Early Access MMOs and Burning Out

There is a lot I dislike about paid early access / pay-for-alpha, much of which I’ve already written about here. One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is that I think these schemes encourage burning out before a game even launches. I’m worried about this particularly in relation to ArcheAge. I know a surprising number of people who bought the $150 alpha access pack. And on the one hand, I’m excited that so many...

Friday Five: I Told You So Edition

Cat Context is turning 2 years old on Sunday, and we want your questions for the show! Leave them in the comments, email, tweet — whatever feels right. Today’s Friday Five topic is a little tongue in cheek: I’m looking back at some old posts that turned out to be pretty accurate in hindsight. A few of them got major pushback from commenters at the time (hello, WoW Insider readers!) but who was right in the long run?...

Blogging for Cash, or pondering the zero sum game of funding

Apple Cider Mage has a very thorough post this morning on the practicality and morality of making money off of content, specifically gaming-related blogs, podcasts, and videos. It’s a good write-up, and you should probably go read it. It was also a very timely read for me, as this is a topic I’ve thought about a lot lately. Let me be frank — I live off a very tight budget, and due to some real life circumstances...

Raid Leader Anxiety Never Dies

I started the guild Machiavellis Cat in late 2005. We began raiding in 2006, starting out in Zul’Gurub and moving on to Molten Core and a bit of Blackwing Lair. The guild gradually got more serious about raids, eventually moving into “hard modes” in Wrath of the Lich King and a bit of Cataclysm. I stepped down as the guild leader and people manager in early 2011 and quit WoW completely (for a while.. you know)...

Crowd Sourcing from a Crowd of Idiots (Steam Tags)

This week Steam introduced tagging for games in their store. Steam users can add “tags”, or short descriptive terms, to any game on the site for use in searches. The idea is to create a more organic, user-friendly system for cataloguing games, making it easier for people to find something they want to play (and buy). In typical Valve style they’ve taken a very hands-off approach to the whole system. Certain words are...

“Democratic Money” and Early Access

The launch of Everquest Next Landmark’s alpha last week has gotten a lot of people talking about games with paid early access. I’ve already stated that I’m opposed to the practice. I will spare you all the details of why I’m not a fan of early access / pay-to-alpha, but suffice to say that I don’t think we should be encouraging the industry to sell us unfinished games. (I also don’t kickstart things...

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