMO development cycle for a fully funded MMO with 50-100 million, for 6 years of development. So yes, it makes sense that some of the original developers may not have been involved; especially since they were already working on 2 games at once (CoH/CoV). I've actually watched some video blogs where Matt Miller talked about how he wishes CoH was designed with the cooperative villain elements from the beginning. Sadly, he even said it was as if they were working on 2 separate titles.

Azrael

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2014, 09:14:17 PM »
Intrigue abounds.

Interesting information from Aviticus on the business decisions behind NC's closure of the Paragon Studio and Coh.  If you're suddenly hit with tens of millions of tax burden on the horizon I can see how that could torpedo something that was marginally profitable (keeping in mind Paragon were working on two other projects and that must have been eating money...)

It seems that 2015 will be like some alignment of planets with H&V, Valiance, CoT, SCORE...  And if there's any truth to Coh 2(!) then it should break cover eventually?  I have my doubts about the latter.  But having said that, Gladius' info' on the closure sounds plausible and if you 'do it right' 100K worth of subscribers is a decent base of subscribers to build on for any potential relaunch.  Would 'ill will' matter then?

As for Coh/CoV.  Duplication and expensive duplication of efforts at that. CoV should have been(!) Coh 2.  Updated engine, maps and challenges and an end game.  (Along with the dreadful incarnate system...) resources were spent on stuff that only took the game sidewards or had it spinning it's wheels.  i.e. 'Same old.'  Coupled with C.O seemingly being worked on in secret while Coh seemed to grind to a halt before the sale to NC Soft...  Even Cryptic couldn't give us Coh '2'...so I don't have high hopes that NC can.  Unless they just update the graphics engine.

I'd settle for the same mechanics but with an updated graphic engine across the board.  But if Coh '2' was just modelled on grind to end game grind some more riddled with instore payments and anaemic gameplay I'd be out.

It's possible any project can be done in secret.  Score is?  CoT aren't talking much?  H&V are keeping their cards close to their chest to a degree.  Only Valiance seems to be transparent about their objectives on pre-alpha feedback. 

Interesting thread.  Spice and intrigue.

Azrael.

Kaos Arcanna

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2014, 10:12:40 PM »
I'm honestly not sure I'd go back to COH if it was ran by NcSoft at this point.

I dearly miss some of my characters and some of the ATs, but a large part of the game were there the people I played with more so than the mechanics or lore.

I guess it depends on what they came up with, but I would never trust them which would hamper my willingness to buy items from their market.

Drauger9

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2014, 01:18:49 AM »
Quote
I'm honestly not sure I'd go back to COH if it was ran by NcSoft at this point.

I'm a pretty forgiving guy. To me, NCSoft didn't do a bad job with City of Heroes except for the way they handled the closure. Now if what Aviticus Gladius is proposing turns out to be true. I'd go back, I'd probably try not to get as attached as I was and I would be more cautious with my money. When it came to buying items from the cash shop.

It really does make a lot of sense to me. I mean, it seemed to me. That they was fully supporting City of Heroes right up to the very end. When they did a 360 and closed it down. There was a new Issue being worked on, everything seemed normal.

But with all that said, They don't have any other titles that I'm interested in and I don't plan to give them any more of my money. Until we get the game back or some kind of closure (an actual honest statement of why they closed City of Heroes).

It'd also be nice if as a peace offering, they gave the game an offline mode. So we don't have to worry about going threw this again. ;)

Ironwolf

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2014, 03:17:06 PM »
I completely disagree - City of Heroes was never advertised - never.

I remember interviews with the advertising dude at Paragon he had a budget of less than $10k a YEAR. How exactly do you promote a game and add players if they don't even know it exists?

NCSoft bought the game and then very quickly acted as if it was a mistake - maybe some personell changes were made and this was the outgoing persons deal - who knows!

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2014, 04:28:29 PM »
I disagree.  The game was advertised, in the beginning and after CoV and GR.  But the "traditional" advertising medium, PC gaming mags, all died during the same period.  The few (one) that remained simply didn't cover MMOs much since WoW was the 800lbs gorilla with ever rising subscription numbers.  I challenge you to point out other NCSOFT games in NA that were treated any better in that time frame in terms of advertising.  And I don't want to hear they didn't have a TV spot.  It never made enough money to afford a TV spot.

NCSOFT bought the IP and formed Paragon in late 2007.  They poured a ton of money into it expanding from the FREEM 15 to 80-100 people within a year or two.  Then two things happened in 2009.  First Tabula Rasa sank after it burst into flames and crashed into an iceberg over the previous year.  Second CO came out and game CoH direct competition in the superhero genre space which caused a rabid drop in subscriptions.  This left NCSOFT with only three western game studios.  One, ArenaNet, two years into a 4-5 year development cycle; two, Carbine Studios who like ArenaNet was founded by ex-WoW employees working on a long term MMO and Paragon.

So two studios with nothing new in the foreseeable future and one that's hemorrhaging players all in a market (NA + EU) that's shrinking rapidly.  It's my opinion that NCSOFT didn't expect GW2 to do the numbers it did and didn't trust the cash shop only model.  So they had to choose who to fund, the studio founded by members of the original WoW team that have a game that they felt could play in the East and West, or Paragon whose only game crashed and burned during beta in Korea and whose trailing 12 month income numbers have continued to fall to under $11 million USD a year despite all the things they've done to bolster the game including F2P with a cash shop.

From a purely business PoV it comes a time to put Old Yeller down.  The meager profits from CoH couldn't support Paragon so they shut Paragon down and the game was collateral.  Harsh.  Terrible.  Tore me up to see it go but that's business.

Sadly if the decision to close was held off for another year, I think NCSOFT would have kept them open due to all the money coming in from GW2, they wouldn't have felt forced to trim the studio budget.
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Codewalker

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2014, 04:55:58 PM »
Add in friction between Paragon management and NCSoft management about what direction to take the studio and you've got a perfect storm. What information I've been able to piece together indicates that they had some level of approval from NC Interactive's US division to produce the "secret projects" that over half the studio was working on, but that corporate HQ overseas was not pleased when they found out about it.

Yes, I do firmly believe that corporate politics played a major role. Maybe not the sole factor, but once GW2 was completed and they didn't need the extra income anymore, the mediocre financial balance of COH supporting the development of 2 unrelated games wasn't enough to save it from the ire of the bigwigs peeved at their seemingly insubordinate underlings.

FWIW, none of the sources I have access to (which I'm not at liberty to disclose, so in the end what I say has as much weight as the ramblings of an internet madman) have indicated that there ever was anything related to a COH2 beyond some concept art and proposals that were rejected by NCSoft corporate. Certainly nothing that was even close to a playable state. If someone was working on it, it wasn't the original devs or anybody in Mountain View, CA.

Aviticus Gladius

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2014, 05:53:14 PM »
It was far beyond the conceptual stage Codewalker, it was well into the playable prototype stage. If I could share more proof without compromising my contacts I would definitely do so. Here is something I told a friend of mine recently after telling him, in detail, what I found out. It makes no logical sense to hold on to a software IP that you've been openly offered hundreds of millions of dollars to sell, if you're not going to use it. With that said you have to ask yourself, "Why are they holding on to something that is earning them no profit, when they've been offered millions of dollars?" Add to that the idea that this entire occurrence has sparked a public relations dilemma for them, and you have to consider the fact that they are holding on to it for a reason; not saying the reason has anything to do what my educated assumption. They hold massive majority of the the Korean and Chinese MMO market by statistics, they are well established, and are in no financial bind by record; though their stocks have experienced record lows recently. Just based on the reality of MMO development and server handling cost, it's obvious they are capable of aiding in the development and publication of MMOs. I've seen a few people suggest that they feel it's just because CoH got old/dated, and they have no desire to continue promoting and publishing an outdated/aged IP. To me that's equivalent to Nintendo killing off Mario because he has been around for so long; if it's generating revenue, it's maintaining the business' upkeep.

From what I was informed, 2015 is when information is expected to surface, so hopefully around that time something will surface.

Codewalker

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2014, 06:06:42 PM »
It makes no logical sense to hold on to a software IP that you've been openly offered hundreds of millions of dollars to sell, if you're not going to use it.

By whom? I've seen no one openly claim that.

The few definitive offers I know about (none of which have been discussed openly), pre and post shutdown alike, were nowhere near hundreds of millions. No one in their right mind would offer that because it would be impossible to recoup.

Ironwolf

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2014, 08:00:49 PM »
I have heard of 2 offers $3 million and $6 million.

Not to be harsh but this game has never been worth hundreds of millions. I think I recall correctly NCSoft paid $10 million and a short profit split with Cryptic

Lolliad

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2014, 08:17:47 PM »
Just saw an article by Kotaku about budgets in MMO.

http://kotaku.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-make-a-big-video-game-1501413649

Could answer a few questions about money.

Dev7on

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2014, 08:57:07 PM »
Also, if you visit http://global.ncsoft.com/global/ and look at News & Press, the bottom left of the website it still have City of Heroes on there. That's a hint that something is suspicous about them.   

Azrael

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2014, 09:11:48 PM »
15?  Expanded to 80-100?  A lot of people added to the '15'..!

Perception wise.  I remember being frustrated many times during my 8 year+ tenure on Coh the glacial pace of Coh itself almost seemed to stall before NC Soft bought it from Cryptic.  I don't think secretly working on Champions ('Coh 2') and CoV helped the main game of Coh at all.  Nor Going Rogue which just repeated the same mistake of CoV for me.  It compounded it.  Evidences by a very linear progression to L20 and some poorly tested maps.  (I did enjoy it to a degree...but my duo partner got fed up of it real quick...and I guess he wasn't the only one...)

Eventually Paragon got into their stride and in the last year or so development was picking up a pace.  But for me?  From the moment NC Soft bought Coh the scramble should have been on to update the actual engine of Coh (while keeping the mechanics...) graphics to give it a more modern feel.  They had 4-5 years?  We got Going Rogue and 'Mushroom/fungus/Plant' power set and the beta flavoured 'Beam' set which sucked instead.  (Sure, we got 'lots' of other stuff...but not the 'stuff' that was going to 'save' it.)

Given the size of that team I would have expected more.  Much more.  I always got the feeling feeling that Paragon were 'tight' with progress.  e.g. Stamina standard?  Should have happened years sooner than it did?  Speed up the 'slow' game play (I never felt it was...but some did!) with Hasten as the 'fifth' power in the Stamina set.  Create more tertiary power sets.  (There were loads of 'bonus' powers in the game like Sands of Mu etc which could have been cobbled into tertiary sets which had sat, cob webbed since the game launched...)  Defenders with poor solo ability.  By the time I discovered Dominators I didn't care about Defenders any more.  PVP?  Not important to me...but I never heard the last of it being 'broken.'  Free to play?  As a VIP I didn't care.  But for to get the F2P crowd in?  Too many restrictions.  It seemed to take ages to actually develop new power sets to add to and spruce up the combat with something new.

Paragon did some great work.  The ITF being a sound example.  But it was tempered by a ridiculous fractured Incarnated system which bore no resemblance to the original interface.  Far too confusing...and the lofty and unreal Legion super TFs to get random rewards and generic looking powers through an archaic interface which seemed ashamed of the standard interface.  Meh.

75-85 extra employees and that's all you've got?  I probably sound harsh.  But I think if we're all honest there were things about Coh that we loved and hated.  Or got bored with.  For me, PStudios got into their stride too little too late.  (And seemed to noodle about with the 'little' things, nickel and diming the player over issues instead of addressing them, while the city of Rome was burning subscribers...)

For me?  I just liked the game pre: issue 4.  I'd still take that now.  500 mb patch vs a 4.5 gig client?  Surely one would be 'easier' to reverse engineer the server than the patch 24 beta?  But then I'm no Coder.  That's for sure.

http://evilasahobby.com/2013/03/17/city-of-heroes-villains-putting-claims-to-the-test/

It's probably being discussed or has been elsewhere but an interesting read.

...and another link on the enormity of the task to rebirth Coh in any form (in the author's view...)

http://evilasahobby.com/2013/10/08/city-of-titans-i-disbelieve-the-illusion/

I think any spiritual successors have it 'all on' to recreate the magic and feel of Coh.  But nothing's impossible and I wish them the very best.

Some talented and clever people out there evidenced by 'gift' of Icon. :)

Another interesting link...

http://evilasahobby.com/2012/11/26/city-of-heroes-villains-top-5-under-realised-systems/

...and on it's closure...

http://evilasahobby.com/2013/09/17/city-of-heroes-villains-an-addendum-of-sorts/

On Coh 2...?

http://evilasahobby.com/2012/09/14/city-of-heroes-villains-there-was-no-cohv-2-0-because/

On that engine...

http://evilasahobby.com/2012/09/02/that-cryptics-licensing-of-its-engine-is-shutting-down-cohv-rumour/

http://evilasahobby.com/2012/09/08/city-of-heroes-villains-cryptic-isnt-stopping-cohv-from-continuing-a-lore-bible/

The End of the World...(a look at the 'numbers'...)

http://evilasahobby.com/2012/09/01/city-of-heroes-villains-an-end-of-the-world-event/

More on that Coh2 'Battalion' game morphing into some 'Dark Heroes' realism...

http://evilasahobby.com/2012/10/05/city-of-heroes-villains/

...ironic words in the following link from NC's P.R...

http://massively.joystiq.com/2010/04/06/ncsoft-trademarks-city-of-heroes-2/

Food for thought.

I do rather miss City of Heroes.

Azrael.

PS.  Memories...(of Coh's development...)

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2007/10/26/the-making-of-city-of-heroes/



« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 09:36:38 PM by Azrael »

mikenovember

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #35 on: January 15, 2014, 11:53:44 PM »
It was far beyond the conceptual stage Codewalker, it was well into the playable prototype stage. If I could share more proof without compromising my contacts I would definitely do so. Here is something I told a friend of mine recently after telling him, in detail, what I found out. It makes no logical sense to hold on to a software IP that you've been openly offered hundreds of millions of dollars to sell, if you're not going to use it. With that said you have to ask yourself, "Why are they holding on to something that is earning them no profit, when they've been offered millions of dollars?" Add to that the idea that this entire occurrence has sparked a public relations dilemma for them, and you have to consider the fact that they are holding on to it for a reason; not saying the reason has anything to do what my educated assumption. They hold massive majority of the the Korean and Chinese MMO market by statistics, they are well established, and are in no financial bind by record; though their stocks have experienced record lows recently. Just based on the reality of MMO development and server handling cost, it's obvious they are capable of aiding in the development and publication of MMOs. I've seen a few people suggest that they feel it's just because CoH got old/dated, and they have no desire to continue promoting and publishing an outdated/aged IP. To me that's equivalent to Nintendo killing off Mario because he has been around for so long; if it's generating revenue, it's maintaining the business' upkeep.

From what I was informed, 2015 is when information is expected to surface, so hopefully around that time something will surface.

The beauty of all conspiracy theories... is that you can, if you search long enough, with a desire to find something, find something that makes sense.

I'm not saying you're grasping at straws and putting two and two together to make five by using unusual values of two... but I suspect this is the case.  I also suspect that your sources who have to remain nameless, who are well connected, etc., -- who contradict everything we've been told by actual devs and people who we know to have been involved - - I don't doubt they have told you exactly what you've said here.  I don't doubt that a bit.  I'm sure you've been told things by people 'in a position to know'.   

You talk about having proof and that you've seen things that indicate there was a fully playable COH2 prototype.  I find this to be questionable, but I've seen people create mockups of all kinds of things.  I do it myself for prospective prototypes.  I can create a very convincing COH mock up in probably a couple days.  So I'm not sure what your proof is - but until it can be verified by someone other than you it's just a good story, like Bigfoot.  No offense, but if you have some kind of proof of this, you should cough it up so everyone can judge it for themselves. 

Otherwise this is just a really good story that will probably hurt a lot of people by getting hopes up.  Like I said, I don't doubt any of what you've said - or that you believe it totally.

But I do doubt the entirety of all of this for a variety of reasons.   A primary reason is that NCSoft has never been one to play the long game, they tend to make decisions based on short term stratagems without a consideration to reaping a reward down the road.  Their stock, their corporate decisions, everything about them indicates they think at best, no more than one maybe two moves ahead.  To reap the rewards of a strategy like this implies planning not just two or three years down the road but 4 or 5, and it relies on planning based on tax planning which, would not have been completely locked down at the time these decisions would have been implemented. 

Logically - its possible.  But it's not very likely.  And it's certainly way outside of NCSoft's method of operations. 
« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 12:01:43 AM by mikenovember »

Twisted Toon

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2014, 08:09:49 PM »
15?  Expanded to 80-100?  A lot of people added to the '15'..!

...

75-85 extra employees and that's all you've got?  I probably sound harsh.  But I think if we're all honest there were things about Coh that we loved and hated.  Or got bored with.  For me, PStudios got into their stride too little too late.  (And seemed to noodle about with the 'little' things, nickel and diming the player over issues instead of addressing them, while the city of Rome was burning subscribers...)

There was at least one other project that Paragon Studios was working on, other than City of Heroes. They didn't have the entire staff of 80+ people working on just City of Heroes. I would estimate around 30 or so were working in various departments on the game, and the rest were working on the other super secret project(s).

Also, the lack of advertising probably played a fairly big role in the perception that CoH was doing poorly. Kind of hard to get a lot of new players when there is next to no advertising going on, letting people know that there is a game that they would like to play out there.
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ShadowMokadara

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2014, 08:26:33 PM »
I hate to be this guy but...

Since when was "Thank you for contacting us", or even giving an address, translated to "We're buying your game." And it's not our game, NCsoft owns it. I'd LOVE to see NCsoft sell it, of course.

Also, I loved City of Heroes to death but it was nowhere near the most popular MMO ever : P.

I feel like the pitch would go better with things mentioned such as:

"The hero market is under sold and is just begging for a company to pick up on. You would have an immediate interest in the game from a dedicated community who would practically do the advertising for you."

Aviticus Gladius

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2014, 11:48:34 PM »
Regarding my reference to "hundreds of millions" I was referring to the collective of companies/individuals that I've seen discuss prices or speak about offered prices; one company offering 10 million, another company offering 12, and I've saw many more. Regardless of how crazy some offers I saw seemed, doesn't mean they weren't genuine. A company can purchase an IP and turn around and use it another way and recuperate well from it. Purchasing the IP wouldn't require them to open up the old servers and release the same title. By open, I meant these weren't things that were hidden, and sure it's safe to assume a lot of the articles and content I read across different media outlets could have been inaccurate or formulated. I'm not going to believe things aren't real simply due to it's potential to be untrue. Either way, I feel it's hard to not assume something secretive is at play here. It's as if someone had a historical artifact and museum owner offered them "1" million dollars for it, and the owner said, "No, but thank you. I'm just gonna leave it in my closet... I don't plan to do anything with it, I just don't want to sell it."

Regarding my statement about having what I feel is "proof", is all based on my sources. I see no logical reason for people in certain positions to lie to someone, when there is no reason to have brought up the matter at all. Sure people do odd stuff for no reason all the time, but I highly doubt it in this matter. Notice that I said "I", as this is my personal opinion of this particular instance. And it's about as much of a conspiracy as all the rumors going around saying NC Soft didn't invest in advertisement for City of Heroes. From a reasonable business perspective, what company in their position, launches a game with no advertising budget? I've seen this said on various, well-known media platforms, and even referenced here. I don't believe that at all.

Ultimately it's what I believe, it's in no way meant to give people false hope. I simply shared information that I felt could shed light on the potential of Aeria Games not being able to acquire the product. Accept it or reject it, your decision.

r00tb0ySlim

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Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2014, 01:18:09 AM »
Something smells in Smellsville all right!!!  My gut tells me that NCsoft will re-launch the game in some updated form at some point in the future.....I'm all-in if and when they do, but I am also supporting CoT ;D