Author Topic: Aeria Games  (Read 22495 times)

Twisted Toon

  • New Efforts # 13,000!
  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 830
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #60 on: January 22, 2014, 01:44:04 AM »
I highly doubt that taxation was the issue. I personally believe that they found out that Paragon had started development on CoH2 without permission (obviously a dev could correct me on that).

It is possible, but I doubt that Paragon Studios was working on a project behind NCSoft's back. NCSoft could have gotten a bee in their shorts about Paragon trying to buy CoH from them. Possibly because they were afraid that Paragon Studios would probably do a better job with the game without NCSoft's "supervision". I'm fairly sure that PS was chaffing under NCSoft's "guidance" from almost the time that NCSoft bought Cryptic's portion of CoH. Minor complaints from a subordinate coupled with said subordinate trying to buy the project they work on might twist an upper management panty or two and lead to the closure of the subordinate and all of the projects it is working on.

It is just a theory, mind you.
Hope never abandons you, you abandon it. - George Weinberg

Hope ... is not a feeling; it is something you do. - Katherine Paterson

Nobody really cares if you're miserable, so you might as well be happy. - Cynthia Nelms

LadyVamp

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 539
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #61 on: January 22, 2014, 02:42:54 AM »
You know.  It's very unlikely we will ever know why ncsoft decided to pull the plug.  But, I think I understand why they did it.  It's speculation at best.  I'd called it educated speculation.  You see, I used to work in the construction world.  Heavy construction like power plants or chemical processing.  I've seen projects that would be profitable turned down because while they would be profitable, they wouldn't be profitable enough.  That's what I always thought killed Coh ultimately.  It does fit the pattern.

  • Project starts up and pulls in a lot of money quickly blowing past minimum requirements.
  • Then it levels off and begins growing slowly or not at all.
  • Then it starts to produce less and less profit over time.
  • Then it gets into a probationary period and the company starts trying things to encourage it to generate more profits
  • Those things it tries having failed cause management to kill the project even though it is still making profits

I've seen corporate divisions be wiped out despite making profits.  Simply put, not enough profit and a lower ROI.

I don't know that ncsoft did these things.  But I've worked in companies with multiple divisions.  I've seen this pattern both in those divisions and in our game.  Sure I think poorly of ncsoft for killing our game, but I also understand they likely felt the money could be invested in better places for higher ROI.

I do the same thing in investing.  If an investment I have isn't making my requirements even if it is profitable, I'll cut its throat.  It's not personal.  It's just business.

Now we have an opportunity to make a new home for us and a way to protect ourselves from such thinking.  Two such projects are looking more and more promising everyday.  If it weren't already taken I'd say we should call our projects FUBUs.  For Us By Us.  But, a company already has that.  They make Jeans for African-American men.  It's owned and operated by African-Americans hence its name.  In fact, they did that because pretty much all other jeans don't fit correctly so I've been told by a coworker who wore them.
No Surrender!

Noyjitat

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 717
  • Guess who cares?
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #62 on: January 22, 2014, 07:35:07 AM »
Or ncsoft is just stupid...

Thunder Glove

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 990
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #63 on: January 22, 2014, 09:43:07 AM »
The Plan Z projects have a lot to live up to (and a lot to catch up with), which just makes me all the angrier that the game I loved is gone.

Even if there is a super-duper-secret CoH2 in the works that NCSoft has decided to hide instead of using to try to win us over (doubtful), a brand-new game is not going to have the eight years worth of content that CoH had.

LaughingAlex

  • Giggling like an
  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,019
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #64 on: January 22, 2014, 09:58:13 PM »
You know.  It's very unlikely we will ever know why ncsoft decided to pull the plug.  But, I think I understand why they did it.  It's speculation at best.  I'd called it educated speculation.  You see, I used to work in the construction world.  Heavy construction like power plants or chemical processing.  I've seen projects that would be profitable turned down because while they would be profitable, they wouldn't be profitable enough.  That's what I always thought killed Coh ultimately.  It does fit the pattern.

  • Project starts up and pulls in a lot of money quickly blowing past minimum requirements.
  • Then it levels off and begins growing slowly or not at all.
  • Then it starts to produce less and less profit over time.
  • Then it gets into a probationary period and the company starts trying things to encourage it to generate more profits
  • Those things it tries having failed cause management to kill the project even though it is still making profits

I've seen corporate divisions be wiped out despite making profits.  Simply put, not enough profit and a lower ROI.

I don't know that ncsoft did these things.  But I've worked in companies with multiple divisions.  I've seen this pattern both in those divisions and in our game.  Sure I think poorly of ncsoft for killing our game, but I also understand they likely felt the money could be invested in better places for higher ROI.

I do the same thing in investing.  If an investment I have isn't making my requirements even if it is profitable, I'll cut its throat.  It's not personal.  It's just business.

Now we have an opportunity to make a new home for us and a way to protect ourselves from such thinking.  Two such projects are looking more and more promising everyday.  If it weren't already taken I'd say we should call our projects FUBUs.  For Us By Us.  But, a company already has that.  They make Jeans for African-American men.  It's owned and operated by African-Americans hence its name.  In fact, they did that because pretty much all other jeans don't fit correctly so I've been told by a coworker who wore them.

I didn't think the incarnate system was really failing, but honestly I blame NCSofts all or nothing mentality.  Fact is if the game isn't the top of the market even if it's making a profit they want to shut it down first chance they got.  Odds are something with Cryptic expired so NCSoft shut it down like they always wanted to.  In short, NCSoft didn't care, why else would they not advertise?  It's spiteful of them, but they are spiteful and all or nothing.  I still hope they'll get themselves liquidated sooner or later, at least then the IPs would be freed of them.
Currently; Not doing any streaming, found myself with less time available recently.  Still playing starbound periodically, though I am thinking of trying other games.  Don't tell me to play mmohtg's though please :).  Getting back into participating in VO and the successors again to.

CG

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 408
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #65 on: January 23, 2014, 07:16:04 PM »
Regarding the insufficient ROI theory: why shut it down when they could have scaled back support from active development to maintenance?  They could have made a lot more money without all the dev staff (and associated costs) to pay.  With Issue 24 which was about to go out the door + Player Made Missions the game could have run for a couple of more years with a much bigger ROI.

The fact that they went from Active Development to Shutdown without the interim Maintenance period is what makes me think it was about something more than just the studio's profitability.  What that could be, I don't know.

LadyVamp

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 539
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #66 on: January 25, 2014, 05:22:10 AM »
That's simply my guess as to what happened.  The truth is we will never know for certain and likely many of us wouldn't believe it if ncsoft did come out and spoke candidly about it.

I've heard about the license theory as well as the they hated coh theory.  I tend to discount the hated theory as they could have killed it years ago and certainly had reason enough to do it a couple years after cov came out.  The license theory is plausible.  I always figured they didn't know where to take the game next, looked at the cost of modernizing all the zones and decided to hang it up.  I don't know if that's the right theory.

Personally, I think they should have contacted us, the players, and given us some choices like keep the game but no new content and reduced number of servers to play on.  I'm sure quite a few people would have accepted that.
No Surrender!

Arcana

  • Sultaness of Stats
  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,672
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #67 on: February 20, 2014, 08:01:14 PM »
I highly doubt that taxation was the issue. I personally believe that they found out that Paragon had started development on CoH2 without permission (obviously a dev could correct me on that).
Unlikely for one show-stopper reason: Paragon had tried several times to spin up CoH2, but that was in the past: that was *not* what they were working on when they were shut down.

I believe with the benefit of hindsight and a much better awareness of the context of the situation than I had before, I have a very good theory on why Paragon was shut down, but unfortunately understanding it requires knowing facts its probably not appropriate for me to spill.  I believe, though, that the shutdown wasn't an instantaneous decision, the wheels that ultimately led to the shutdown had started turning as much as a year before, but the surprise was that no one really knew where those wheels would eventually lead.  I think a lot of people at Paragon genuinely believed they would lead to a completely different result instead.

Pedantically, I think Paragon was shut down because while everyone assumes this was a decision based on the facts as they existed at the moment of the shutdown, I believe the shutdown happened because someone at NCSoft made a decision that amounted to "X, or Y" where Y was shutdown (and X was something else) long before, and Paragon thought the choices were X, Y, and Z, where X was something, Z was the next best option, and Y was shutdown and the last thing that could happen.  X didn't happen, Z was an option NCSoft hadn't really considered to the degree Paragon did, and that triggered Y basically automatically.

Also, I think NCSoft Korea really didn't like Paragon Studios or City of Heroes.  CoH didn't make enough money to counterbalance the fact that NCK didn't really like PS or CoH all that much.  People assume that money is everything to businesses, but its not.  Its often just as important that you're proud of your business lines, that you're praised for your business lines, that you aren't questioned about your ability to manage your business lines.  I think it burned them that they couldn't make CoH succeed in Korea.  I think it annoyed them that they couldn't use CoH or Paragon to expand their North America footprint as much as they wanted to.  I think ultimately PS and CoH had no defenders in Korea, so it didn't really take a lot of effort to shutter them.

That's actually how business decisions are made.  When the numbers are big enough, the accountants have enormous power.  But when the numbers aren't big and the bean counters step aside, its all politics.  To put it another way, Paragon Studios didn't go bankrupt, it lost an election.

Dev7on

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 490
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #68 on: April 18, 2014, 02:54:41 AM »
Hey guys if you're having a hard time trying to send a letter to California the problem was that the address didn't exist anymore and Aeria Games didn't bother to change the address for some reason. Now they finally change the mailing address. This is their new address.


                         Aeria Games Europe GmbH
                          Schlesische Str. 27, Aufgang C
                          10997 Berlin, Germany
In order to ship a letter to Germany you need to buy Global Forever Stamp. It can go anywhere across the world with that stamp. It's also affordable. It only cost $1.15.

Sorry for the problems you're experiencing.

HeatSpike1

  • Boss
  • ****
  • Posts: 132
  • CoH Global: @HeatSpike1
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #69 on: April 21, 2014, 04:18:15 PM »
The Plan Z projects have a lot to live up to (and a lot to catch up with), which just makes me all the angrier that the game I loved is gone.

Even if there is a super-duper-secret CoH2 in the works that NCSoft has decided to hide instead of using to try to win us over (doubtful), a brand-new game is not going to have the eight years worth of content that CoH had.

Agreed.

Like everyone else, I was happy to hear of all the Plan Z works in progress around the time of shutdown, but it seems as more time passes the clearer it becomes that even 'if' these other games actually make it... are we really satisfied?
Although fellow CoH/V players are making these games, I think it's easy to get caught up in 'let's make OUR game' with an initial plan to make a CoHv2.0 that evolves into making a game that we may not even recognize or relate to anymore.... vs. let's do as much as we possibly can (legally) to revive CoH/V in our new game, and staying as close as we can to that idea.

Who can really say what the future holds, but I'm realizing that I don't expect to be satisfied until all the things that we KNOW we loved about our home come back to us.  And the only realistic way of that happening is if CoH/V is brought back to life. 

After all, it's every little thing that we loved about CoX.  From Archetypes and powersets,  to costume pieces and auras, to city zones, to contacts foes and npcs, to the fighting mechanics, to signature architecture throughout all of the game, to the beloved music from zone to zone, and I could literally go all day....

In the end, without CoH/V we have nothing but our memories in some new game.   

Kurrent

  • Minion
  • **
  • Posts: 34
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #70 on: April 29, 2014, 09:11:11 PM »
IF NCSoft is truly, secretly working on CoH2 and IF they plan on releasing it in the next 2-3 years, what would be a better "Deluxe Edition" of the game than a virtual box set that could recognize the Sentinel files of our old characters, allowing us to recreate them in the new game?

I'm not even addressing workability or even feasibility, just the mere possibility of having that option.  If Secret World and AoC can sell their Grandmaster versions at $100-$150, you better believe lots of us would pony up similar amounts to have our old characters back.  Yes, something like this would likely require enormous effort to convert the CoH powers and enhancements to CoH2, but it could be a selling point like nothing else ever seen in the industry--

NCSoft Rep:  "We care so much about our [insert positive adjective here] CoH fanbase, we gave them their old characters back!  Hugs all around!" 

Whether true or not, it'd generate absurd amounts of positive press and likely win over quite a few players still smarting from the closure.

Aggelakis

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,001
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #71 on: April 30, 2014, 03:53:51 AM »
IF NCSoft is truly, secretly working on CoH2 ..

Stop there. They're not. Guaran-damn-teed.
Bob Dole!! Bob Dole. Bob Dole! Bob Dole. Bob Dole. Bob Dole... Bob Dole... Bob... Dole...... Bob...


ParagonWiki
OuroPortal

chuckv3

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 362
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #72 on: April 30, 2014, 05:37:27 PM »
My guess is "sour grapes" when Cryptic went off and made Champions Online, and had to buy the Champions card game to avoid getting sued for it.

All it takes is one person in a position of power who wants to give the former collaborator (or the player base, or the entire world) a giant two-finger salute.

Ironwolf

  • Stubborn as a
  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,503
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #73 on: April 30, 2014, 06:47:23 PM »
Honestly looking at the information I had gathered it was less of a spiteful or malevolent thing rather than exactly what they said - a strategic reassigning of resources.

NCSoft had just merged with Nexon and most of their interest was in Asia. They were expending money to keep a game and a studio going that was just breaking even or slightly losing money - 80 on staff with some working on 2 other games. Paragon Studios had gotten too big and the CoH game could not fund all of it.

After the buyout attempt by Paragon, I really think it soured the upper management. They looked and said why divert resources from our main breadwinners? I know its hard but if you say we expend those management and other resources in another direction we can make twice as much money as on CoH - it makes sense.

Some of the folks trying to buy the game were fly-by-night types with money but no clue on how to run the game. NCSoft was not willing to look even worse selling the game to someone who screws it up.


The main point is don't blame evil intentions on things that often are just incompetance.


MWRuger

  • New Efforts # 1,000!
  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,117
  • The Devil is in the details! Quick! Get him out!
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #74 on: April 30, 2014, 08:21:04 PM »
Honestly looking at the information I had gathered it was less of a spiteful or malevolent thing rather than exactly what they said - a strategic reassigning of resources.

NCSoft had just merged with Nexon and most of their interest was in Asia. They were expending money to keep a game and a studio going that was just breaking even or slightly losing money - 80 on staff with some working on 2 other games. Paragon Studios had gotten too big and the CoH game could not fund all of it.

After the buyout attempt by Paragon, I really think it soured the upper management. They looked and said why divert resources from our main breadwinners? I know its hard but if you say we expend those management and other resources in another direction we can make twice as much money as on CoH - it makes sense.

Some of the folks trying to buy the game were fly-by-night types with money but no clue on how to run the game. NCSoft was not willing to look even worse selling the game to someone who screws it up.


The main point is don't blame evil intentions on things that often are just incompetance.


I'm sure you're right. But they could have put the game in maintenance mode and just let store purchases and those who wanted to subscribe finance like two guys to keep it running.

It would have bought oodles of good will and cost them nothing. Instead many people, myself included, have made vows swearing off their games in perpetuity until the situation is remedied. It was badly managed and explained and no matter who is blame, they are the public face that is being blamed.

But they could still make it right and I hope they do.
AKA TheDevilYouKnow
Return of CoH - Oh My God! It looks like it can happen!

AlabasterKnight

  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 76
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #75 on: May 01, 2014, 03:35:55 AM »
It's always been about business.
Much in the way you said this -
(Ironwolf: "NCSoft had just merged with Nexon and most of their interest was in Asia. They were expending money to keep a game and a studio going that was just breaking even or slightly losing money - 80 on staff with some working on 2 other games. Paragon Studios had gotten too big and the CoH game could not fund all of it.") - a corollary holds true:

The fact of the matter is that this community while loyal and dedicated and worth ten times its weight in heart and soul, on paper isn't enough to support a competitive game on its own. Whatever that game is that captures the genre just right, that causes us to endear ourselves in the same way, while at the same time needing to attract a larger audience to sustain and compete, requires resources.

Something I noticed at MWM and in this community is that the bad taste generated by the whole thing has spawned a distrust in "evil corporations". It has been fostered by some of the most influential people here.

I am not afraid to say that it takes immense financial resources to actually develop a real quality product and bring it to market. 5100 backers and $680K~ is a good start but a long way from done; I applaud the effort and optimism, the hope. I feel that to ultimately succeed in giving the enthusiasts what they want in replacement is going to require a reality check on what the community really wants. Every Plan Z may eventually come to the fork in the road where they might have to decide to think in broader, riskier terms.

Any company that can buy back CoH, that can develop a quality replacement is going to be managing serious capital.
At the end of the day, they will listen to the community to a point, but will without question, obey their shareholders. Fans are last to be considered; in this scenario, they are looking for paying customers who will help pay the cost to bring to market.

And even spending the millions doesn't guarantee success.
But we can hope right?

Happy Anniversary community. I miss it; beta until even now.
Regards, AK

Nyx Nought Nothing

  • New Efforts # 11,000!
  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 796
  • Ha!
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #76 on: May 01, 2014, 03:53:38 AM »
My guess is "sour grapes" when Cryptic went off and made Champions Online, and had to buy the Champions card game to avoid getting sued for it.
Uhm, just so you know, Champions has been a tabletop roleplaying game for 30+ years. Pencils, dice, character sheets and all that. To the best of my knowledge it's never been a card game, but it's possible i missed that version of it at some point.
So far so good. Onward and upward!

downix

  • Phoenix Project Technical Lead
  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,962
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #77 on: May 01, 2014, 09:38:45 PM »
Honestly looking at the information I had gathered it was less of a spiteful or malevolent thing rather than exactly what they said - a strategic reassigning of resources.

NCSoft had just merged with Nexon and most of their interest was in Asia. They were expending money to keep a game and a studio going that was just breaking even or slightly losing money - 80 on staff with some working on 2 other games. Paragon Studios had gotten too big and the CoH game could not fund all of it.

After the buyout attempt by Paragon, I really think it soured the upper management. They looked and said why divert resources from our main breadwinners? I know its hard but if you say we expend those management and other resources in another direction we can make twice as much money as on CoH - it makes sense.

Some of the folks trying to buy the game were fly-by-night types with money but no clue on how to run the game. NCSoft was not willing to look even worse selling the game to someone who screws it up.


The main point is don't blame evil intentions on things that often are just incompetance.
Keep in mind that NC Soft was also in the middle of a lawsuit with the former design team from Lineage II. the team had left to make a new game, TERA. A similar happening with Paragon, just not kosher.

This is one of the big lessons which many ignore - Capital is more than just money. The biggest capital in any studio is human capital, the men and women who are on the team. Those who ignore the team while focusing on theoretical money are losing sight of the big picture. NCSoft knows this, investment in people not product. When the people cannot do the job, time to cut ties. ie Lord British.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2014, 09:43:56 PM by downix »

Ironwolf

  • Stubborn as a
  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,503
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #78 on: May 02, 2014, 03:07:51 AM »
I agree with both thoughts - it will require money and managing money, but even more the reason no one made a private server far earlier is people trusted the Devs. They knew even if we disagree with passion in the end - they loved the game and the community.

Flipping the game to Steam to linger on as yet just another of hundreds of Valve acquisitions would be a crime. The same with giving it to some other large heartless entity. It is not a charity and we the players want them to make money, even moreso we want the heart of people who see it for what it is warts and all - unique among all MMO's ever made.

AlabasterKnight

  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 76
Re: Aeria Games
« Reply #79 on: May 02, 2014, 03:16:30 PM »
This is one of the big lessons which many ignore - Capital is more than just money. The biggest capital in any studio is human capital, the men and women who are on the team. Those who ignore the team while focusing on theoretical money are losing sight of the big picture.

Yea, that's not really a lesson, but a business reality; the largest cost for a studio is salary and employee related expenses. And in the management of that, it's about production and performance on an individual basis. The right people to do the job, and replacement of those who don't meet performance goals.

If you want a lesson, it's actually right there. This is business we're talking about here. Love, friendship, loyalty, and other emotional ties don't matter; you have to pay the right people to do the right job. The "large heartless entity" is the one who can afford to run it properly and maybe even develop it more; the "large heartless entity" is the one you want. The culture inside the locker room of that dev studio will be the one the reflects to a relationship with the community, so why get down on the company that pulls this off.

The part about "love me warts and all" is baggage we can't afford to bring into a discussion about who revives the game and on these forums it is a recurring theme. The community has all the faith and trust of a jilted lover, along with the crew of "best  friends" whispering in its ear.

No game that ever reached public exposure to the scale of CoH and can afford to sustain that has a bootstrap budget. The bigger the budget, the more "heartless" the business needs to be to not only protect the investment but to sustain and grow. And trust me, when they make that acquisition, they will have considered the "warts and all" and if they're a well run company that won't matter.

We're still talking about reality, right?