In the month of October, I’ll be giving money to two MMO companies that worked hard to regain my attention and my business. Both CCP and Turbine have excellent marketing plans designed to entice former players into resubscribing.
Sony Online Entertainment, on the other hand, basically just gave former players the finger. Instead of taking a cue from successful MMO’s and offer free time to encourage former players to check out the game again, they’ve decided to delete characters unless former players resubscribe to the game to initiate a character transfer (or if you want to pay a $50 fee past today’s free-for-subscribers character transfer option).
I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve encountered this kind of decision making from SOE ever since the days of Everquest. Still, today is a sad day, because I really enjoyed SWG prior to the CU and the NGE, and I know that I’ll never play in that world again. A free weekend, like Turbine is offering for LoTRO right now, with the option to initiate a character transfer, probably would have been enough to get me to resubscribe to SWG for a couple months and maybe get hooked for longer. Instead, SOE initiated Order 66, and my character will be gone forever.
Yeah, I could have paid to extend the life of that character, but in today’s MMO market, I don’t have to give money to a company that doesn’t cater to their customers. It’s like an abusive relationship at this point; if I paid to preserve my character, I’d just be setting myself up for more insulting decisions in the future. Today’s the end. I’ll mourn the good times I had, but it’s not worth enduring future dumb initiatives from SOE.
A tip of my hat to my Mon Calamari artisan/architect, to days spent searching for high quality resources, building a home, building furniture and crafting stations and harvesters and vehicles, living in a player city, and enjoying maybe the best sandbox MMO the genre has seen so far, before SOE decided to “fix” the game. I have such great memories of that character, and today she dies a final death. May the Force be with you.