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[CoH] And if the petition succeeds, then what?

I think it’s great that a lot of people have gotten together to rally behind City of Heroes. Whenever players organize for the powers of good, it’s worth stopping to take notice. For all that, I can’t figure out who the heck is doing the majority of support.

Is it players? Bloggers? Or here’s a distinct possibility, ex-players who don’t want to let go of their nostalgia. Given that these games are business tools, only that first group is important. If column A outnumbered columns B or C, would the game even be closing in the first place?

So my question goes out to those last two parties. Let’s say this thing succeeds, what then? How much are you personally willing to spend on an aging MMO right after Guild Wars 2 has come out and expansions are on the way. How many signing this petition will actually drop money on expansions and cash shop items when they, in truth, have no vested interest in this beyond rooting for the little guy and their own washed out memories? That’s not everyone but, then again, the game is three steps from the gallows so, yeah, it’s a lot of them.

Because if you’re signing this thing without any intent to actually spend — and I mean real “I’m going to put at least X dollars in this thing” intent — you’re not doing anyone any good. What’s the most you could gain from “success” in that scenario, a year of tortured pseudo-development? The playerbase wasn’t enough to keep the lights on. If you want to make a difference, you’d better be willing to put your money where your mouth is.

That’s why this thing is an admirable, it’s also unlikely to make a difference. The fact is it is a lot easier to type your name or check a box than spend real money; there is no commitment beyond that “name” box. And when you’re trying to save a business, commitment and follow-through are the only things that matter. How many people would sign if there was a $10 fee, I wonder.

I wish this petition the best. I just hope the people signing on and “ra-ra-ra”ing from the sidelines actually mean what they say. Delaying the inevitable can be worse than a quick and clean ending.

12 comments

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  1. Wilhelm Arcturus

    I don’t want to be dismissive of the effort, but I do get a similar feel to when we try to get rid of an old toy that my daughter hasn’t played with in ages. The fact that it might not be there any more is the key emotion, and all the attachment and memories that go with it. Reprieves for such toys rarely result in them getting played with for more than a day or so before they return to their place on the shelf to be ignored.

    And I asked the question in a couple of other comments, is there a set of circumstances where players wouldn’t want it to be saved. NCsoft seems unlikely to just set things back the way they were. What if they said they’ll keep it, but it is back to subscription and the moment subs drop below point X, a 30 day clock to shut down starts.

    Actually, that might be interesting if players could reset the clock again by subscribing. Hrmm…

  2. John

    I do spend on COH. I am one of many VIP players who continues to pay a monthly subscription rate. I would be willing to pay more if that’s what it takes.

    As to when I wouldn’t want it to be saved? When it sucks. It does not suck. Every year we get at least 2 free updates that give us tons of new stuff that refresh the game. It is not what it was when it started. Think of this as a fountain of youth. The games is not old, it remains young.

  3. Tiffany

    I do spend money on CoH. In fact, I buy a year subscription at a time and various extra Paragon Points throughout each month. If they decide not to pull the plug, I will continue putting my hard-earned money into the game I love just as before the announcement and I’m not the only person who feels this way.

    John is right about the game remaining young. The developers are still excited about all the ideas they have and they love this game as much as we do. Before the announcement to close the game down, there was no end in sight to the potential new content and upgrades to the game. In short, the devs loved what they did, we loved them for it, and many many people would still continue to support the game financially given the chance.

    Thank you for your post – every little bit helps!

    We’ve been saving Paragon City for eight and a half years. It’s time to do it one more time.
    We are heroes. This is what we do.

  4. Mel

    I too am a VIP player who has paid a subscription for 4 years, not to mention the countless expansion packs and paragon market purchases. I fully intend to continue doing so if the game goes forward. I have no interest in Guild Wars 2 and had planned to continue with City of Heroes as long as its around. Ill pay even more if needed. This game is more than a game. It’s a community of friends who laughed, cried, and shared for quite some time. That is what is irreplaceable and that is what most of us are willing to pay to save.

  5. Bladesnow

    Thank you for raising an important point, but as you can see from the other comments we are a fair bit ahead of you. You should know that according to all the information we are able to access from public filings, and confirmation from sources at NCsoft & Paragon Studios, City of Heroes has been profitable. To the tune of $800,000 a month.

    So I think I can safely say that the players like those who have already commented, and myself who has continuously maintained a subscription for 7 years (with one account, and an additional 5 years with another) have done their part to support the game. You are not wrong that a lot of people come and go. There is no evidence, though, that the bottom line was directly the problem here.

    Nobody is asking NCsoft to ignore the bottom line. They are welcome to their strategic realignment. We are respectfully making the point to them that they can profit MORE by allowing the game to continue under a different arrangement. Keep watching, and I think you will find that the community of Paragon City lives up to their words. We are heroes. This is what we do.

  6. xXJayeDuBXx

    I would like to see CoH remain active, but you raise such a great point. I personally don’t know how much if any money I would spend if the game stays alive.

  7. Sandmann

    I’ve put money into the game whenever I had the money to spare and it continues to be THE ONLY game I have commited this much time and money to. The only MMO to keep my intrest for more then a year and when it went free to play I put money in until I could play as I had before when I was subscribing…..then I put in a subscription again. 😛 And I’d continue to be subscribed for years to come I’m sure because theres something about it that just never dies….that never bores me. Heroes just never die.

  8. UnSubject

    I agree with the original post – it’s great to see the campaign on to save CoH/V, but what happens at the end of that campaign if it is successful? NCsoft might agree to keep the doors open, but cut costs by dumping staff. Or if it is sold off (which I believe is unlikely) then will NCsoft be happy to part with the active subscriber database and all the linked character information? And if they don’t, what proportion of players will want to pay to play their title from scratch again, to re-earn all those rare IOs and re-grind Incarnate resources?

    I also agree that there are a lot of “CoH/V is a great game, I used to love it” posts from people who haven’t paid for the title in several years. Which is the problem. Despite a boxed expansion and a F2P conversion, CoH/V hasn’t seen its revenue grow in years. So all those people who say they love it either haven’t come back or haven’t been paying to play CoH/V.

    1. matt

      matt says:
      September 19, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      it may interest you to know that when an in game unity rally was hosted the server had to spawn over 33 different occurrances of the city zone that it was held in then the spill over went to another server and the system had to create 9 more

  9. CW

    EVE Online had a crisis and it’s playerbase got on the situation just like CoH’s are doing.
    The CEO of CCP had a restructuring of priorities and changed CCP’s direction for the better…

    Come on CoH playerbase (and Paragon Studios Devs) if it can be done with CCP then it’s possible with NCSoft.

    1. matt

      it may interest you to know that when an in game unity rally was hosted the server had to spawn over 33 different occurrances of the city zone that it was held in then the spill over went to another server and the system had to create 9 more

  10. Nate

    You may raise a valid point but your point is wrong.
    Everyone who is signing the petition are mostly made up of people who are still paying and playing the game.

    There was an in-game rally in one zone that caused the zone to duplicate at least 30 of the same zone on the server to allow extra players and even then, that wasn’t enough. There were people queuing to get into the servers.

    There was no player issues and yes, CoH may not have been making a profit but it wasn’t making any loses.
    Official documents showed that CoH had a steady income and rose slightly every year.

    NCSoft just pulled the plug for reasons unknown and that could mean trouble for any MMO in the world.
    If NCSoft can do this to a game that was no where near of death (The devs still had a load more stuff to add that would keep the game going for at least another 4-5 years), then no MMO is safe.

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